Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Sweet High

Today's blog is a little disconnected....  as I blogged I had an epiphany which took me a different direction.
Crazy, but it's something I had read.... "food is a drug".... but it really hit home with me today as I blogged, when I realize it answered a BIG QUESTION I  have had since I started blogging
WHY do I reach for food I KNOW I shouldn't eat?  All the while saying "don't do it"... and still eat it.

----------here is where I started my blog today-----------------
I've attached a Portion of a site I believe worthy of thought.  It captivates me when I come across confirmation of a Truth I hold on to about Balance. The impact of our emotional/thought life on our health and well being (highlighted in red).
(click on the line above for the link to the web site used in this blog)
...FIVE  basic questions must be addressed when a  poor health condition exist: 
  • 1.  Is the condition caused by deficiency of something (what must be done to get better)? (e.g. magnesium, electrolyte, B-vitamin or essential fatty acid deficiency)
  • 2.  Is the condition caused by something to avoid (what is making it worse)?(e.g. wheat or milk allergy, processed carbohydrates, caffeine, etc.)
  • 3.   Is the condition caused by something that needs to be eliminated/detoxified(e.g. cadmium or lead intoxication, parasites, destructive job or relationship, etc.)
  • 4.  Is there a maladaptive emotional behavior or a core belief that impedes persistent progress/recovery? (e.g. excessive worry to the point it is detrimental, eating the wrong foods repetitively even when you feel poorly afterwards, believing you are not worthy of wellness or success).
  • 5.  Is there an interference field that is preventing healing/restoration? (e.g. a scar from an infection, trauma, burn, surgery, vertebral subluxation, or emotional event that has been imprinted into the autonomic nervous system)
Recently I have been in a conversation about a health issue with family, friends... and it surprises me that I have developed a consistent approach.  "BALANCE".  

Yes, explore the medical (traditional western medicine) implications of the symptoms and rule out a metabolic, physiological explanation.  

However, ALWAYS explore  the mental and spiritual  influence of one's self in relationship to the illness/condition. 

This brings me to a conversation I  had this morning on the phone,  where something I HEARD  transformed my heart, mind and soul into a state of distress.  

A physical manifestation of something I processed in my thoughts.  

My heart racing, digestive system in a "tissy".... I'm sure my blood pressure was elevated and I had a surge of tense energy.  

I found myself not resisting to eat when making my husband some breakfast. 
 I already ate my breakfast.  But in my stressed state I ate "a little something"  while not being hungry and not needing to eat and asking myself.... WHY am I eating this?????
(late post..... revisiting this blog:  I was explosive and irritable this morning because I "splurged" on chocolate covered toffee last night.  SUGAR! I guess I was needed a "fix" this morning since I was coming off a sugar high from last night)  I was soooo surprised at my reaction to something so benign. Now I understand what happened
Here is the interesting thing:
Our body (due to our culture) seeks (unconsciously desires) Carbs when we are stressed out or "need to relax".  Like taking a drug?
Think about this:
Sugar and highly processed carbs release natural opioid in the brain. 

Ever heard of "runner's high"?  This euphoric sensation occurs when exercise stimulates the brain to form endorphins.  These neurotransmitters are similar in molecular structure to the morphine but are much milder.  They activate the brain's pleasure center.

Like exercise, sugars and highly processed carbohydrates are also able to trigger the release of such endorphins (activating the opioid receptors). 

In addition to activating the opioid receptors, sugar and highly processed carbs also have a physiologically calming affect because of the release of serotonin in the brain.  When the brain's serotonin level is increased after you have eaten sweets or a refined starch, you typically experience within twenty to thirty minutes a significant emotional relief.  

 It improves your mood, helps you to relax and contributes to an overall feeling of well-being.

However,  Sugar and highly processed carbs (ice cream, pastries, candy, breads) are like a drug that we can become dependent on.  

Oh, right!  Now I get it!  (here is where I had my epiphany)

That is why I was baking Chocolate Chip cookies at 10 pm !  
Even though I heard myself saying
.... "no, no... don't do it... you're trying to lose weight.... it's not healthy to eat late... 
oh, I'll just have one... oh... it's not for me it's for my family as a treat... "  
ahhh the conversation I would have.

Yet, like as if my body was detached from my mind, I would still make and bake and EAT the dang cookies (and usually, not just one!).  Oh, the guilt.  

Now I finally understand!   It's taken a year of blogging to get this!  
IT IS AN ADDICTION! ......Sugar is a drug!  

I use to say  "Lord, I'll give up white sugar if you heal my loved one of their addiction" But I NEVER was able to give up foods that contained WHITE SUGAR.  Now, I understand WHY.

It is real!  The body's "craving" for sugar is like an addict that seeks out a drug KNOWING the consequences of their actions.  
Even though they WANT to stop, they struggle to say no.

I would see that when I eat sweets, candies (See's Candy for SURE)... the next day I lack energy, feel depressed, IRRITABLE ... difficulty with coping.  TRUE! 

That is why I have found that my strength to change my eating habits 

I've known for sometime now that I have had a life of seeking satisfaction and comfort through "food"... dahhhhh   I'm American/ITALIAN!  But now I see that simple Carbs and Sugars have an affect like a drug.  And that's why I crave and seek out Carbs when Stressed.

During this past years Journey I have desired
to find satisfaction and comfort in my relationship with God 
(always feel well and whole after time in prayer and reading Gods word) 
to   find satisfaction and comfort in  Exercising 
(always feel great after I exercise!)  

So, I have elevated my awareness 
to accepting that I've lived a life of being unbalanced 

 When we accept the 
FACT that Sugar is a  Drug 
Fact that Simple Carbs are a Drug

we will treat "eating" with more respect

 When you CHOOSE to be healthy and well... 
When you become PASSIONATE about having Health and Wellness....  
When you acknowledge you are BODY, MIND and SPIRIT and 
when you seek to BALANCE yourself....

You will discover a new world of Health and Wellness to live in...


1 comment:

  1. Dena, this is so true. I went to a nutritionist a while back and after several weeks of discussion, education, etc., I finally was faced with the reality of what you have talked about on your blog. In fact, she would ask, "Did you "use" this week. In other words, when I went for the extra serving or ate more than I should (my problem isn't sugar, it's portion size) it was because I was using the food as a drug. So now, whenever I do that, I remember that I am "using"...a addicts term and it really gets to me. It has helped me think twice before "using".