I love sugar and sweets- I always have. I grew up in two families (Mom’s and Dad’s), both were strict with sugar. At Dad’s we were only allowed sugar cereal at Christmas, desserts were only on Sundays, holidays and birthdays. Most important, we could only spend 50 cents of our dollar allowance on candy at the corner store. Mom’s house varied and grew lax as we became teenagers but some of my childhood was during the health-nut phase which involved: no candy, taking the sugar out of cookie recipes, mixing our own oats from the bulk section at the hippy mart for cereal.
I don’t think this led to but may have helped reinforce an obsession with candy and all things sweet. I remember agonizing over which candy bar to get with my 50cents (always big hunk- most for your money), sneaking sugar or spoonfuls of ice cream whenever possible and anxiously waiting for Sunday dessert nights.
As a teenager and young adult I would eat candy and crap constantly- making up tenfold for the lean candy years. This continued until last year. What happened last year? I broke my wrist in a bicycle tangle with the street-car tracks and went into candy/pastry overload. I ate scones every morning and candy non-stop thanks to a candy jar that sat on the shelf behind me at work. My moods were UP and DOWN and DOWN and UP with sugar rushes. I would get home and feel like the world had ended. Then, in one day, I ate 2 king size Snickers and 5 snack size Snickers. That was my breaking point. That was the day it ended.
Since that day, sometime in early Novemember I have not had any candy. I take that back. When W was in surgery I had a truffle. I tasted some candy from Japan once (it was gross and too sweet), and I had a lick of a ring pop and one gummy penis for sport at my friend’s bachlorette party. In almost 11 months that is it.
It is really funny. I don’t get mood swings like I used to, I don’t get EXTREMELY tired in the afternoon. Within a week of quitting everything tasted sweeter. Cookies, processed cakes, loaf cakes, fruit and more all taste insanely sweet now- I can’t even eat apples past the skin. Its nice have the more natural things taste so sweet they are like treats in themselves. The other thing that happened right away was the carb catchup. To make up for the lack of sugar–>carb in my diet I, uncousciously upped my flour intake. I have always loved bread but after sweets I craved it like nobodies business. I would try and stop eating all flour for a week at a time. It did not work. It was a struggle and I was losing it (and gaining a bit of weight).
The first thing I did was make a rule for myself. One scone a week in the mornings. I love coffee with a scone- it is morning comfort and paradise but it also needs to be a treat. I replaced them with cliff or odwalla bars that give a comforting feel–aren’t too nasty, but not the carb/caloric content of a scone. After a month of that, I noticed I wasn’t eating scones at all anymore. I still love flour but it wasn’t a necessaty.
Then we moved across the country and there wasn’t as much opportunity to shovel any white-flour products in my mouth. We had trail mix but I didn’t really want any flour above what was included in meals. After we found our house in Philly I stopped craving flour all together because I live with W who just doesn’t like it so we don’t really eat it as much.
A couple weeks ago I made a homemade cake with homemade lime curd on top. I love lemon and lime curd. I loved cake. I ate a row of slices (it was in a 9×13) and threw it away. I couldn’t eat it by myself (W hates cake passionately). A year ago the whole thing would have been gone in an afternoon. Who is this person I have become?!?! My old eating-habits would consider throwing away a homemade cake blasphemy, vile. I would have sat down with a movie and it would be gone. Today, I am one step closer to being a grown-up.
Oh! BTW- this does not mean I am completely healthy with un-flawed eating habits. You can get everything delivered in Philly. This is a problem. I am working on it.