I quit drinking seven and a half years ago. No more wine-ing for me.
Of the many benefits I’d anticipated, a reduced caloric intake was top of the list. Although weight loss wasn’t my goal (having minimal girth to spare at the outset…), I relished the thought of consuming a full size Whopper and fries without care or concern.
During my prolonged wine career, I rarely entertained the thought of desert. A second helping of pasta carbonara always trumped a piece of Mocha Madness. And a third (or fourth) glass of chardonnay always trumped the pasta.
Would you like to see the desert menu?
Ah, no thanks… I’ll just have another chardonnay…
Neither deprived nor depraved – I just wasn’t interested in gooey food stuffs. Apparently, any and all of my sugar cravings were being fully satisfied and mitigated by my consumption of the mighty grape.
As my “dry” months ticked by, my energy increased, but I could barely pour myself into my Joe’s Jeans. WTF? I should be swimming in these by now. With a huge reduction in wine-calories and a jacked up exercise regimen (enhanced by my crystal clear morning-mind) my belly bloat just didn’t make sense… a total body betrayal.
I checked the facts:
Fact #1 – I had stashes of candy everywhere; in my purse, bedroom, car, briefcase and desk drawer.
Fact #2 – I opened restaurant menus to the desert page first. (…food schmood...)
Fact #3 – I lingered at the bakery section of Whole Foods, and always committed to a purchase.
Fact #4 – I developed a sophisticated palate for chocolate – M&Ms getting the same respect as dark chocolate Lindt balls (-of heaven).
Fact #5 – I got a somewhat panicky, where-the-eff-is-my-candy feeling when under stress, satisfied only by consumption of said candy.
Fact #6 – In traffic, I jammed a whole hand full of Jujy Fruits into my mouth at one time.
Fact #7 – I drank 2 diet cokes a day, sometimes while eating a chocolate bar.
In short, the facts confirmed that the painfully close fit of my jeans was a direct result of my excessive intake of fructose.
The sadness of this realization spurred me to do some research. I stumbled upon this helpful holistic website that explained everything I could ever want to know about sugar (...holistic not being a word found in my daily lexicon).
Apparently, I am a sugar junkie, exhibiting all the classic signs of addiction; I want it all the time (craving), and I get cranky, headachy, and tired if I don’t have it (withdrawl).
None of this is good news, but now burdened with awareness, it’s time for me to take action.
I know I’ll never be completely fructose “abstinent,” but I’m learning how to control it (…said every addict whoever walked…). Here are my new dietary rules:
- No sugar for breakfast
- No chocolate during the day
- No diet Coke (that’s a hard one)
- No candy in my car (even harder)
- Only 2 cookies after dinner
And, if I were to follow the sugar addiction guru’s advice (which I am not), I would also:
- Reduce or eliminate caffeine
- Take Glutamine, Vitamin B complex, and an essential fatty acid supplement
- Eat more protein with my healthy fats (is there such a thing?)
- Get more sleep (wouldn’t that be nice…)
Adherence to these simple guidelines will likely yield naturally healthy results, but it still feels like work. In the grand scheme of things, tight jeans and sugar addiction are probably small potatoes, but catastrophized all the way out, my sugar habit could have ended in diabetes, hypertension, or maybe even death.
So, for my New Year resolution (a concept I loathe…) I’ll shun the sugar and make an honest effort to enhance my overall health. If unsuccessful, I can always take a quick trip to Nordstrom to purchase a larger size in jeans.