April 5, 2012

From the Candy Department

Most people who know me, would tell you that I eat more sugar than anyone they know. And that would be a pretty accurate statement. It would probably be followed up by a declaration that I don't need to worry about it because I am all skin and bones. Which is only half true. I do have to worry about it.

My first year of college, I spent my first Easter (first of many to follow) away from home. Both of my parents tried to include me in the holiday by mailing me Easter baskets full of candy. Two of my friends and my college roommate lived close enough to go home for the holiday weekend. They all returned with baskets for me. And a boy wove me a basket (by hand!) and filled it with all of my favorite candy. I tore through the baskets faster than anyone should ever go through six Easter baskets. I think it took me less than two weeks.

When I finished all of the candy in the baskets, I had a moment of panic. All of the candy was gone. What would I eat? But it only lasted a moment, because I immediately trekked across campus with my friends to buy a bag of bulk candy at Wegmans. (Oh, Wegmans, how I miss you.) We all bought some, but I bought more than they did and went through it faster. Days faster. So I went back for more. Soon I had a stash in my bottom desk drawer at all times. The more I ate, the more I wanted. My roommate noted one evening that I ate more candy than anyone she had ever met ever in her entire life and how very many people she had met, like, countries worth of people. Or something like that. It was said with love but it also had a hint of concern. Which was all I needed.

I threw out the dwindling bulk bag of candy in my desk drawer and didn't eat candy or any type of dessert for weeks.

I craved candy. I craved cake. I craved ice cream. I craved nothing short of packets of sugar. Teaspoons of sugar. And I realized that sugar is an addiction. An addiction with a huge, attention seeking personality. I did it though. I don't think I ate another piece of candy for the rest of the semester and I cut back on all sugar intake considerably. And I felt better. I didn't notice a huge improvement in the way my body felt, honestly. But I felt better because I knew that I was pro-actively taking care of myself.

Which is something I don't do very well right now.

I ate a lot of candy around Valentine's day this year. I mean a lot a lot. Enough to make me cringe. So it has been in my thoughts, recently, that I should pay more attention to my sugar intake before I end up searching out the nearest grocery store with a bulk candy section. But I haven't taken much action. I haven't taken much action on anything related to taking care of my body recently, to be honest.

There has been a lot of talk this week about sugar addictions and toxic sugar consumption. Without the scientific research, I know that to be true. I learned that spring of 2002. But what I know now from these scientific reports (or Nicole's blog, really) is that it's on par with alcohol addiction and it's poison for your kidneys. My kidneys. That's pretty specific.

I've been thinking a lot recently, and not at all acting upon it, about eating much, much better. I'm not a terrible eater, but I could do a lot better. I've been thinking a lot about eating real food. I've been thinking about reading this book and making morning smoothies and not eating anything with more than six ingredients and not eating anything I can't pronounce and... I've been thinking a lot recently.

I can't realistically do all of that right now. It's going to take some time to change my habits and my knowledge. But I can head in that direction, and my first step is going to be to cut out most sugar. I'll say yes to organic, raw sugar in my morning coffee and yes to the piece of chocolate cake for a co-worker's birthday celebration, but the rest of it I'm going to stay away from, mostly.

What I love most about this new endeavor, though, is that I am finally, finally at the point in my life when I can make the time in my life to change my habits and take care of my body. I'm not so overextended that a quick meal and a few hours of sleep count as self-care. Even if it means cutting back significantly on something I adore (love, cherish, worship), I'm glad I'm finally here at this place, where taking care of myself takes high priority.

2 comments:

  1. RetreatingAndAdvancingApril 6, 2012 at 5:17 AM

    I'm just the same with chocolate and sweets.. Actually I don't have to worry because I don't gain much weight, but it's not healthy at all. A few these ago I decided as well to change my eating habits a little. Good luck for us!

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    1. Yes, good luck to both of us! How are you doing with it? I'm doing better than I expected, although this holiday weekend seems to be revolving around candy and all I want to do is buy a bag of jellybeans... yuuummmm.

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