“I feel sorry for people who don’t drink. When they wake up in the morning, that’s as good as they’re going to feel all day.”

-Frank Sinatra

I was listening to the radio the other day and the host was asking one of his staff if they could stop drinking for a month (this was after he challenged another staffer to stop smoking illicit things for a month). The staff member, Richard, loves beer. He’s a craft beer fiend and drinks a lot of them. Is he an alcoholic? Probably. What was his response? He said he could probably stop drinking but why should he?

This post isn’t necessarily about alcohol. But it is about addiction. What is my addiction? SUGAR. Sugar is most definitely my #1 challenge. It comes in lots of different forms…I eat a ton of fruit, which is healthy but also very sweet and depending on what it is, very high in sugar (i.e. bananas!). I also love chocolate.

I’ve gotten much better over the years eating it in moderation and if it’s not GOOD chocolate, I don’t waste my calories. Have you ever bitten into a piece of candy or cookie and realized it wasn’t as good as it looked? Yeah, that happens to me and now I spit it out. If it doesn’t taste good, why am I still eating it?!? I also make sure that I’m eating things that are a little more “whole” like a really good ice cream with natural ingredients, or fancy chocolate from a boutique. I’m usually taking a pass on the crappy stuff that doesn’t really satisfy my craving.

If you want to read some old posts about food addiction and sugar, I have a plethora. Here are just a few: Food AddictionFat Pills and Why We Get Fat.

A few years ago I did a Sugar Detox challenge. It came about for a lot of reasons but one of them was the Candy Room in my office. I wanted to break the habit of grabbing a handful of candy from this room and mindless eating it at work or whenever I walked by the office. The Sugar Detox Outcome was positive. I realized a lot of things in that single week of refraining from sugar:

I eat candy more out of habit than desire.

I didn’t miss the candy like I thought I would.

I realized that diet soda makes me crave candy.

And what have I taken away from that nearly 2 years later? I’m still eating sugar. I gave it up for one week and that was it. I occasionally go through phases where I stop eating it, or I refrain from eating candy at work but I eat dessert at home. Basically, I can’t seem to give it up entirely.

Awhile ago I took a week off from exercising. It was shortly after I saw the knee specialist who ordered me to rest for 6 weeks. I was feeling depressed and decided to just rest from everything, even though I was cleared for some exercises. I was worried about getting out of the habit of exercising, I was worried taking a week off would cause me to gain weight. I told myself for that week I’d just be really good with my calories and everything would be ok. And I did do pretty decently with my calories for that week. I didn’t go over my allotment but I also didn’t make excellent choices. There were several days where I skipped eating my apple as a snack so I could allot those calories for some chocolate. Was I within my calorie range? Yes. Was I eating in moderation? Yes. Was it the BEST way to “spend” my calories? Probably not!

Some people can’t do the “everything in moderation” concept. I totally understand that. I’m the opposite though, I cannot do the “really restrictive” thing. If I tell myself I’m going to stop eating X, then all I want is X! Then I get hyper focused on it and it becomes an obsession. That is not a healthy path to go down, either, and I’m sure it’s just another sign of addiction.

So how do you moderate an “addiction”? Do you abstain from it completely or try to limit the intake of what you desire?

Nutritional Challenges and a Challenge

What is your biggest nutritional challenge?

It’s not going to be easy. Losing weight and learning how to eat is hard work. There are many things that could be challenging. Here are just a few:

  • Portion control
  • Giving in to trigger foods/binge eating
  • Food allergies/sensitivities
  • Not knowing WHAT to eat to be healthy or lose weight
  • Unrealistic expectations for rapid weight loss
  • Not eating enough
  • Not getting support from people regarding your weight loss attempts
  • Breaking old habits
  • Negative thinking

There’s so much more that we face when we decide it’s time to lose weight. How we deal with those challenges is what makes us successful or not so much…

What are my challenges? Before I lost 110 pounds, my challenges were portion control, bingeing, and not knowing what to eat. I changed my thinking, I told myself I CAN DO THIS, and I did. I did not have unrealistic expectations about how long it would take to lose the weight–I knew it would be a hard journey–and I was lucky to get support for almost everyone in my life.

And then I lost the weight and the challenges changed a bit. Portion control was still the devil on my shoulder, but I had gotten a handle on the binge eating. I’d broken the bad habits I had and learned what to eat.

So what about you? What are your challenges and what can you do to change that?


I challenge every single one of you to remove ONE thing from your house that is causing you grief.

Candy. Cookies. Chips. Cheese. Potatoes. Bacon. Beer! …whatever your trigger food is, whatever food item is on your mind and currently in your house. Take it to your neighbor’s house as a gift, give her the box of of cookies. Take the bag of chips to work and share with coworkers. Just remove ONE of those things that are tempting you from your house for 1 week. See how you do. You might be surprised at how powerful “out of sight, out of mind” really is.

Are you in?