Dissociation and Sugar Addiction

So back in 2013, I started a diet called “ideal protein” and lost 60 pounds. When I got hit my goal weight, my dissociation got WORSE... a lot worse. I would look at the numbers on the scale and couldn’t grasp the idea that I was 60 pounds lighter. I was miserable and dissociated almost every single day. I stopped hanging out with friends despite the fact that I looked very good from the outside. I stated binge eating and gained all the weight and some more.
Ever since that time I never went into another diet. But when I do get dissociated I started eating sugar. Like a jar of Nutella in one week. I’ve always had sugar addiction. Now I want to able to get a grip on this addiction. Anyone else experienced this? How do you manage? Would love to read about your experiences and suggestions. Thank you
 

Survivor3

MyPTSD Pro
You have to be careful with sugar intake because you can become diabetic which has a whole host of problems. I used to eat quite alot of sweets etc..and when I stopped drinking alcohol and smoking I was drinking alot of sweet fizzy drinks and I became diabetic! Which I now have to take medication for.

I'm not preaching to you but too much sugar is bad for you. A good balanced diet and exercise is important for your health.
 

Freddyt

MyPTSD Pro
A good balanced diet and exercise is important for your health.
+1 Exercise being the piece most people miss. My wife struggles with weight problems and I know where you are coming from with the down then up. The whole thing comes down to learning to change your eating habits. There is a lot of help available for this but I would suggest looking for the reasons you eat the way you do. Are you in therapy? Your T would be of huge help with that. Getting to where you change your eating is the essential bit, along with setting new goals when you reach you goals. That's the part most people miss. They get to their goal and then go back to old habits.

Apart from that find a way to track what you eat. I use myfitnesspal app. You can literally scan the barcode on foods and it will show you how many calories, how much sugar, fat, carbs, and how much protein you are eating. Not only that there are recipes and healthy living tips and tons of other help there too. There are both free and paid versions and I have never used the paid version. Between that and my smartwatch I can track calories and activity both.
 

coraxxx

Sponsor
Is that that particular weight that triggered you or was it gradually increasing during the whole process of loosing weight?

I personally get quite triggered when I reach a weight that reminds me of a certain ratio. I also get triggered when I go above a certain ratio. Both would trigger different kinds of dysphoria, but both are very uncomfortable and I feel foreign to my own body most of the time. Sometimes it feels like the shape of this body is going to make me die or be a horrible person. I don’t mean that morally, I mean it like being a horrible person to live inside of. I don’t know if I’m making sense.

Then typically I’ll go through cycles of weight gain an weight loss, fortunately I’m quite short the variation won’t be very spectacular, but on my scale I do feel very different.

Recently I came to the conclusion that I wanted my body to feel a certain way rather than looking a certain way. And that exercise would be more efficient as to model that feeling than only weight control. Having more stamina and better posture and a good weight that is more muscle and less skin and fat. Not exaggerated, but just to feel good inside of my shape.
 

Sideways

Moderator
I spend most of my life pretty dissociated from how my body is feeling. But every now and then, there's an underlying emotion that will set off a "must eat comfort food" thought process (for me, the culprit emotional triggers are boredom, loneliness and sadness).

It's super easy to indulge that thought and just go with it.

For me, tackling it? Means getting grounded (so, all those grounding 101 activities) in that moment, and then using thought diffusion so that I can do something other than reaching for sugary foods.

Refined sugar addiction is a bit of a bitch. It's up there with some of human beings most addictive products. But IME, as addictions go, it doesn't have the staying power of many addictions if you want to beat it. So, tackle it as an addiction (having non-sugary options in the house to reach for is really helpful, and putting a temp ban on buying those problem foods like Nutella - man, I could eat that stuff by the spoonful!).

The sugar craving tends to pass within an hour. And those sugar cravings pass (for me) within a week, unlike many addictions that can be fighting your resolve for months and months. And after that? The hardest part of the addiction is licked, and I can focus on grounding when those "must eat comfort foods" moments come up. Comforting with something else gradually becomes the new norm.

A helpful habit? Is checking the sugar content (here in Aus, it's specified under the Carbs content) on the nutrition labels of food products. You won't ever find things like fruit juice or sugared popsicles in my fridge. They just ain't worth it - they don't actually deal with the emotion that's triggered it, and the consuming part usually only lasts a few minutes. So it's not actually a helpful way to respond to the emotion at all!

Another habit that's helped me is 'renaming' some of those problem foods. For example, instead of calling it Nutella, it will from henceforth be referred to as "The Lying Paste" (because it isn't actually going to get rid of that emotion, which you may be dissociated from, but it's there...damn covert triggers!!).

The WHO recommends about 24g (6 teaspoons) of refined sugar a day. A lot of people are getting more than that by the time they've poured out their breakfast cereal. But don't be put off - learning which foods have a high hidden sugar content (if you're in the US, watch out for white bread) is something that you learn reeeeally quickly if you do it diligently for a few weeks.

Well done on losing so much weight! Having done that? You can definitely get this thing beat:)
 
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I spend most of my life pretty dissociated from how my body is feeling. But every now and then, there's an underlying emotion that will set off a "must eat comfort food" thought process (for me, the culprit emotional triggers are boredom, loneliness and sadness).

It's super easy to indulge that thought and just go with it.

For me, tackling it? Means getting grounded (so, all those grounding 101 activities) in that moment, and then using thought diffusion so that I can do something other than reaching for sugary foods.

Refined sugar addiction is a bit of a bitch. It's up there with some of human beings most addictive products. But IME, as addictions go, it doesn't have the staying power of many addictions if you want to beat it. So, tackle it as an addiction (having non-sugary options in the house to reach for is really helpful, and putting a temp ban on buying those problem foods like Nutella - man, I could eat that stuff by the spoonful!).

The sugar craving tends to pass within an hour. And those sugar cravings pass (for me) within a week, unlike many addictions that can be fighting your resolve for months and months. And after that? The hardest part of the addiction is licked, and I can focus on grounding when those "must eat comfort foods" moments come up. Comforting with something else gradually becomes the new norm.

A helpful habit? Is checking the sugar content (here in Aus, it's specified under the Carbs content) on the nutrition labels of food products. You won't ever find things like fruit juice or sugared popsicles in my fridge. They just ain't worth it - they don't actually deal with the emotion that's triggered it, and the consuming part usually only lasts a few minutes. So it's not actually a helpful way to respond to the emotion at all!

Another habit that's helped me is 'renaming' some of those problem foods. For example, instead of calling it Nutella, it will from henceforth be referred to as "The Lying Paste" (because it isn't actually going to get rid of that emotion, which you may be dissociated from, but it's there...damn covert triggers!!).

The WHO recommends about 24g (6 teaspoons) of refined sugar a day. A lot of people are getting more than that by the time they've poured out their breakfast cereal. But don't be put off - learning which foods have a high hidden sugar content (if you're in the US, watch out for white bread) is something that you learn reeeeally quickly if you do it diligently for a few weeks.

Well done on losing so much weight! Having done that? You can definitely get this thing beat:)
Thank you so much for sharing your experiences! I definitely have the same emotional triggers. I have come to a point where when I eat sugar I don’t feel anything. You know the act of enjoying every bite? Haha nope I just eat to finish what I have infront of me.
I have been working on renaming as you suggested. Though I am not creative with the names- acknowledging that when I give in I am only harming myself has been helping me a little. Only a little. Hopefully I can break free
 

Sideways

Moderator
Haha nope I just eat to finish what I have infront of me.
Go with this. This is really helpful to know about yourself. If you can't stop yourself at the point of buying comfort food? This can be backup. Tiny portions only. Snack size. Nothing that's bigger than snack size comes home.

Idk if it's the dissociation or what, but I'm the same. There isn't a "stop when you feel sick" for me. I don't fee hungry, I don't feel full. So once I start? It's reeeeally hard to pump the brakes.

But ice cream comes in single serve tubs. Chocolate comes in small bars.

Anything you know about your habits? Weaponise it. Because there's something bigger than those elusive moments of comfort that you're chasing, and it will be worth it. I'm glad it resonated:)
 

OliveJewel

MyPTSD Pro
Binge eating is one of my symptoms. I was seeing a dietitian and she taught me about a new way of thinking about food called intuitive eating. It’s not very popular yet, but it’s spreading. It’s not immediately understandable because it’s so different from diet culture that we have all been steeped in.

The basic premise is that no foods are bad, and that thinking any food is bad or off limits will make that food enticing every time due to biological reasons. The goal is to accept every food AND to eat regularly scheduled meals and snacks of a known size (related to fists). If you eat regularly (every 2-3 hours) and give yourself permission to eat anything you want, the idea is that you self-regulate, and accept that your body is a certain size based on genetics (when you eat intuitively).

If you are already habituated to diet culture this will all seem wrong. I still binge but I also am not scheduling meals and snacks. When I did schedule meals and snacks I stopped binging and stopped drinking. So I know I have that tool, but I’m not using it currently.

Just throwing this out there, as there are now other ways to think about restrictive eating and intentional weight loss and the weight cycling industry. A helpful podcast about intuitive eating is called Food Psych.
 
I spend most of my life pretty dissociated from how my body is feeling. But every now and then, there's an underlying emotion that will set off a "must eat comfort food" thought process (for me, the culprit emotional triggers are boredom, loneliness and sadness).

It's super easy to indulge that thought and just go with it.

For me, tackling it? Means getting grounded (so, all those grounding 101 activities) in that moment, and then using thought diffusion so that I can do something other than reaching for sugary foods.

Refined sugar addiction is a bit of a bitch. It's up there with some of human beings most addictive products. But IME, as addictions go, it doesn't have the staying power of many addictions if you want to beat it. So, tackle it as an addiction (having non-sugary options in the house to reach for is really helpful, and putting a temp ban on buying those problem foods like Nutella - man, I could eat that stuff by the spoonful!).

The sugar craving tends to pass within an hour. And those sugar cravings pass (for me) within a week, unlike many addictions that can be fighting your resolve for months and months. And after that? The hardest part of the addiction is licked, and I can focus on grounding when those "must eat comfort foods" moments come up. Comforting with something else gradually becomes the new norm.

A helpful habit? Is checking the sugar content (here in Aus, it's specified under the Carbs content) on the nutrition labels of food products. You won't ever find things like fruit juice or sugared popsicles in my fridge. They just ain't worth it - they don't actually deal with the emotion that's triggered it, and the consuming part usually only lasts a few minutes. So it's not actually a helpful way to respond to the emotion at all!

Another habit that's helped me is 'renaming' some of those problem foods. For example, instead of calling it Nutella, it will from henceforth be referred to as "The Lying Paste" (because it isn't actually going to get rid of that emotion, which you may be dissociated from, but it's there...damn covert triggers!!).

The WHO recommends about 24g (6 teaspoons) of refined sugar a day. A lot of people are getting more than that by the time they've poured out their breakfast cereal. But don't be put off - learning which foods have a high hidden sugar content (if you're in the US, watch out for white bread) is something that you learn reeeeally quickly if you do it diligently for a few weeks.

Well done on losing so much weight! Having done that? You can definitely get this thing beat:)
Would you believe me if I told you that I just searched sugar addiction on here because I wanted to write about what I am struggling with... only to find your response, reading and thinking hmm lying paste. I’ve read this somewhere. Then scrolling all the way up and seeing my own post/question about sugar addiction. Damn dissociation. I have no recollection to writing that post. I wanted to say thank you for taking the time to respond. ❤️
 
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