Here is the second part of the C57 story. Please note I changed the mouse. The grey one is a DBA mouse - the ones who are not sugar loving.
Let's translate what I wrote last week and play a little. Replace the word C57 with a sugar sensitive person and replace the word
morphine with sugars.
Let's go through the list again.
1. We all know some people who act like DBAs. They are the ones who say to us,
"Why don't you just......say no.." They are the ones who decide to diet and do and then lose ten pounds in a month. They are the ones who give up chocolate for Lent and never look back, the ones who carried a little orange pumpkin at Halloween. They are the ones who would eat the chocolate chip cookie only if they were hungry. We know immediately who they are. Since society tends to recognize and value DBA behavior, we will judge ourselves against their standard. We carry the message that "DBA
behavior is good, C57 behavior is bad."
2. And we also know that WE are the C57's. Intriguing to think why we can feel connected to the C57 mice so well. We are often children of alcoholics. We feel deeply, struggle with self-esteem issues, are sensitive, creative and impulsive. We may do rage or depression. And we all
share the deep feeling language whether we are male or female.
3. When we feel defeated and overwhelmed, we assume the fetal position, lie still and don't move, and tell everyone is not our fault. Now, we may not do this on the outside. On the outside we may be doing big theater and having everyone believe that we are
absolutely in control. But inside we are holding on by a thread and feeling horrible.
We may be "lying still" way inside our hearts but we absolutely know this pattern. And we see our DBA friends who when faced with the same crises, get mobilized and energized. We take Prozac; they change jobs and get a promotion. We hate this "injustice" and have not a clue how biochemically mediated it is.
4. Sweet foods give us "energy". That means they get out of the lethargy of beta-endorphin withdrawal. Sweet foods can give us "motor mouth." We become engaging, funny and self confident. Sometimes our friends wonder if we have been drinking.
More often, we chose other C57s as friends, so we go out for "coffee", have cake and REALLY enjoy our social times. And having coffee with the sweet roll feels like heaven. We get clear, focused and relaxed for about 30 minutes. We LOVE that feeling. And those cold frosty coffee, sugar drinks (you know which ones I mean) are the BEST because they make us feel so energized. Our DBA friends enjoy their coffee (they have the plain bagel), but they do not live for it.
5. We see these same behaviors clearly in our children and grandchildren. Give a three-year-old C57 a piece of birthday cake and he will be the life of the party. Give a two-year-old a twelve-ounce can of Sprint on the plane and she will be bouncing over the top of the seat for two hours. The more work we do with our program, the
more clearly we see this profound shift in behavior pre and post sugar.
6. When we detox from sugar, we kinda sits around and waits till its over. We hunker down with our discomfort. Immobile. We literally feel as if our cells are made of lead and/or are all screaming. We feel the effect of withdrawal in our gut, our
skin, our brain - wherever there are beta-endorphin receptor sites.
The Patterns Are Powerful
Pretty interesting isn't it. For many years we have struggled with learned helplessness, with self-esteem that fades in a
moment. We vacillate between hyperactive clarity and lying on the couch in a stupor. The Dr. Jeykll/Ms.Hyde syndrome is very close to home.
Beyond Mood Swings
But now, I am pushing us beyond the idea of mood swings. I
am inviting you think of yourself as a big C57 and to connect with the enormity of what these mouse studies mean for us. Those things which we have considered "character flaws for all this time are a function of your sugar sensitive biochemistry.
Our alcohol, sugar, fat, white things literally get us mobilized, make us
brave, funny, self confident for a little. But we only remember the feeling okay, feeling brave. It's why so many people who come to the forum lament that they cannot imagine giving up the sugar. It's the "only" thing that makes life worth living. This is addiction. This is being caught in a place that kills us. But we don't see it.
The Power and the Disappointment of Beta Endorphin
The beta-endorphin hit wears off and we crash. Then it's horrible. And we become more immobile, hopeless, demoralized, overwhelmed and tearful. But we don not make the connection to withdrawal. What we remember is that when we "use" we feel okay. And so we are willing to trade 30 minutes, then ten minutes of feeling okay for
the rest being horrible because we are so desperate to feel okay. We will do ANYTHING not to experience the horror of the withdrawal.
Ironically, many sugar sensitive people are very intolerant of alcoholics and drug addicts. But alcoholism and drug addiction are only the more intense forms of what we ourselves experience - a life driven to feeling better, terror of the withdrawal, and a life centered around
getting our "fix."
Putting the Story Together
And along comes the Radiant Recovery® food plan outlined in Potatoes Not Prozac. Suddenly things start to make sense. The vague "knowing" we have had for a while
(and we are intuitive people!) gets a name, It makes sense. We don't have to think of ourselves as hopeless, depressed and out of control. We are sugar sensitive. But Potatoes Not Prozac is only the beginning of the story.
We create stability. We heal the brain. We take out the foods like sugar and white
things that prime us. Sometimes this spooks us because when we take out the stuff that has made us feel "good" in the past, we enter an uneasy space. We feel better overall, but hardly confident. After all, our core brain is a C57, not a DBA.
Raising Beta Endorphin Naturally
This is the magic of all those things we affectionately refer to on the www.radiantrecovery.com forum as BE raising activities. Mozart, laughter, exercise, yoga, meditation, prayer, pups, babies, grandbabies, good sex, rollerblading, and great movies. What is not to like in the list? Do these things and create beta-endorphin. Slow and steady beta-endorphin. They wash us with feeling self-confident. And it grows on us. The more we feel it, the
more we want to do these things.
Many of us have been listening to the voices on the forum. We can see these patterns as our friends in the sugar sensitive community make changes with the food. The voices of our "newbies" are very different from the voices of the "old-timers." When our food wobbles, we wobble. We whine,
we munch, we get cranky. We go into beta-endorphin crash. We retreat, we isolate, and we crouch, get defensive and withdraw. Beta-endorphin crash.
Claiming Our Birthright
And miracle of miracles, when the food
is steady, we are steady. We are funny, compassionate, tolerate, patient, resourceful and willing to hang in there and find solutions. Same bodies, same brains, same biochemistry. But under the influence of a different way of eating. Balance brings our birthright home.