Without adequate sleep, I struggle. Cranky, craving crap, and careening out of control result from lack of z’s. This week proves no exception. When exhausted, I open the refrigerator to examine its contents without inspiration. I simply want to grab everything and anything. It may begin with the acceptable, primped and prepped foods, but soon, I contemplate items not on my fueling foods list; my mind wanders.

A temporary hiatus from the responsible, mindful, rational mindset, I visualize the pantry full of delectable goodies, sugar-filled, and healthy-ish junk food. Foods that wrap my success into a tailspin if given the chance lay only steps away. In good conscience, this closet of characteristically cravingful carbohydrates hardly affects my psyche. Yet add a sleep deficit to the daily concoction and my acute senses enable the smell of sugar from a mile away.

I knock my head gently against the refrigerator door, close my eyes, and see myself wanting, falsely needing, believing that my power is waning in droves. My heart hurts from the conflict of feeling weak, desiring strength to oppose an unruly addiction versus the obvious desire for anything from my children’s pantry of doom. The sugar seems to taunts me, begging me to inhale its sweetness, reach for the boxes that contain it, and reneging on my commitment for change and self-care.

Inside I cry with anguish yet relief as the courage to dissuade the addiction wins the argument, pushing me from the kitchen entirely. I cringe that my mind went asunder so easily after months of success, where fueling my body healthily has strengthened every inch of my being. The addiction feels new, fresh, as if yesterday began my journey, like a struggle needs to build a muscle to remember the good outweighing the bad. Yet my experience educates that this is the power of the food addiction. It arrives in droves when weakened, ready to pounce when emotionally despondent, and able to infiltrate when mindfulness dissipates.

Sleep deprivation weakens me physically and mentally, creating dysfunction. Addiction is empowered when sleep lacks. The disturbance disrupts mindful, disciplined, and purposeful behavior. My success relies on these elements. The more I snooze, the more I lose … Weight, that is.