My struggle with sugar cravings began at age twelve while recuperating from a horseback riding accident that required two months in traction in the hospital and three months in a body cast. During that sedentary period I gained 25 pounds and a developed a huge desire for sweets.
Over the years, I continued to struggle with those extra 25 pounds as well as ongoing sugar cravings, my weight sometimes up, sometimes down. I always wanted to get thinner, yet my efforts were often sabotaged by my desire for sugar. My diets consisted of chicken and lettuce, diet Jell-O, and endless cans of Diet Coke. Splurges were always sweets. I did Weight Watchers, Diet Center, NutriSystem, Jenny Craig, as well as powder diets through a doctor, and followed countless diet plans from a multitude of books. I would lose a few pounds (never reaching my goal), hit a plateau, get stuck, get discouraged, and give up the diet. Sadly, this went on for more years than I can count. I didn’t know any other way. It was all about “calories in, calories out,” right? That’s what all the doctors said.
Fast-forward to the recent past and after so many years of yo-yo dieting, I said “Enough!” Clearly, dieting wasn’t working for me. Not only was I still struggling with weight, now I didn’t feel well: I had constant headaches, achy joints, dizzy spells, and endless fatigue. I changed gears and found my way to Dr Mark Hyman at the UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA, and was introduced to the world of functional medicine.
Right away, Dr Hyman’s approach made so much sense to me. He explained that we should be looking at the root cause of illness, rather than just treating the symptoms by slapping a prescription on the problem. It was like a light bulb going off for me. As I worked with Dr Hyman to resolve my own health issues, I went back to school, first, to become a health coach, then to become an eating psychology coach, and finally to get a Masters in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine. Along the way, I began coaching clients to help educate them about functional nutrition. One thing I noticed was that so many of my clients were dealing with sugar cravings and/or food cravings: this wasn’t just my problem; it was a collective problem. Like me, my clients didn’t have a will power problem; they had a metabolic problem. Once they learned about functional nutrition, their health began to improve.
My own health journey continues and you will see that I am happy to share aspects of it that might be relevant to this community. I completely understand the issues of sugar cravings and sugar dysregulation because this has been my problem. I understand slip-ups, digressions and the difficulty of getting back on board a healthy eating plan. This understanding brings great empathy to my practice. I am not only interested in people’s experience with these issues, I can also relate to them; therefore, making me an effective coach and guide. I get great pleasure and satisfaction from helping my clients permanently slay this pesky dragon (sugar cravings) and watching them enjoy the benefits of better health and peace of mind around food and eating.