Category: Health

Sugar is my drug of choice

I was a pretty responsible teenager. I didn’t experiment with drugs, I only got drunk twice, and the only time I went to court was traffic court. I didn’t change in my adult years. My need to control everything around me made it easy to stay away from drugs and not get hooked on alcohol or cigarettes. Look at me!! Addiction free! Or so I thought.

Sugar and caffeine are my drugs of choice. I have struggled with my waistline most of my life because of my sugar addiction. BUT I didn’t know it was an addiction. Not until I read an article in TIME magazine about sugar’s effect on the brain, and you know what?? It made sense!
I have had moments (many) when I would shake for sugar, and I obsess about when I will get my sugary treat of choice. I never thought of it as an addiction. Just simply wanting something I wanted. Well age is mean, and time is not kind, if you waste it not learning. In came my thirties, and my body finally said to me “Okay, I have tried to talk to you. I have tried to warn you. I have stayed fat for a reason. Exercise didn’t drop the pounds for a reason. But you just won’t learn, so it is time for something drastic!” And drastic is was. 
I bent down to grab my dog’s water bowl to fill it with water, and when I went to stand up I felt like someone stabbed a knife deep into my tailbone. It was the most painful thing I had ever experienced, and it took doctors, drugs and many days to feel better. Add that to the fact my knees had felt like they were on fire anytime I sat with my knees bent for any amount of time for years. Going to the movies required getting there early so that I could get the seats with the bar located in front so that I would have a way to stretch out my knees. Yep! And it was all the weight doing it to me. 
My back went out three times in that one year, and it was time to make a real change. So, I changed my diet. I didn’t follow the Atkins or any other fad diets. Those do not work in the long term. Nope. I counted my calories, watched what I ate, and most importantly, drastically reduced my sugar intake. Now, I didn’t cut sugar out all together, and I didn’t enjoy a cheat day either. Nope, I had my sugar planned everyday. And I made sure I didn’t have a bag near by to have more than I had planned. Guess what?? After about 6 weeks the pounds just started melting away, and I came up with a way of life I could live with. This is all without exercise! I am choosing to tackle one habit at a time.
I haven’t been perfect. If I start enjoying Oreo’s and milk before bed, or eat ice cream more than once, the drug habit kicks back in. Studies are showing that sugar effects the brain in a similar way to drugs. Obese people’s receptors react different to sugar than someone who may be a normal weight and not addicted to sugar. Sugar can reduce your brain function and limit your memory. Maybe that is I have a blonde brain?? Sugar!! Yep – lets go with that!
Don’t take my word for it. Google “Sugar’s effect on the brain” and you will find articles from TIME, The Huffington Post and more for information published in the last year. Now… lets not go to the extreme and say sugar is only bad and candy is the devil like Michelle. Instead, just like with anything else, learn the habit of moderation, and listen to your body before it gets pissed!

Push Ups for your Brain – My thoughts for the night

I am not getting any younger, but that doesn’t mean my mind has to get old. I want my mind to stay young, and to do so I have to exercise my brain. I don’t want to encourage dementia and Alzheimer diseases to be a part of my life in later years, and while science offers genetics may play a part in getting these diseases, so does not exercising your brain properly. How do you exercise your brain? Lots of ways, but I am going to offer a few options here – this as much for you as it is for me.

  1. Get off your smart phone at night and do word searches, Sudoku or cross word puzzles instead. These activities actively engage your brain and strengthen your mind.
  2. Read and write! I am not talking about writing and reading social media updates. I am talking about reading books and writing stories to keep your brain moving. Do one or both daily!
  3. Exercise! That right! Walking daily, lifting weights, and other activities build up your brain. A walk may be what your brain needs to write that story!!
  4. Take breaks from thinking too hard. As much as we need to engage our brain to stay young, the brain also needs a break from mental activity. I believe men have this talent covered more often than women.
Stress can also weaken the brain. Take time to laugh everyday! Laughter allows the soul and brain to grow and strengthen together!!