It's safe to say that I've struggled with an addiction to sugar for much of my life. Overeating it, sneaking it, thinking about it, eating half of a batch of something I've baked because I just can't get enough.
I know I'm not the only one that has been a slave to sugar. Many women I know in particular, have those intense cravings, bake/buy to follow through with those intense cravings, and suffer from the life-long cycle of indulging, feeling guilt, warding off sweets, indulging, guilt, and trying to get some control. I know that cycle very well.
I remember that cycle for the majority of last summer of heavy "feel good" baking: mermaid cupcakes, fairy log cake, bridal shower sugar cookies, Choose the Right cupcakes, Caroline's baptism cake, seashell cookies, etc. My heart honestly aches when I think about all of the sugar I consumed trying this, nibbling on that, eating four of these late at night, and, mostly, the mental anguish of feeling like I had no control over myself. (Not to mention the roller coaster of fat gain.)
After last summer, I decided enough was enough. I took a break for decorating and baking the traditional way and have since done my own homework and experimenting with other sweeteners and learned to enjoy the occasional sweet treat without encouraging the addiction.
There is so much I could write on this topic but for now, I just want to tell those of you that suffer the way I have for years that there is a way out of the web. I would have honestly never believed that statement if I hadn't tried it for myself. And it doesn't mean never having a special piece of wedding cake at a wedding or other social eating.
In general I'll enjoy a few treats during the week that I've made with my family. I enjoy it's sweetness (usually sweetened with a natural, sugar free sweetener) and am actually moderate. Surprisingly moderate. Since I don't make gluten-filled fluffy cupcakes anymore I can't eat 5 of them. Nut flours and other fat/protein rich ingredients I use in many of my recipes leave me feeling totally satisfied with one or two. No kidding.
And since I no longer am addicted to sugar, I prepare myself mentally for the special occasions that I choose to eat a white sugary/traditional flour treat--always outside my home. I know that once the sugar (and addicting grain) is running through my veins again I will think about and want sugar for a few days later. Sugar is such a powerful substance that this happens every time. So I've treated this summer quite the opposite to last summer: I simply map out the next few months of trips, activities, and possible social events that I might be tempted, socially pressured, or simply interested in eating a traditional sweet. I've learned to decide well in advance if I will or won't, make a note of it, and move on in my current non-addictive world of eating.
This process actually works so well. I eat happily all week, bake things here and there for our family with our particular ingredient constraints (low sugar), and still might have a traditional white sugar/flour sweet every blue moon at a special occasion if I really want it. If not, no pressure, I know I can return home after the social event and have some [amazon_link id="B000EUF9CK" target="_blank" ]dark chocolate squares[/amazon_link] and a handful of salted peanuts or make a chocolatey-peanut butter protein shake.
I'm actually quite satisfied for the first time in my life.