Sweet Song of the Siren
I’m sort of proud of myself today. Not something that happens a lot since Garbage Girl insists on trying to visit almost every day. Anyway, today is my 365th day without eating any candy or desserts. If you read yesterday’s blog this is a HUGE accomplishment for me. Last Christmas when I was in the middle of a very painful episode of depression I decided I’d give up refined sugar for a year. I wasn’t sure I could do it but I did! Well mostly. I’m sure there was some corn syrup other poisons in some of the bread or crackers I ate over the year. And there were some gray areas ! But for 365 days I did not eat one bite of pie, cookies, ice cream, candy, or even a peppermint! Okay, I have to confess the other day when I was cooking for Christmas I spaced it and ate the tiniest bit of brown sugar that had fallen on the counter. Immediately I rinsed my mouth out with Draino so it doesn’t count. But that is the only time. I didn’t even eat cake on my birthday.
Was it easy? The first three months were horrible. I’m not gonna lie. I’d find myself watering at the mouth like a dog at the sight of gummy worms. Or I’d hear myself cursing people in my head who dared to eat dessert in front of me. But after a while it became much easier. Much easier. I could get through the check out line at the grocery without having a nervous breakdown. My family could order dessert and I wouldn’t question out of resentment why I stuck with a bunch of gluttons. Now when everyone else eats dessert I’m happy with my tea. Most of the time.
This year I learned to treat sugar like what it is for me, an addiction. Not everyone has an addiction but I did. Some people can eat a piece of cake and be done. I have one lovely friend who even keeps a basket of candy in her kitchen. She tells me she has to throw it away because it goes bad. I’d eat of of it in a day because the next day “I’d start a diet”. I tried the moderation thing but it just didn’t work with sugar. I couldn’t have just one cookie or even 6, I’d have to have every one of the cookies. I’d steal my candy. I’d eat a 1/2 gallon of ice cream in one sitting. I’d say “just one more” 30 times and stop only when whatever it was I was eating was gone or I felt like I had just swallowed 5 pounds of Play-doh.
But this past year, I accepted my addiction and did something about it.
The best part is not having that out of control feeling I’d get when I’d open a bag of Chips Ahoy cookies or see the dessert table at a party. I felt helpless, like a slave to sweets. I hated it. And as I said earlier, I made my decision to live a refined sugar free life for a year when I was in the middle of one of my worst bouts of depression. I’m certain sugar was contributing to my mood swings because after a few weeks the mood swings were far less severe. And once I committed to a clean diet and exercise I started to experience hope and joy again. Something that I had lived too many months without.
I’ve been contemplating for months about how I’m going to celebrate tonight. Part of me wants to bring in the New Year with Ben and Jerry. But after a lot of thought and reflection on the changes I’ve experienced I decided I’m going to go for another year without it. Honestly, I’m too afraid of having that out of control feeling again. If I was an alcoholic I wouldn’t want to celebrate a year of being sober with a drink. Right?
Some people have asked me why don’t I do moderation. The reason is simple. I can’t. At least not with sugar. At least not yet. I’ve learned and accepted this about myself. Maybe someday I will be able to bake cookies and actually have dough left to bake but until then sugar is my Song of the Siren.
Have a wonderful New Year’s Eve and be safe!
Hugs and High Fives,
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