Sugar Mania

After summer and vacations and trips to Chicago and New York and all the eating that entailed, I was feeling quite, well, bloated by September. Also, back in the spring, my doc prescribed birth control pills, and they were making me HONNNGRAYYY. Every time I got preggers, BTW, I’d bloat up like a water balloon, and I think the same thing happened on these pills.

So, I was feeling kind of lethargic and when I feel lethargic, I tend to eat, ta da, SUGAR, which makes me more lethargic and cranky. I am a sugar addict. If I eat sugar, I want more, and if i don’t get more, I get fixated on it. Cranky until I get it. And if I have a treat, I’m the kind of person who eats a LOT of the treat. I have no self-control.

Also, I’m the kind of low-blood-sugar person who HAS to eat a meal when she gets hungry, or I feel very nauseous and tired. I also feel like that shortly after I eat white grain/simple carbs. All of that was conspiring against me.

On September 11, I saw a new doctor and found I’d gained about 5 pounds over the summer. The doctor took me off those pills, too.

I was thinking: every ailment I have is in some way related to inflammation. What makes inflammation worse? Sugar.

I decided to cut back on sugar/lattes/preservative laden food/alcohol by a large degree. To me, this means: dessert ONCE a week, not every night. Eating as clean as possible. Not eating out, except for really worthwhile splurges, like when we went to the Marine Room for restaurant week (where I had the grilled salmon anyway). Making those treat calories COUNT as much as possible, taste-wise.

In other words: I’d be reasonable. Nobody can have ice cream every day unless they are playing water polo for 3 hours of that day, which I do not. So, either I could join my kid’s water polo team (ha, I’d drown) or I could follow a better diet.

Cadillac and I made a pact: no sugar for me or for him. Better food. We would keep tabs on each other. Support. No going crazy on weekends. Blah blah blah.

By the end of the week, I’d lost 2 whole inches on my waist, I suppose just from my body letting go of sugar. I told this to Cadillac. I am also continuing my walking/running, and went to the gym for weights.

On that Saturday, he went to Costco and bought me biscotti to dip in my coffee. Because although he is against cookies dipped into milk, he wasn’t apparently too opposed to me dipping biscotti into coffee. I got really mad, because, hello, what happened to the support? “It’s a reward. Have one a week,” he said.

Well, it’s from damn Costco. One tub would last a year. And I can’t have a tub of chocolate-coated biscotti sneering at me late at night. Plus, he’s known me for 16 freaking years. He knows that I cannot have this in my house without going hog-wild. Or he should, I think. AUGH.

He removed it from my presence.

I went to our local sort of whole food-ish store, Windmill Farms, which sells foods in bulk. I already had fruits and vegetables and plain Greek yogurt (with honey that I add) for snacks, and I also bought these veggie chips and dates rolled in coconut, which sub for a bon bon, I guess.

The dates took some getting used to but I decided they were satisfying.

The veggie chips are sort of freeze dried and not too flavorful– not a lot of salt, which is good– so I tend not to eat so many. Which I guess is also good.

healthier snacks
healthier snacks


For dinners that week, we had several veggie stir fries with rice. Sticky white rice doesn’t affect me the way, say, sugar does. Millions of Asians are skinny and eat white rice and I figure I’m genetically related, so it’ll be fine. Also: multi-grain pasta with chicken. Organic grass-fed angus burgers. That type of thing.

Two days ago, I ate a Wheat Thin.

It tasted terrible. I swear I could feel the shortening sitting, unmelted, on my tongue (which you can, it doesn’t melt at body temp). It was like this brief break from preservatives woke up my tastebuds.

Suddenly I didn’t miss the bad food.

Yesterday, I got a pumpkin spice latte.

I’m sorry. I couldn’t drink it. It tasted like wax to me. Well, I guess that’s good– those things are kind of pricey.

Anyway, like I said, I’m not entirely stringent. It’s just that I know myself, and when I take one step off my path, I start running top-speed downhill.

Published by Margaret Dilloway

Middle grade and women's fiction novelist. FIVE THINGS ABOUT AVA ANDREWS, (Balzer + Bray 2020); SUMMER OF A THOUSAND PIES. MOMOTARO: Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters (Disney Hyperion); TALE OF THE WARRIOR GEISHA and SISTERS OF HEART AND SNOW, out now from Putnam Books. HOW TO BE AN AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE was a finalist for the John Gardner fiction award. THE CARE AND HANDLING OF ROSES WITH THORNS is the 2013 Literary Tastes Best Women's Fiction Pick for the American Library Association. Mother of three children, wife to one, slave to a cat, and caretaker of the best overgrown teddy bear on Earth, Gatsby the Goldendoodle.

3 thoughts on “Sugar Mania

  1. Hey Margaret I can relate to so much of that. I am definitely a sugar addict! Over the past few years I have gotten stricter and stricter with my diet, eating primarily organic foods, no more fast food ever, cutting out processed foods, etc. it is hard and I def don’t always stick to it. But when I do stick to it like you I find that things that used to seem good are just gross. I no longer ever want fast food or the over processed junk food like Cheetos and Oreos and crap. But I still crave dessert. ALL the time. I haven’t ever successfully broken the sugar habit. But I am happy with how far I have come and because of that I have hope for the future! So in short: good for you! Stick with it and you will continue to see rewards. You may never like those veggie chips but hey that’s ok πŸ˜‰

    1. Oh my goodness, those veggie chips just got worse and worse tasting to me. LOL. I thought I was going to break a tooth. Going to stick to celery I think. Thanks for the encouragement. Good to hear that it’s working for you.

  2. I’m feeling very inspired by this post of yours. Interesting how the Wheat Thin became unpalatable to you once you began eating cleaner–and by cleaner, I don’t mean Lysol! πŸ™‚

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