A while ago I had the pleasure of filming a couple of segments for the hugely popular That Sugar Film. In particular, I filmed the experts delivering their medical findings to Damon Gameau and revealing what had happened to his body in the few months that he had been eating less sugar than I do (a lot less!). And it was horrifying. Everything they said suggested death, disease or loss of limb was just around the corner.
And yet I was living a diet of sugar everyday. So I made self-deprecating jokes about it, pretended I didn’t care, packed up the equipment, said my goodbyes and sped home to tell Phenom-A-Mum that we were quitting sugar. And we did. A few times.
But what caused my sugar problem to begin with? I was always the guy who chose savoury over sweet. Who wants chocolate when you could have one of Ace’s amazing chicken schnitzel burgers? (That’s in Mona Vale for all you Sydneysiders). Somewhere along this lifeline things changed and I believe I may be able to find a key suspect.
When I became a parent my sugar addiction went into overdrive.
Now I don’t want to openly blame my first-born for condemning me to an early grave, because I was doing that long before he was a dirty thought. But I can track my overconsumption of sugar back to around the time he was born. Granted, I was living in England with their amazing array of sweet treats and the world’s greatest toffee popcorn, and working a job that stressed me out, whilst making a no-budget feature film in every moment of my spare time. But the sleep deprivation factor of parenthood was significant.
Phenom-A-Mum and I didn’t just give up for ourselves. We needed to give up for Little E, because it has been found that the parents’ food habits tend to set those of their kids for their entire lives; I have only to look around my neighbourhood to see generations of bad eating echoing into the future. And I don’t want that for Little E or our new addition, Little L. I want them to have a chance to start healthily.
One major obstacle is that sugar is insanely addictive. An expert on That Sugar Film suggested that it was as addictive as coccaine; I don’t know if that’s true but I do know that I battle with it everyday. Add to that the tired factor of having two young kids, who allow us small amounts of sleep, and you’re in for a helluva war.
I’m on a one-dad sugar-ride to Diabetesville.
Sugar has been my best friend again since before Little L arrived. There were admirable attempts to shake him, but ol’ Sugar kept on knocking at the door (sometimes literally as guests arrived to meet the new bub, armed with yummy goodies. Bec & Veeran, I’m not talking about those Nutella doughnuts. You can bring those anytime!). And now we’re fighting Little E’s chronic addiction as well, dealing with insane tantrums when I say no to something sugary. I’ve caused this problem. I eat all the bad things and share them with him when he gives me the puppy-look. I get him a naughty treat when I feel like a bad dad. I’m ruining my son for life.
So I’m quitting. Again. Again.
It’s game-on time. And I don’t really want to do it alone. So I’m asking if there are any parents out there willing to fight alongside me, to try giving up sugar cold turkey and setting a better example for our kids?
I’m going to share my embarrassing withdrawal experience with you all via regular video updates on Facebook. It’ll be honest and not very pretty (that’s me most days) but maybe, just maybe, it’ll help you to have a partner in detox.
Will you join me?
So hop on over to the BKLK Facebook page and put up your hand to join in on our crusade to go sugar-free. We can bitch about how hard it is together!
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