Sugar Detox: Connection – secret hamburgers, daddy issues, and it’s just phase 1

sugar-detox-logoWe’re a week into the Sugar Detox program, and so far, I’m feeling good about it. Ok, so honestly, so far I’ve been so distracted by my surgery I haven’t really had time to let anything else sink in.

Phase 1 is about connection, understanding the emotions and history behind our sugar habits.

So. First things first, I’m doing this program for more than just understanding my relationship with sugar. I want to better understand my relationship between all of my eating habits. Once I understand more about why I eat what I eat, I can start moving forward to making the appropriate adjustments.

I never really thought I picked up many food habits from my parents. The biggest things that came to mind, at first, was mostly that my mom wouldn’t cook dinner for the two of us (after my brother moved out) if she was too tired or not hungry, so I’d have to make something for myself. And secondly, I saw my dad traveling all the time, basically living off fast food, with the idea that Taco Bell was a snack and not a meal, and always having a 32-oz soda in his hand. My dad is obese. Probably by at least 100 pounds. So I was quick to associate fast food and those large drinks with OMG FAT.

What I didn’t quickly realize, was that I had developed quite the opposite association with those foods as well. My parents divorced before I entered kindergarten, and my dad was constantly moving or on the road. He remarried, and they started their own family*. And well, I just wasn’t that close to my dad. But I wanted to be. When it was just dad and I, we would sneak fast food or donuts or any other fatty, sugar snack we knew both of my stepmoms would disapprove of. These secret treats became something just between the two of us. It’s something I still have issues with, wanting to join him for the hamburger and fries or quick taco run, but feeling guilty afterwards because I know I don’t need this type of food in my body. (Or at least not every time I see my dad.) I like this little secret with my dad, but are we using food as a crutch to make up for that missing connection?

While I don’t think having the occasional secret fast food run with my dad is going to completely derail me — I’m more a moderator than an abstainer anyway — it shouldn’t be an every time I see my dad thing. I can build a closer relationship with my dad without food.

I’m sure this isn’t the only food issue that’s deeply rooted like this one. Who knew I’d be busting out with daddy issues in phase one, but hey. But the bottom line is, the more I understand why I’m craving what I’m craving, the more I can treat the actual emotional issue behind it and not just use food as a bandage.

*As I’ve written about before, my first stepmom died of breast cancer in 2006. Dad remarried, and my current stepmom has a similar healthy eating habit.