Sugar Fast

I am a sugar addict.

Oh, what a relief to finally admit it on paper (well, online, technically).

Hi, I’m Kate and I’m a sugar addict.  (“Hi, Kate…”)

I confess: I frequently experience incredibly strong cravings for Skittles, chocolate chip cookies, and Twizzlers.  It is not unusual for me to consume three Subway cookies after lunch and still want Lucky Charms after dinner, plus a handful of other sugary snacks sprinkled throughout any given day.

I won’t deny it.  I have known for a long time that my obsession with sweet food is dangerous.  I know my noshing is out-of-control at times.  I have plenty of friends who claim to be just as addicted to sweets as I am, but I’m pretty sure I could out-eat any of them in a contest.  Whenever candy is required, people know I’m the girl to see.

When loved ones bemoan their addiction to smoking, I agree with them that smoking is a filthy, deadly habit that they should never have begun.  But I also am thinking inwardly, “I’m not that different.”  What I am doing to myself, my body, is perhaps equally self-destructive and foolish as smoking three packs a day.

So, here I am once again, resolved to cut back on the junk.  I vow to eat less candy, fewer empty calories.  I should probably say none, but knowing me, going cold turkey would be a setup for certain failure.

I have set up some parameters for myself now.  Only in a couple of areas am I saying, absolutely none.  1: Soda is out, as are sugary juices. 2: I will not buy candy.

Notice I didn’t say I will not eat candy.  My husband, wise man that he is, suggested I just don’t buy any more candy, at least for awhile.  Out of sight, out of mind.  If it’s not in the house, he reasons, you can’t eat it.  I know, I know– totally obvious, right?  But it is not easy for me.  So that’s my other hard and fast rule for the foreseeable future: no purchasing candy of any kind.

Brilliant.  Now, he first brought this idea up about a week before Easter.  Ah yes…Easter, the special time when we believers recognize Christ’s resurrection from the dead.  That is the original meaning of it, after all.  Sometime in the last two thousand years, something else crept in and began overtaking its sacred purpose.

Marshmallow Peeps.  Jelly beans (Starburst ones, not the regular original jellybeans, which are pretty gross, if you ask me).  M’n’Ms flocked with festive pastel pinks, blues, yellows, and purples.  Chocolate bunnies (although, to be honest, I’ve never been very impressed by their taste or quality).  Still, the lure of Easter candy threatened to derail me from the get-go.  I can’t even begin to guess how many jelly beans I’ve eaten in recent years between Valentine’s Day and Easter.   Plus, I would always try to hit the stores the day after Easter, to take advantage of the sales.

Something surprising happened after the implementation of the no-buying-candy rule.  The first time I went to Target, I glanced for a second at the Easter candy aisles, but walked right on by.  No struggle.  No inward debate over whether or not I would go ahead and cheat.  No friends or family members forced to pry family-sized bags of Tootsie Rolls out of my hands as I protested weakly, “Just one more!  I can quit anytime, I promise!” I just thought, nope.  Not gonna do it.

It was actually rather freeing.  Easier than anticipated.  That day and in the following shopping trips, instead of stocking up on bags and bags of candy, I walked on by.  I used to tell myself “well, I can give it away at school” (true, but I’d usually finish off most of it myself before I got the chance). I liked knowing that was one thing I could simply say no to.  I saved money and didn’t have all that sugary poison hanging around my house, hidden in various cupboards in vain attempts to deter me from eating it.

It’s only been a little over a month, but I’m so glad my man got me to make this change.  I’m not craving candy as much as I used to…hmm, perhaps because I’m not eating it every day? Notice, I didn’t say I can’t have candy…occasionally.  I thought that might be a little too drastic while starting out.  I’ll allow myself a little something once in awhile if someone else buys it, but I won’t buy the family-size bag anymore.  So I indulged in a few Peeps over Easter weekend (my husband’s family was roasting them …come on, there’s no way I’m going to say no to that caramelized deliciousness).

But out that’s it.  Since April 17th, those three or four Peeps, plus a weird gummy candy my friend gave me at her bridal shower are the only candy I have touched.  Scout’s honor.  If you knew me, you’d recognize this for the HUGE accomplishment it is.

Yeah, I still want my Cinnamon Toast Crunch or some sort of baked good before the day’s end.  I’m only human.  Baby steps.

Maybe one of these days cookies will be off the menu as well.  I don’t know.    Baking is just too much fun…

By the way, I’ve been trying out recipes from Chocolate-Covered Katie lately, too.  I’m not a vegan, but her blog boasts delicious lower-fat, lower-sugar dessert ideas!  Chocolate Chip Mug Cake…Snickerdoodle Dip…Chocolate Cake with a Crazy Ingredient (it’s cauliflower!).  Check it out!