Long Term Success After Weight Loss Surgery – Sugar TRULY Is Evil, The Saga Continues

by sandi on September 27, 2017

Sugar TRULY Is EvilAs I move through my 14th year after weight loss surgery, Lap Band Surgery to be specific, I continue to learn that sugar is NOT my friend.  And yet I am still taken in by the smells, the tastes, the ease with which I can swallow and digest it no matter how many times I remind myself.  So I’d like to share my Jewish Holiday saga with you all today since Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza, New Year’s Eve and the mad rush of food and festivities will soon be on us.

I was heading to a family dinner for Rosh Hashanah, or the Jewish New Year.  I was asked to bring dessert.  My usual would be a fresh fruit salad with the piece de resistance being some local Oxnard strawberries.  For those of you who do not know Oxnard CA grows some of the most delicious strawberries in the world.  This year I didn’t choose a fruit salad.  I wanted to make a traditional Jewish New Year dessert.  Since part of the traditional dinner is apple slices dipped in honey to signify a sweet new year, honey cake is also part of the tradition.  I love to cook, I hadn’t baked in forever so off I went to the internet to find what looked like the best honey cake recipe to me.  It was, and THAT my friends was the problem.  Here’s what went into the cake:

  • Sugar TRULY Is Evil3 ½ cups flour, 2 eggs, baking soda, baking powder, 1 cup honey, 1 ½ cups sugar, ½ cup brown sugar, 1 cup coffee, ½ cup orange juice, 2 ounces whiskey, 1 cup canola oil, cinnamon, cloves and allspice.  This is all topped with ½ cup sliced almonds.

The calorie load on this cake was 6,193 calories.  Oh MY!  I had not even thought about this as I was measuring and mixing.  I was having too much fun in the making.  Since my pan made about 16 servings that is just about 387 calories per slice of honey cake.  Who would have ever thought that this “plain” cake, with no frosting, just some healthy almonds sprinkled on the top could possibly have that many calories?  That is probably around the same number of calories as dinner was for me. 

Sugar TRULY Is EvilAnd, if you thought, well why did you eat it if you already knew it was 387 calories per slice my answer is simple – I NEVER figured out the calories until just this moment.  Probably because I didn’t want to know.  Oh, and MOST of the calories in the cake are from sugar – white, brown or honey with another 25% coming from the flour, which is turned into sugar immediately in our bodies.  One slice and I was on a sugar high.  That would have been fine if it were just ONE slice.

When packing up to go home I grabbed my cake carrier, which I hoped was empty, but alas, my sister in law had put about ¼ of the cake in it.  I had seen cake on a plate in her kitchen so I thought that was it.  There were 8 of us at dinner that evening so what I saw left on her plate was ¼ of the cake as well.  None of this mattered to me until the next morning when I woke up – HUNGRY, not a typical place for me.  Was it physical hunger or head hunger because I knew the honey cake was on the counter in the kitchen?  I didn’t take the time to assess my body, I just made a cup of tea and……..yup, I sliced a piece of honey cake.  Tea and honey cake for an early morning snack (5am, breakfast is typically at 8 or 9).  Even with my band I can chew the honey cake and sip on the tea enough to make the whole thing liquid so it slides right down.  Oh no, drinking while eating…  I was breaking all the rules.

I spent all of that day and the next hungry for anything sweet or salty and found myself indulging more than necessary.  I didn’t track my calories, skipped lunch for a piece of honey cake the next day, didn’t have enough protein and it wound up kicking me in the butt.

I was tired, grumpy and lethargic.  I do not like feeling that way, especially when I have to take accountability for it.

Sugar TRULY Is EvilI did not get on the scale because I was bloated, feeling miserable and chose to not add to the negativity I surrounded myself with.  I spent the following day recalibrating my hunger signals by feeding myself protein any time I felt hungry and drinking 3 liters of water.  My head was still foggy and I went to bed with a headache.  Today is better.  I have protein planned for the entire day, with low carb produce on the side.  I woke up and hard boiled some eggs for extra snacks, there is lunch meat, yogurt and cheese in the refrigerator, I have chicken salad made and portioned and am ready to get rid of this carbohydrate bloat, the sugar withdrawal that is giving me a dull headache and the head and physical craving for sugar that annoys me to no end. 

Sugar TRULY Is EvilOnce again I am putting myself through this withdrawal from sugar and asking myself if all that honey cake was worth it.  I haven’t answered the question yet; however, I do know I few things:

  • Do not believe just one can’t hurt me;
  • If I decide to bake again leave it all at the host’s house;
  • Think before I mindlessly reach for it just because it’s there;
  • Finally, I had the option to throw away the cake I brought home but didn’t even acknowledge that until right now although I have done that many times;
  • SUGAR is NOT my friend nor will it ever be.

I am a work in progress and continue to learn how to step out of my own way to maintain the successes in my health and fitness that I have worked so hard for.

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