Sunday, January 17, 2010

Cakes and clarifications.

First and foremost, I encountered my second sugar snafu just last night. My mom poured Pretzel Crisps into a bowl and left them on the kitchen table. While I walked by, I mindlessly grabbed one and munched. When I realized what I had done, I sought out its package and hoped for the best while I read the ingredients.

The ingredients included sugar. Even though the crisps only include 2 grams of sugar per serving -- and I only ate a tiny fraction of a serving -- this second snafu served as a good reminder: Always check the ingredients, Arleen!

And now, on to other matters: For those who read my most recent entry -- about being tempted by a colleague's birthday cake -- know it was only the beginning.

After work that evening, I met a friend at Chili's, where somebody was celebrating something big in the conference room. While Amanda and I waited for our food, a guy walked by with a ginormous sheet cake, even bigger than the one I tried hard to ignore at my office.

So after dinner, when I headed home, I figured I was in the clear. I could keep my distance from what I can't eat. I could munch on something naturally sweet, like fruit, if I really had to. But while I watched a little TV, the unthinkable happened.
"Arleen!" A voice interrupted my show. "Help me!"

I jumped off the couch and ran to the kitchen. There, I found her:

My mom. My mom covered in splattered cake batter, in fact. More cake, being baked in my own house, no less! Long story short, my mom needs a new mixer. But I stayed strong while I helped her clean the mess the mixer made. I also stayed strong while I watched her ice the three layer coconut creme filled cake. And I also stayed strong while she, my dad and a family friend ate it after dinner the following night.

In its stead, I ate an orange.

And it was delicious.

Something sweet in lieu of something sweeter, in a culture that says sweeter is better. Half way through the first month of my sugar free year, I would already beg to differ. But as mentioned a couple entries ago, I have been criticized for feeling this way (or maybe just for acting on this feeling?). So for the sake of any new readers who don't have time to catch up, I'll clarify the point of my 2010 experiment with a recap of what I'm doing.

From Jan. 1, 2010 to Jan. 1, 2011, I will not consume foods that have sugar unless sugar naturally occurs. (Not intentionally, anyway...) In other words, if sugar is added, I won't eat (or drink) it. Considering the basically (but not extremely) healthy eating habits I had before 2010, this means I've cut out desserts. Most dressings (some salad dressings, certain sauces, etc.). Many juices. Chocolate (except for raw chocolate, which I haven't had yet this year anyway, and likely won't for awhile since it's expensive and Godiva has spoiled my tastebuds). I am still eating bread, but tending toward loaves that are freshly baked and sugarless (which is unfortunately not always possible).

For as long as I can remember, sugar and I have had a love/hate relationship. I love the way it tastes when I eat it, but I hate the way I feel later. Sleepy, anxious, depressed... By no means do I believe I need no sugar -- as it sounds like some of my critics believe. But by no means do I believe my body needs the excess of sugar that, without fail, I get when I consume the desserts, dressings, juices, etc. listed above.

And while my family and friends continue to eat cake around me (literally), I will spend this year learning what it's like to live a life without sugar... a body without it, a mind without it. And I believe it will be worth it.


  1. You have more willpower than me. That cake looked GOOD.

  2. Oh girl! Cake was def. taunting you that day :). And yes, that cake of your mom's looked amazing. I'm proud of you for staying strong. You got this!