My Carb Confession: I Had a Relapse & Gained 20 Pounds, but Now I’m Back Slimmer, Happier & Wiser

It's finally time for me to come clean.

LARGE bittersweet_banner_final (00000002)Two years ago — while reeling from the death of my mother, my traumatic Bittersweet Last Year with Mom, and recovering from her unwitting abuse, ferocious anger and awful betrayal, which left me without a home (well, other than the tiny place I’d quickly taken because she threw me out of her home) — I quit walking my clean-carbs talk.

In short, when faced with gut-wrenching revelations galore, I suffered a massive carb relapse. Oops!

Yes, I was human.

Thankfully, I did not totally fall back into my old sugary ways of 1998, before I kicked sweets and processed carbohydrates on doctor’s orders.

Instead, I flew off my clean-carbs wagon.


Crazy Carb Cravings Haunted, Haunted & Harassed Me Mercilessly!

How did this happen? You see, after losing my mother and then being pummeled by many symptoms of PTSD (Post-Traumatic, Stress Disorder), the most demanding, overpowering, downright insatiable Crazy Carb Cravings™—my new phrase for them—struck me out of the blue.

Oh, how did those salty, crappy carbs call out to me often!

Culprit carbs weren’t my only captors. Rich, salty, creamy cheeses, oily peanuts, and lots of beef beckoned, too.

“Connie, eat me, eat me, eat me,” they seductively pleaded!

Of course, I’m joking—as I now can do, now that I’ve conquered my cravings—but at the time, that’s certainly how it felt.

I’m sure you can relate. Many of my clients have felt trapped by this very same challenge.

Frankly, I was startled, flummoxed and unprepared for what felt like a cravings ambush.

Just imagine my shock.

For nearly 15 years, I’d been mostly shunning nutrient-lacking, fiber-stripped sugary nonfoods and refined carbohydrates and enjoying near-perfect health.

Not only that, but since 2002, I’ve been quite outspoken about the dangers of sugar and processed carbs (which I dub quickie carb, toxic carbs, culprit carbs, and much-like-sugar carbs).

What’s more, I’ve even helped thousands worldwide to release their addiction to both sugar and quickie carbs. Plus, I’ve written two much-acclaimed books about the subject, Sugar Shock and Beyond Sugar Shock,

But suddenly, after Mom died, it was as if I’d never been a sugar and carb expert.

Grief, anguish, and turmoil were my new constant companions.

They just wouldn’t leave me alone.

Frankly, I was disoriented and ill equipped to handle the intensity, ferocity, and irrationality of my overpowering, Crazy Carb Cravings™ and urges for other “bad foods.”

Do you relate to my plight?

Do you feel stricken by or have you ever been waylaid strong, potent cravings that throw you completely off course, doing self-destuctive things against your best intentions?

CB-SS pig with chips image

Why Did I Fall Off the Clean-Carbs Wagon? Blame My Dark Night of the Soul

You may wonder, as I often have, “How could I, a sugar and carb expert, have stopped walking my clean-carbs talk?”

It’s now evident that I was recovering from a year, if not longer, of being badly TAGGED-B™.

That’s the acronym I coined, which stands for Traumatized, Anguished, Gripped by Grief, Emotionally Devastated, and then Betrayed.

In addition, I was reeling from Mom’s unintentional horrid mistreatment of me.

Mom’s abuse stemmed, in part, from the stage 4 lung cancer.

As it was spreading to my mother’s brain, I’d helplessly watched in agony as my once polite and polished mother often switched into someone I began calling “Cancer Mom” (behind her back, of course).

Cancer Mom was an ornery creature, who frequently became angry, cruel, and unreasonable. That’s putting it very mildly.


How BITTER It Was: Cancer Mom’s Unintentional Abuse

Thankfully, I’ve now processed my considerable pain, but let me give you a flavor of the heartbreaking agony and rejection I faced for a year at the hands of my dying mother, even though I’d loyally uprooted myself to stand by her after she became terminally ill.

The day I moved out West (3,000 miles) for my mother set the tone for My Bittersweet Last Year with Mom.

My mother—who had been eager for me to relocate across country to be with her—irrationally kicked me out of her home the very afternoon I showed up on her doorstep!

Imagine my shock when Mom gave me the boot after I’d hurriedly rushed to her side—after rushing off the plane from New York City, where I’d been living for a decade—so we could spend our last New Year’s Eve together!

Dumbstruck and devastated that my own mother would refuse to see me, I spent the evening sobbing and aimlessly wandering the streets while bringing in the new year.

At the time, I couldn’t fathom why my mother so angrily spurned me the day I arrived.

Now, in hindsight, I recall that my normally strong, proud Mom was having a bad day. For instance, her throat hurt a lot when she swallowed. Perhaps more importantly, though, my fiercely independent, accomplished Mom just didn’t want me to see her so vulnerable.

In fact, Mom absolutely HATED seeing me cry so during our last year together, I always had to hide my tears from her. Plus, since the cancer made her more and more confused, erratic and irrational, so in her mind, I guess, it made perfect sense to send me away. Not so to me.

In short, My Bittersweet Last Year with Mom was utterly brutal and usually heartbreaking.

No words can describe the cruelty and pain I suffered at the hands of my dying Mom.

For instance, on another occasion a few months later, Cancer Mom flat out refused to invite me for dinner at a gourmet restaurant with three of her closest friends.

Her absurd reason? “Connie, you’re boring,” she illogically declared.

Then she thrust the knife in even deeper.

“You have nothing interesting to say. All you can talk about is sugar,” she irrationally, adamantly claimed.


As on New Year’s Eve, I bawled and wandered for hours through the streets of San Francisco.

By the way, only a month or two earlier, you should have seen the look of fierce pride on Mom’s face when I’d excitedly opened boxes of my then new book, Beyond Sugar Shock, which had just arrived from my publisher, Hay House.

Anyhow, during My Bittersweet Last Year with Mom, I was often faced with Cancer Mom’s ferocious venom, which frequently sent me sobbing and speed walking.

To put it mildly, the abuse went on and on and on…

Over time, Mom’s irrational rage, which she often hurled at me, was really tough to take, especially because I’d relocated across country to be there for my mother while she was dying. Plus, I truly loved my mother more than anyone else in her life, as I shared earlier.


Thankfully, SWEET Greeted Me, Too

All said and done, I’m glad I hurried to Mom’s side at the end of her life. It was the honorable, right, loyal, daughterly thing to do.

Thankfully, sandwiched between all the bitterness, Mom and I shared many fabulous times together. In fact, I often accompanied my mother as she fulfilled an impressive bucket list of films, operas, plays, dinners, visits to the farmer’s market, trips to the beach, etc.

In her final months on earth, my mother taught me a lot. In fact, I invite you to see my Huffington Post blog post about how Mom Taught Me How to Live and Die With Courage, Spirit and Spunk.

Fast forward a year.

After Mom died, when I didn’t need to be her servile, obsequious, always agreeable lackey anymore, I plunged into My Dark Night of the Soul.

And this horrible time went on and on and on.

Not only that, but this unbalanced, off-kilter, erratic chick emerged out of nowhere. (And, yikes, my strange ways got me into huge trouble a number of times. I’m too embarrassed to share more!)

In case you don’t know, a Dark Night of the Soul is when, as Eckhart Tolle describes it, you experience “a collapse of a perceived meaning in life…an eruption into your life of a deep sense of meaninglessness.

“Nothing makes sense anymore, there’s no purpose to anything,” Tolle explains.

Yes, that was my prolonged plight.


But Wait… I Was Humiliated That I Wasn’t Walking My Clean-Carbs Talk

Somehow losing my Mom, my massive discoveries and a few robberies unleashed a torrent of unresolved issues, pain over being betrayed, etc.

Because I’m committed to healing and growing from my ordeal, I underwent (and am still in) intensive therapy, and I’ve pursued many other ways to heal, including grief counseling, hypnosis, Heartmath™, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing).

I’ve also taken workshops on compassion, mindful eating, healing your heart, rituals, etc.

But I invite you to step into my shoes. Just imagine my shame, embarrassment, and humiliation that I wasn’t walking my clean-carbs talk anymore.

Beyond Sugar Shock -- Intl Bestseller -- 6a00d834520ed269e2019b0154ee08970b-320wiThere I was, a recognized sugar and carb expert, certified health coach, certified life coach and author of two acclaimed books about the subject, Sugar Shock and Beyond Sugar Shock, but there I was falling off the wagon over and over again!


Crazy Carb Cravings™ had seized, controlled and ruled me!

Simply put, I felt like a fraud.

Despite my repeated efforts to get back on track, my unhealthy food splurges went on for months — maybe not on a daily basis, but often enough to make me realize that I had lost carb control.

Finally, after moving to a peaceful area and a warmer climate some 500 miles away from where Mom had spent her final, difficult year, I began to regain confident, calm, carb control.

Wait, there’s more.


I Didn’t Look Like I Was Walking My Clean-Carbs Talk Anymore Either

Much to my horror, my Crazy Carb Cravings sent me careening down a deep, dark path.

What was particularly embarrassing was that I just couldn’t hide my carb relapse.

Within nine months of losing Mom, I’d quickly packed on 20 pounds. In short, I didn’t even look like I was walking my clean-carbs talk!

In fact, at a book signing for my then new book, Beyond Sugar Shock — which, as I shared earlier, thankfully, Mom saw three months before she died — I was carrying an extra 19.4 pounds.

In fact, before my book signing, I had to shop for cutting-edge clothes that hid my excess weight.

Have you, too, been forced to go on a challenging shopping expedition to find clothes to hide your weight gain?

If you have—or are going through such a challenge now—keep reading this blog, because in the coming months you’ll discover a variety of cool tools, which will help you triumph over your Crazy Cravings.

Plus, stay tuned for info about my next book, How to Crush Your Crazy Carb Cravings.


How Could I Have Ignored the Sour Facts About Carbs?

It was utterly awful.

Of course, I knew better than to eat those crappy carbs!

Although I wasn’t eating sugar — I was determined to never go back there again — I did a brilliant job of ignoring the sour facts.

I flat out overlooked the truth that I know so well, which is that highly processed carbohydrates quickly convert to sugar in your bloodstream.

Indeed, processed carbs, once they rush into your bloodstream, behave like sugar.

In short, refined carbs = sugar. Duh!

That’s why, for years, I’ve steered clear of processed carbohydrates, which I’ve much-like-sugar carbs, quickie carbs, fast carbs or culprit carbs.

But amidst my grief, heartbreak, and depression, I just didn’t want to think about the sour truth.

I just couldn’t face it.

And I certainly didn’t want to confront what I know well and had researched extensively—that fast carbs can, like sugar, trigger weight gain, mood swings, headaches, anxiety, and even heart disease, cancer, or type 2 diabetes.


My Crazy Carb Cravings™ Were a Manifestation of My Profound Pain

Now, in hindsight, it’s evident why I suffered from such Crazy Carb Cravings™, which, as noted earlier, no longer haunt me. Yes, I’m free of all cravings!

But after Mom passed away, My Crazy Carb Cravings and other urges for unhealthy nonfoods were a manifestation of my profound pain, which I badly needed to process.

So while grieving my loss, resolving my conflicting feelings, and facing Mom’s betrayal, I did what I now call Heartbreak Eating™,.or more accurately, Heartbreak Bingeing™.

That kind of pigging out is far more intense, frenetic and frantic than emotional eating.

Clearly, My Crazy Cravings wouldn’t let me go until I healed.

Have you, too, been plagued by Crazy Cravings while mourning the death of a loved one, your divorce, the end of a relationship or the loss of a job?


My Big Discovery: Oh No, I Was in Carb Shock, Too!

About a year ago, while healing, I made a huge discovery, which actually embarrassed me, because I know better.

One day, I began to study the ingredients labels of foods I’d been devouring in my pain.

Amazon Sug Sh 51RDZ7DBVAL._SL110_ (2)I turned to page 12 of my first book, Sugar Shock.

There I found all the symptoms I’d been experiencing. It was déjà vu!

Sure, I hadn’t been eating sugar, but those fast-acting carbs had sent speeding in the same awful symptoms, which had plagued me back in 1998.

Because I’d been repeatedly Heartbreak Bingeing™ of quickie carbs, I was suffering from many ailments that were uncannily like those of Sugar Shock.

Indeed, I’d been suffering from:

  • Mood swings,
  • Crying spells,
  • Melancholy,
  • Depression,
  • Angst,
  • Irritability,
  • Brain fog or Difficulty concentrating
  • Insomnia (or nightmares if I did sleep),
  • Overwhelming fatigue
  • Restlessness
  • Nervousness
  • And more.


In other words, I’d been flipping in and out of what I now call Carb Shock!

And sure enough, my Heartbreak Bingeing of quickie carbs had been making My Dark Night of the Soul far worse than it would have been if I’d been carefully choosing the foods I put into my mouth.


Yeah! I’ve Now Lost 19 (of the 20) Pounds of Grief Weight

Because I so wanted to reclaim my peace of mind and get get back to serving you, I’ve done many things to heal, as noted earlier, from therapy to EFT.

Thankfully, with the help of those valuable healing valuable tools and lots of writing — including working on my upcoming book, Crush Your Crazy Carb Cravings — I’ve been eating healthily for about a year, with a few short, grief-triggered slips on some holidays, birthdays or anniversaries.

As a result, I’ve also finally peeled off almost 19 of the 20 pounds I gained, and I’m getting toned again.

Woo Hoo!


The Inevitable, Frustrating Weight Loss Plateaus

Although I’m really close to my earlier weight (still have some inches to lose though), shedding my 20 excess pounds has been very, very slow. In fact, I’ve hit a number of plateaus, which were very, very frustrating.

I believe that it’s s taken me so long (a full year) to shed those 19 pounds, because that my cortisol and adrenaline were sky high after all the stress, trauma, and grief I endured.

By the way, stay tuned for cool tools to bring your cortisol in check. (There’s a huge connection between cortisol and weight gain, as I reveal here.).

In addition, I suffered from a painful, debilitating knee injury, which prevented me from doing high-intensity workouts and weight training for more than four months.

To lose my grief weight, I learned a lot.

Stay tuned for an upcoming blog post on Easy Tips to Rise Above Your Weight-Loss Plateau.

Soon, I’ll also share other valuable ideas and information so you can get practical tools to Calm your Crazy Cravings and heal from profound pain.


My Time Out from Social Media

As you may have noticed, I’ve taken quite a bit of time away from social media, as well as this Sugar Shock Blog, or my blogs on Heal Your Life, the Huffington Post or Psychology Today.

Not only that, but I stayed away from events where I might run into fellow health colleagues.

Sometimes, you just need to retreat and regroup in order to come back stronger.

For my part, I wanted to get back my slim figure, calm demeanor, and peace of mind.

I felt that being active via blogging or social media kept me away from my highest goal, which was healing so I could emerge more whole, healed and better able to serve you.


Good News for You: My Exciting New Book Will Help You Crush Your Crazy Cravings™

Tadum! At last, I’m excited to announce that I’m ready to serve you again.

My pain is now your gain.

It’s strange. When I feel shattered, betrayed and broken, I get quite creative.

So now I’m finishing researching and writing my next book, which is tentatively called Crush Your Crazy Cravings™. (During my traumatic times, I started another three books, too.)

For Crush Your Crazy Cravings — or Tame Your Crazy Cravings — which I’ll formally announce soon, I’ll tell and show you how to let go of your irrational urges, which keep you hooked on unhealthy, sugary, salty, fatty foods, fast foods or quickie carbs.

Lately, I’ve come to realize that unless you rein in your Crazy Cravings, you’ll never lose weight.

I’ve also become more aware of how when you’re suffering from a loss, death, or trauma, you’re more vulnerable to being blindsided by those irrational food urges.

When you release your Crazy Cravings, you’ll be able to:

  • Shed weight;
  • Boost your moods;
  • Become more productive;
  • Calm down and gain peace of mind;
  • Become happy; and even
  • Rev up your libido.


Thank You For Your Support For the Past 3 Years!

At this time, I want to thank all of you, who’ve been sticking around and reading my periodic posts on this Sugar Shock Blog during my Dark Night of the Soul.

That means so very much to me.

I’m very grateful to you for your understanding, compassion and support for the past three years, while I stood by my dying Mom, went through My Dark Night of the Soul, took time to heal, wrote a new book, and prepared to help you again.

Now, please tell us if you, too, have ever been ruled by your Crazy Cravings.


I'm a former sugar-addicted journalist, who reluctantly quit sugar on doctor's orders in 1998. When all 44 of my crippling ailments vanished, I began interviewing hundreds of experts worldwide so I could give you the sour scoop about sweets. Fast forward 17 years, and I'm now author of Sugar Shock (Berkley Books, 2006) and Beyond Sugar Shock (Hay House, 2012). The latter gives you a simple, proven plan to easily squash your sugar habit. I'm also a motivational speaker, a certified life coach, a certified health coach, frequent media guest, and Gab with the Gurus host. I'm now planning the first first Sugar World Summit and I'm finishing writing my next book, Crush Your Crazy Cravings™, which will help you easily escape your must-have-junk-food moments.

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6 thoughts on “My Carb Confession: I Had a Relapse & Gained 20 Pounds, but Now I’m Back Slimmer, Happier & Wiser

  1. Thanks for being honest Connie. I, too, fell off the wagon last fall after my birth control was switched and I was starving all the time. I have since gained 15 lbs. I’m ready to jump back on the wagon with you. You are my inspiration

  2. Kim, thank you so much for sharing!
    Just know that falling off the wagon doesn’t mean you have to stay there.
    You can pick yourself up and become STRONGER!
    Would’ve written sooner, but I was gone all weekend.
    Stay tuned for some tips to get back on track after you’ve fallen off the wagon.
    You can do it!

  3. Thanks for sharing Connie. I’m glad things are going better. I can’t wait to get your new books. Your struggles and victories overcoming them just inspire us more. We all know you are human and so are we. It is so hard to “be good” and eat right. I am struggling and it helps to read what you wrote. It gives me hope. Thanks again! I will be waiting to see when your new books come out! :)

    Bonnie Spruin
    Nova Scotia, Canada

    • Bonnie,

      It’s so very good to hear you. Thank you for your kind words about my being human. Actually, I was being quite frail — which we all can be at time.

      I’m so sorry that you’re struggling and as I mentioned in our Facebook connections, I would be happy to give you a complimentary coaching call.

      You and I have been in touch for so long! Soooo cool!

      Rooting for you! Connie

  4. Oh Connie, your story makes me feel so much better….and hopeful! I lost my wonderful 4-legged child this year after a debilitating illness…..I’m not sleeping right….new assignment at work, then add in a new puppy……my eating is crazy, and I’ve put on 10 lbs in 3 months!

    • Carol,

      My heart goes out to you. Losing a loved one, including a cherished dog, can hit you hard and lead you to go Carb Crazy or lose eating control. Stay tuned for some tips to Claim Control again!