All right. I give up. I confess. I’ve lived a trite life filled with sugar and devoid of self-control. I’m waving a tiny white flag, one that looks suspiciously like a sugar packet at Denny’s.
I promise to be better. To think about what I’m eating before I snack. To explore other means of pleasure before I reach for the sugar. I’ll take a bath, a walk. A sabbatical. Just, please, let it be March 1st already.
It’s not that I’m planning on going whole hog on Saturday. The plan, if you could call it that, consists of easing sugar back into my life, slowly and with utmost caution, the way you would ease a nuclear weapon into its cradle.
I’m not ready for full disarmament. Although there were days (moments?) during my month of sugar that I contemplated it. Days where I felt good and clean and lighter than the day before. It comes down to this. I lived an entire month without sugar and I’m better off because of it. I lost weight and faced down a life long fear (I know, first world problem). I saved a spot of money too.
Theoretically, this experiment is almost over. But in practice, I’ve got real work to do. Denying yourself something is comparatively easy. You just don’t answer the phone when it calls. But in March I move beyond that narrow and petty phase. I want to be on friendly terms with sugar while not falling for it all over again. I want to hang on to the space I’ve made. But I have a freezer full of Girl Scout Cookies.
When you really think about it, sugar doesn’t belong in our diet in abundance. In nature, sweetness is restricted to a few blissful weeks of fall fruit, or guarded by a territorial swarm of armed bees or locked up deep in the fibery cells of an ugly plant (Have you ever seen a sugar beet?). Biologically speaking, sugar shouldn’t be as easy as a Starbucks drive-through or an adorable entrepreneur-in-the-making outside of King Soopers peddling cookies.
A couple of years ago, I gave up alcohol for a month. It was hard and packed with socially awkward interactions. But when it was over and I cracked that first beer, a New Belgium 1554, not that you asked, I felt a little dirty. It was delicious. But most of the pleasure I got came from the smell and the first creamy, roasty sip. By the bottom of the bottle, I felt muddy. That month of no alcohol led to a year off that began last June. I wanted to press reset on my relationship with drinking. I think I did. We’ll see in T minus four months.
There may be a similar project in my future involving no sugar for a year. It depends on how dirty I feel when I crack open that first box of Samoas.