#30: Building Self-Compassion During an Addiction Crisis

#30: Building Self-Compassion During an Addiction Crisis



In today’s episode, I will share so of my struggles with sugar, my addiction, and how the process itself helped me boost self-compassion. As I started to reflect on what I was going to share about my struggles with sugar and emotional problems it came along, I noticed that there is quite a bit to unpack so you get to understand why becoming an insulin resistance coach and nutritional endocrinology practitioner have been key to me. So, stay tuned!

The reason I am sharing details is that this may resonate with you or someone in your life. Overcoming my sugar addiction, which was tagged to an eating disorder and other problems, was one of the hardest things I’ve accomplished. Doing this alone was awful and I don’t recommend it.

Why, I did it on my own –at least for the most part of it? I didn’t feel confident that the environment and people I spent most of my time with would be able to offer the support and help I needed. I wanted to get to the bottom of it. That’s the call I made at the time. So, I went off to do it myself and for me. So, I embraced research, learning, and application, and eventually teaching—as a coach.

I am passionate about empowering stressed-out, sugar and carb lovers, a.k.a. addicts, to rediscover vitality, happiness, and lead a fulfilling life. And since we are talking about sugar addiction, yes, Blood sugar management and insulin sensitivity are essential to good health and to reduce the risk for many inflammatory diseases.


In the last couple of episodes, I’ve shared a couple of fears that helped me ignite change in me. Another fear that played a key role was of dying of cancer and dementia.  I feel like cancer eats our bodies alive and dementia eats our brains alive.

When I learned how sugar elevates levels of inflammation in the body and that research shows people with these diseases have high levels of inflammation in the body, I took note.  I decided I was going to do what’s in my power to prevent them.

I was critically addicted to sugar. I don’t think people really think of it as an addiction and is understood as other addictions out there. There is more awareness now than when I started to battle against sugar 7 years ago. I consider myself part of a movement to raise awareness, educate, and guide people about the negative side effects of elevated consumption of sugar.

For many years my battle with sugar was accompanied with eating disorder, bulimia to be more specific. The cycle of binging and purging was frequent for a while.

The relationship with sugar goes long ways. When I was a kid, I used to drink condensed milk, cans I used to ‘steal’ from mom. Anything sweet, home-made, or purchased, I killed it. I used to eat more of when nobody was watching.

At 14, I worked in a bakery. I ate sweets constantly and when nobody was watching. I did the same when I worked at a supermarket at 15-16. After I moved to the USA, the addiction got worse because sugar was everywhere, and my diet worsened too. Things got out of control quickly. I gained a lot of weight.

When I brought byproducts of sugar home, I’d try to control consumption. I’d think, out of sight, out of mind, so I’d hide them in the house. My addicted brain new better. I’d give up and tell myself, if I ate all now so you don’t have it tomorrow. Right…Many times, I felt guilty. I binged and threw up. Some days, I did this twice. It was brutal in all senses. I can tell you hundreds of stories.

These behaviors and tactics continued for another 20+ years. Living alone facilitated it since I could do whatever and whenever I wanted. At some point, it became clear this beast had taken a toll on my emotional well-being since I was a kid. I was filled with shame, blame, guilt, insecurities, self-criticism, self-judgement, unworthiness, disappointment, and powerlessness.

In the end of 2013, I faced the beast and started to confront my demons. It wasn’t until then, when I started to stop, that I realized how powerful this addiction was.

Back then, during my search for answers, I came across a presentation a doctor was giving to college athletes about ways to improve their performance in sports and life. He spent a significant amount of time discussing nutrition, including the damaged added sugars do our cells. I watched that presentation multiple times and his drawing on the whiteboard stuck to me. His presentation had a profound impact on me and on my relationship with sugar.

Trips to the supermarket and gas stations and events I attended all became stressful. I was becoming a food label machine. And whenever I grabbed candy and read the labels, the doctor’s whiteboard and pathways popped into my head. I’d hold the package and start having conversations and nasty arguments. I’d call myself names and go over a laundry list of awful things about myself because of the weaknesses I was experiencing. Often, I stood there for minutes doing this. The struggle was real.

What I realized was how awful I was to myself. There was absolutely no self-compassion. None!

As I continued to learn about health and wellness, I started to understand I needed to become kinder to myself. There was no quick fix and being nasty to myself was not part of solution.

I started to ask the question…Why was I so abusive to myself? Why am I strict? Why? Why? Why? There were so many questions. Eventually, it hit me.

The environment I was raised in didn’t offer words of empowerment, compassion, approval, and support. It was NOT an environment that developed my self-esteem, confidence, and self-worth.

I am anti-self-pity and excuses. Blaming someone isn’t a solution either.

I realized this was going to take some time to heal these deep wounds. I needed to be patient and kinder to myself and this process. I started to work on that too. I welcomed a new journey into my life, one of personal growth. That alone has been awesome and fulfilling.

I’ve learned a few things:

  • I’ve learned that people cannot give what they don’t have. I know my mother gave all she could. Considering the circumstances, she did a fantastic job raising my siblings and me.
  • God had a different plan for me and my siblings. I cannot think of any other explanation to how we didn’t turn out with different outcomes in life.
  • I get to run my race, stay very curious about what may be in my way, and clear the path. The more I learn about my upbringing and what makes me, the more equipped I feel to redirect my steps so I can reach my full potential.
  • I have chosen to believe that I am not defined by my past. I am prepared by my past. I’ve heard this somewhere.

Eventually, I ditched my sugar addiction, eating disorder, and chronic digestive issues. I have become a better version of myself. I am more passionate, patient, and understanding to myself and others, and especially those I work with. Part of the process was to do and offer me more of what I offered others. Isn’t it interesting?

It’s like peeling an onion. There are unique layers to learn, process, and digest about ourselves. I’ve learned to give myself permission to fail forward. It’s part of growth. Setbacks happen. Being with compassion throughout the steps of life will result in progress over time. All to say that healing starts from the inside out.

If you are experiencing challenges, I know this is possible for you as well. I am on a mission to help people experience their breakthroughs. I am here to help you get out of your own way so you reach your full potential and success. I’d love to be part of your health village and personal growth journey. Cheers to health!

Remember that whenever you are ready to take your health to next level, I am here for you. Book a call HERE and let’s talk about your goals, concerns, and ways we will get you going in a better direction.

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