Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Addictions

Well I've been back in Sydney for a bit now. Glad to see that I
haven't succumbed to an addiction like I did in Perth.

In Perth, it started as we're often told it does : "just try it",
"only one go, it can't hurt", "here free for your first time".

What could it hurt - I wasn't that interested anyway...

Soon I was short of sleep and sneaking slyly about, seeking out
characters with odd sounding names. Searching desperately... Day,
night had no meaning. I just needed to score one more time...
I needed to increase my hit...
Make my hit stronger...
Make my hits hits last longer...
Get more hits...
There had to be a way...

Then as gradually as it started, it faded away. Sense returned. I gave
up playing World of Warcraft (WOW to people in the know), got more
sleep, and slipped out the door to cycle across the Great Central
Road.

WOW as an addiction was very minor - a few weeks hard at it.. My
other addiction, that I fully unleashed the moment I arrived in Perth:
junk food, I'd had many many years. More specifically anything with
lots of sugar in it. High fat also featured, but no as much as sugar.
Its fair to say that most of my travels were fueled by junk food:
cake, chocolate, lollies and my favorite; biscuits (scotch finger
biscuits, chocolate chip, orange creams and ginger nuts featured
heavily, but I wasn't too picky). I was the person who'd eat dessert
first, and sometimes, second if I didn't like the mains choices, and
still have dessert! A family block of chocolate or two. A whole cake.
Tub of icecream. Packets of biscuits for a main meal, no problem.
Yep, I ate a lot of sugar. A lot like cigarette addiction, I'd tried
in the past to cut back, gone cold turkey more than a few times, but
always fallen off the wagon. Looking back, my heart wasn't really in
it. One of the reasons that I'd failed in the past was that I figured
there was always lots of time left to cut back, so what's the harm in
having another cookie now! I can cut back later today, tomorrow, next
week, next month, next year... Any time but now!

Its no surprise that I left Perth more than 10kg heavier than I'd
arrived ; daily cookie consumption, ice cream, chocolate has that
effect. With WOW, junk food, and little exercise, the only surprise
was how I didn't gain more weight. And what did all that do to my
health?

Somewhere about Mingenew (mid June) I decided the time had come reform
my eating habits, cut out the sugar and eat more unprocessed food.
Ideally, more fruit and vegetables, but as I discovered they are hard
to get in country Australia.

Of course I had to eat my last couple of packets of biscuits first,
just start this new eating regime with a clean plate so to speak.

I won't say it was easy. In fact the next two weeks were on and off
sugar cravings. Riding along thinking of tim tams, chocolate, scotch
finger biscuits, ice cream. I could just about taste them... One thing
great about cycling Western Australia - its a long way between places.
So cravings with no shops couldn't translate into buying, which would
then be followed by eating. I did put in considerable effort to resist
in the first few towns. I might have been about to cave in in one
small town, but was saved by a limited selection of biscuits. By that
time I was a biscuit snob. None of the limited selection would do. I'd
resisted so long, I wasn't going to break now just for any old
biscuit.

As time went on, saying "no" got easier and easier, til I didn't have
to say "no" any more: I didn't feel the need, so there was nothing to
say "no" too. I could look at all the biscuits, chocolate, lollies,
icecream and not feel the need to eat any of them. While at Laverton,
the whole dessert section of the all you can eat buffet didn't appeal.
It was truly novel experience for me: Megan in an all you can eat
dessert buffet and not eating any of it!

With this new awakening, come the realization just how pervasive junk
food is. Some roadhouses and information centers that didn't have any
healthy food options at all!

Not to say that I didn't eat anymore biscuits. I was given a snack
pack of two cookies one time. (The travelers insisted.) They tasted so
sweet. Like they were more than pure sugar. How'd I ever eat these by
the packet full? Yes I ate them, but I also refused chocolate,
snickers bars, tim tams and innumerable other biscuit, cake and
lollies offers. Now I do refuse and in some cases have thrown out
junk food forced upon me even after I've said "no thanks" too many
times. There is no joy in eating it, and its unhealthy. But there is
joy in all the other things I'm eating. Its like the amount of sugar
overrode all other tastes. Without it, other tastes have risen up to
replace it. There's a whole world of non sugar meals to explore for
taste now.

I'm glad I've broken my sugar addiction.

1 comment:

  1. Yes I know what you mean, it took me a looong loooong time to kick coffee. And the mind plays all sorts of tricks - you know.... It's only when I'm in bad shape that it not good for me. Today I'll just have one etc etc. I don't need it but I'll have one cause it's ok then... Yeah. And after something like 10 years of drinking in in big amounts ie 3-4 daily I came to the conclusion that it's forms a vicious circle in that at some point it ruins your sleep and then ofcourse you need it to stay awake so it ruins you sleep again and then you need afew more to make it through the day.... anyway I willed it down to just one a day. Then I started asking for weak ones - short pour -r risteretto. The rationale being that most of the flavour is in the first part of the pour and the caffeine gradually increases with the max being at the end of a typical pour. But I still sometimes had really bad days ....until one day I said enough of these crap days as a coffe is jus not worth them so I quit! Having great days and feeling great just made coffee seem like a bad deal. And slowly I lost the taste for it...sort of. I still have the occasional dandelion version which is actually good for me. Anyway I haven't had one for years now and really I just don't need it. We battle with addictions don't we... where do they come from...crap industry via their seductive advertising pushing our buttons.

    Glad you kicked your sugar thing.

    ReplyDelete

Sorry, because of spammers. I now approve all comments. This could take a couple of days, depending on when I get internet access.