My ex-husband was a substance abuser. I don’t think I have ever openly shared that. It’s not a secret, so I’m not exactly slandering him. I could never understand why he wasn’t able to just quit. “Dude,” I wanted to say, and shake the hell out of him, slap him across his face a few times, and knock him upside the head with something hard for good measure. “You see how this stuff screws your life up. It’s killing you. It turns you into an ass. And it’s eroding any love I’ve ever had for you. You know all these things, but you still won’t quit.” It just seems like when you know something’s bad for you, when you know it’s capable of ending your existence, you should be able to put it down. No matter how addictive it is, you should be able to say: “You know what? I love my life more than I love this shit. That’s enough.” I felt so much contempt when I looked at him, hating everything that his drug of choice turned him into. It’s easy to see such a glaringly obvious fault in someone and focus on it until everything else is obscured, like the application of a vignette filter. 

It’s not always easy to find your own faults. Sure, we can find our surface faults, but how easy is it for us to dig down to the root of it and locate the ultimate fault? It’s extremely difficult. Not only is it difficult but when you do find it, but acknowledging and owning that fault is a sometimes impossible. 

My weight is an obvious flaw. I’ve struggled with it all my life and eventually got to a point where I was sick of being fat. I worked out, ate well, and lost a lot. I felt better than I had since high school. But I’m still struggling with the behaviors that made me fat in the first place and for the first time, I think I understand why an addict can’t just stop. Sugar is my culprit. It always has been; I just didn’t realize it until I caught myself in the act one day. I remember the almost orgasmic feeling I had when scarfing down a chocolate cupcake, and then almost choking because I forgot to stop and breathe. Although there was no one around to witness this exhibition of gluttony, I was embarrassed and ashamed. And despite having lost weight, I don’t feel as good as I did when I ate well. My joints feel achy and my brain is in a constant state of fogginess. I finally understand that sugar isn’t something I’m capable of consuming in moderation. Even a small taste results in the crashing open of the floodgates, unleashing a tidal wave of craving.

I’d managed to wean myself off of sugar once. That was when weight loss became nearly effortless for me. Then I had a relapse and now, losing weight is as demanding as swimming in a pool of chocolate pudding. It’s exhausting, and I have so many days when I just feeling giving up and giving in. I know that a sugar detox is the only way I can change that pudding to water and swim through like I did before. It’s tiresome to think about though, and sometimes too overwhelming to even consider attempting. In my moments of self-pity, I realize that I’m not much different from a substance abuser who just doesn’t stop. I can think of a multitude of excuses about why it’s such an impossible feat. I know that cutting out sugar is the key to everything, so why can’t I just stop eating it? I don’t know. I really don’t.

I don’t have a reason for sharing this. Maybe because I haven’t written a fitness post in a long time. Maybe so those of you on your own journeys understand that the process not all smooth sailing. Sometimes you have to swim through pudding to reach your destination.


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