As a CrossFit Level-1 Trainer, I have lots of conversations with people about their health and fitness.
I pass out advice on everything from running, to Olympic lifting. People want to move better, they want to lift heavier, they want to do all sorts of awesome things, and so they listen to me.
If I tell someone to use a hook grip in their power clean, they listen. If I tell someone to keep their chest up in their squat, they comply. If I tell someone to stop eating Pop Tarts…They look at me like I just asked them to sell one of their children to a band of gypsies.
What kind of person takes away ice cream? What sort of communist cautions against eating s’mores? How dare I use hate-speech to describe their beloved doughnuts?
Mind you, these are the same people who gladly pay me to have them choking back vomit, and praying for the rapture during workouts.
How is this possible? How do trainers go from being the trusted leader you’d follow anywhere, to the vindictive slave driver who hates your grandma the moment they suggest laying off the apple pie?
Well, I don't know all the answers to those questions, but I do know this:
Sugar consumption is a widespread addiction in our society, and it's killing us.
Studies show that an addiction to sweets is as hard to break as an addiction to drugs and alcohol, and that even THINKING about sugar can trigger a release of dopamine.
Sugar is linked to memories. We've used sugar as a reward in our society. We're emotionally connected to it, and oh yeah, it tastes awesome.
So what do we do?
We should treat sugar the same way we treat alcohol. We should have it on special occasions, celebrations, or in very small/responsible quantities.
I know that sounds extreme, but it only sounds extreme because our society has sugar coated (pun intended) how serious the problem is.
1 in 3 Americans is obese, and 2 out of 5 children are. Type II diabetes, and heart disease are running rampant, but still we explain away sugar addictions with something like - "oh, bless their little hearts, they've always had a sweet tooth."
Sugar addiction is not cute.
We would never say "oh, bless their little hearts, they've always loved their cigarettes."
But somehow sugar has escaped the public scolding cigarettes have (rightly) recieved.
How could those cute little candy hearts be bad for us? How in the world could an ice cream cone be a killer? How can a cupcake put you 6 feet under?
Believe me, I totally understand how weird this all sounds, but it absolutely must be said.
Why? Because I hate birthday cakes, America, and smiling?
Because I want you to live.
70% of Americans die of preventable causes, and most of that could be stopped by doing two things...
1. Exercise 10-60 minutes 5-6 days per week.
2. Don't eat sugar.
It may seem like an over-simplification, but making those two habits part of your routine will likely add decades to your life.
I know this is a very unpopular stance, and I know some of you are probably wondering where I'm parked so you can slash my tires right now, but we simply must start looking at sugar as the dangerous, disease causing substance it has become.
Stay strong out there.
High fives & side hugs,
- - -
P.S. There are lots of ways to treat yourself that won't give you type II Diabetes.
Like a Bolder Band!
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Great article on sugar! I went plant strong 18 months ago and have kept 40 pounds off easily. Keep spreading the word! Some will listen and get it!
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April 05, 2018
So easy to say but so hard to do, I believe that you need to take it one day at a time. Do the best you can do that day. Pray you are given a tomorrow to try again.