The holiday sugar detox

Without sugar obstructing my perception, will I have a better appreciation for the truly beautiful sights this holiday season -- like my new niece, Kyla?

Without sugar obstructing my perception, will I have a better appreciation for the truly beautiful sights this holiday season — like my new niece, Kyla?

We make 200 food decisions every day, according to this statistic I heard at Weight Watchers.

The other night at Brent and Darcy’s baby shower, I probably made 2 dozen decisions about the cake alone. The first dozen or so went like this: Wow, that cake sure looks good. Should I go ahead and eat a piece? Answer: No.

That was followed up by another dozen decisions involving whether or not I should set aside a piece for later, when I had a little more maneuvering room.  I might’ve wavered on that one eventually, but by the time I got back from my midnight run, I realized it was hard to tell what I’d be hungry for a day or two in the future. And then, of course, there was always the possibility that I’d wind up eating the cake early in a moment of weakness.

Something changed overnight, though, because the next morning when I was getting ready to deal with yet another cake — this time a chocolate sheet cake I was supposed to make for the Isch Christmas — it didn’t sound nearly as appealing as a less-damaging pumpkin dessert.

That was the first sign that my sugar detox may finally be taking effect.

Is it nuts to try to wean yourself off sugar during the holiday season? I’m not going cold turkey, exactly. Just trying to string together a few days without, to see what that feels like. Whether it makes the occasional holiday splurge that much more enjoyable.

Making it through this weekend’s back-to-back parties with only a taste of my cousin Heather’s mocha coffee punch and a piece of that pumpkin dessert may have been a tipping point of sorts, because I later realized an unprecedented event had occurred at the Isch Christmas: I admired some absolutely gorgeous gingerbread cookies made by my cousin Jill’s daughter Janel without feeling an unbearable impulse to consume one.

This is huge. As I say, unprecedented. Was it because they were so beautiful that I momentarily forgot they were cookies? Maybe. But I’d like to think that maybe my sugar addiction is waning somewhat the longer I stay away from the stuff.

Another example came Tuesday at the gym, when I opened up the candy locker to retrieve a Snickers pumpkin for Colleen. Opening that door didn’t blast me with the usual incapacitating wave of temptation. I rummaged through the goodie bag until I found what I was looking for — a small snack-size Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate bar — and ate one.

As I did, I thought about how it tasted more like some of my approved fuel foods, like a single serving of Chocolate PB2, than some intoxicating drug. I didn’t feel the need to immediately follow it up with another one (or two or three).

Funny, I remember telling Aunt Imogene at the Isch Christmas that I wasn’t “one of those people who can eat just a single piece of chocolate.”

And I’m not. It would be a huge mistake to suddenly think I’ve changed. But it was interesting to experience that feeling, if only for a little while.

This entry was posted in Mind games, Uncategorized, What We're Eating and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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