Messy Addicts (Don’t Confuse with Your Cluttered Attic)

A while back, my husband cut a Pickles cartoon from the newspaper for me. When Opal Pickles tells her husband, Earl, he’s addicted to sweets, he says, “Sure, they make my life worth living, but I’m not addicted to them.” Sound familiar? We’re all so good at rationalizing.

A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report stated that half of Americans drink a sugary beverage every day and one in 20 swigs more than four cans of soda per day. According to an AP article, the study did not include diet sodas, sweetened teas, flavored milks and 100-percent fruit juice. Add ingestion of those substances to the CDC’s figures, plus candies, pastries, and other carb-laden products, and it’s obvious we have a serious problem in our country.

Sharon Hersh writes about the prevalence of addiction in her book The Last Addiction: Why Self-Help Is Not Enough (Waterbrook Press). “The reality of addiction in our culture is evidenced by the number of books that come off the press every year on this subject. The difficulty of finding ‘the answer’ to this agonizing problem is further shown by the statistics and stories of addicts that do not seem to be diminished by all of these books.” Her short list of examples includes three books related to diet.

Several years ago, our local newspaper ran an article under the heading High-Glycemic Foods Can Create a Cycle of Eating. “We’re talking about the paradoxical nature of sugar—and of that whole delicious family of simple and readily digested carbohydrates that make up a hefty proportion of American diets.

“You eat them; they make you hungry. Hungrier, some scientists contend, than you were before you wolfed down those cookies. Or that candy bar. Or those crackers made of refined white flour. Or that 16-ounce bottle of soda. Or those slices of white bread. Or potatoes. Yes, we’re even talking baked russet potatoes here.”

The article quoted Robert Murray, director of the Center for Nutrition and Wellness at the Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio: “Obesity has to do with a sense of satiety. I think simple sugars are a big driver for a sense of hunger within two hours.”

Keep that in mind when you sit down for your Thanksgiving meal. Thank God for all the wonderful choices we have in America, land of options! Then choose to nourish and satiate your body with protein (yay for turkey!) and vegetables. If you still have room for more, or as you nibble throughout the day, pick health-enhancing foods, and go easy on the baked goods.

Praising God from whom all blessings flow and wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration, Becky

p.s. Sharon Hersh’s answer to the addiction dilemma? Let God take over. “In kindness he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change.” Romans 2:4 (The Message)

I recommend her book. She writes from the perspective of an alcoholic and a licensed professional counselor.


4 thoughts on “Messy Addicts (Don’t Confuse with Your Cluttered Attic)

  1. When I despaired finding a cure for my irritable bowel (that is a name doctors give it when they don’t know what is wrong; doctors aren’t taught much about nutrition) I gave up wheat, chocolate, soda pop, alcohol and caffeine. (I don’t consume much of the later three but eliminated them entirely to make sure. Since the problem disappeared almost overnight I brought back chocolate first… no problem. It takes a year or two for your system to totally readjust itself when it has been abused for many years. Now I know that a lot of chocolate will mess up my digestion, so I eat it in moderation; especially the 60% dark chocolate covered Brazil nuts that Reppert’s Candies makes for me.

    The point is: you can extend your life a few months, maybe a year or so by depriving yourself, for your entire life, of the things you enjoy. No thanks. If you are genetically disposed to have a heart attack at 50, perhaps you should exercise, eat fruits and vegetables, bla, bla, bla; you’ll have a good feeling that you are at least doing something to help yourself. Forget drugs. Drugs to lower your BP or LDL don’t extend your lifetime. It turns out chocolate does upset my digestion a bit, but wheat was the culprit. Friends have suggested that our bodies cannot recognize the protein because it is so heavily processed.

    I love food. Happily fresh fruit and cooked vegetables especially. My wife made a oven stuffer roaster three days ago and I ate it myself (she had one meal with me, then evening meetings, luncheons or a trip every day; one day both). With gluten free stuffing; yum. I polished off a can of whole berry cranberries too, and mashed potatoes. No salt, no butter, just a little milk and hand mashed. But the fresh asparagus and broccoli I finish first; al dente.

    I have no trouble limiting myself to a small handful of semi-sweet morsels, or a lunchbox pack of Quaker oatmeal chocolate cookies. But I have never been addicted to anything. It is probably a genetic thing. I sleep 9 hours when I’ve been working outside for a day, work up a sweat once or twice a week, drink a couple of quarts of decaf; decaf tea; fruit juice and/or water… and just enjoy life (wife, family, friends, Scouting, Community & the American Legion.

    70 yrs old
    5′ 8″
    166 lbs
    BP 132:87
    Colesterol 125


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