the more I write about sugary things, the more I realize how huge and not particularly healthy of a role sweets have played in my life thus far.
Ice cream cones helped me fall asleep at night as a child; Oreo sundaes eased my body image frustrations on early adolescent shopping trips with my mother; cake batter and cookie dough have calmed my nerves on numerous anxiety-plagued occasions; chocolate has seen me through countless breakups and break downs; and those Pamela’s cookies, oh those cookies.
Not surprisingly, this on-again-off-again, comfort-food connection with fatty, sugary indulgences is one of the main reasons I’ve struggled with my weight for so many years. My sensitivities to wheat, dairy, and chemical additives have absolutely moved me in a good direction with the whole eliminating processed junk food from my diet thing. But the sugar remains—in fairly large quantities, I’m afraid, regardless of what I may tell myself about moderation.
Think of it like a bad relationship; you derive some degree of pleasure from your involvement with the other person, but deep down, you know something just isn’t right. You’re reminded of this every time you read an article on dating or love or see a movie with an even mildly romantic theme. And yet, you stay in that relationship—because it makes you feel good and safe and not alone.
In other words, sometimes you just can’t see how miserable someone or something is making you until you step outside of your immediate surroundings and become an objective observer—whether it’s through endless conversations with your closest friends, or a daily journal you’ve been keeping, or perhaps, a blog. In my case, publishing my sweet-treat musings online is forcing me to see my sugar situation through the eyes of the other, whoever he or she may be. And I simply can’t hide from the truth any longer.
In my steadily growing collection of posts, you can see the tiny sparks of resistance to my own inner dialogue and analysis as they reveal to me how dreadfully dependent I am on those tiny granules of goodness for comfort and stability (e.g., “Degree Dilemma”). I’d like to say I’m exaggerating with the “at least one a day. . . (on average)” proclamation about the Pamela’s cookies; but I’m not. And those things aren’t cheap!
Have I mentioned that with regard to money, I only have what I am currently making at my two part-time jobs? I am a student, a waitress, and a freelance writer/copyeditor. The money I spend on all these organic, allergen-free goodies is pure, hard-earned cash. In fact, I spend more money on food than on anything else at this point. I can’t even remember the last time I went shopping for clothes.
Maybe there’s something to this whole sugar addiction thing, after all.
I sincerely hope not, but just to test it out, I’m contemplating a sugar fast. Well—a processed, packaged, refined sugar fast, that is. I’d still be eating fruits. In fact, I imagine that in doing said fast, I would end up drastically increasing my fruit intake. Who knows? I might even try my hand at juicing. I’ve always been semi-curious about it, and I happen to have immediate access to a juicer in my current living quarters. Perhaps all that fresh-squeezed lemonade I’ve been making as a waitress will serve me well in the very near future. Or at least, that’s what I told myself this morning as I juiced a giant bucket of cut lemons at work, periodically squirting the ultra-acidic juice in my poor, unsuspecting eyes.
My experimental product tasting, on the other hand, would have to go on hold for however long I determine this short-term fast should last. And I'd have to bench my baking endeavors (which I have yet to write about on here)—hmmm. I don’t know; we’ll see. I think that no matter what I decide, it’ll have to wait until I’m through with finals. Maybe June 1st could be the official start date?
As I contemplate this further, I may just go and bake some organic, wheat- and dairy-free pumpkin spice muffins, complete with vegan cream cheese frosting. Mmmm.
DISCLAIMER: THIS POST IN NO WAY DISCREDITS MY EARLIER REFLECTIONS ON THE TASTINESS OF VARIOUS ORGANIC, ALLERGEN-FREE GOODIES. THESE PRODUCTS REMAIN DELICIOUS, WHETHER OR NOT I CONTINUE EATING THEM ON A REGULAR BASIS. I ALSO STILL WHOLE-HEARTEDLY BELIEVE THAT THE SWEETENERS USED IN THESE PRODUCTS ARE TEN MILLION TIMES BETTER FOR YOU THAN THE ONES USED IN ALL THOSE PROCESSED, HFCS-LOADED JUNK FOODS OUT THERE!