Twenty-five days ago I imprisoned myself in a ban on sweets. Straight-up cold turkey. That day I walked into my house after work and felt like complete and total garbage. We’ve got bowls of M&Ms scattered throughout our office. Handfuls of plain and peanut M&Ms for the taking. All day. Every day. Five days a week.
Amazing perk when I started the job. It’s another story nearly two years later.
I AM NOT SHY ABOUT M&Ms.
I snack on them mindlessly all day, and that’s hardly an exaggeration. There’s also a delicious bakery down the street, and I’m never bashful about grabbing two giant, rich cookies. Eating them both, of course. Twice a week. Donuts in the office? Yes. Sweets from a client? IN MY MOUTH.
Sugary cereal on the weekends (heyo, Cinnamon Toast Crunch), fistfuls of processed granola bar bites when hungry in the evening, milkshakes when I had the chance, even though my body is fiercely against dairy since having Owen (it’s why the lord made Lactaid, probably), Sour Patch Kids from the checkout lane.
Zero reservations or off switch.
Thing is, I’ve always had a raging sweet tooth, although it seems to have multiplied since pregnancy, threefold since giving birth. But I’ve been feeling like a pile of trash. Constantly. Always lethargic, always with an upset stomach of some kind. My body finally began to rebel against me — or maybe it’d always been rebelling, I just never noticed until my body belonged to a baby. The doctor checked me out. Aside from an allergy-induced nasal drip (‘sup) and ferritin levels that were a touch low, I’m healthy. According to blood work. Not according to my diet, which resembles that of a 9-year-old the day after Halloween.
So 25 days ago, while feeling like a dump truck, I made myself quit sweets. I forged a plan to swear myself off of M&Ms and cookies and donuts and processed, sugary snacks until I could confidently walk past the M&M bowls without feeling a fire of desire within my soul.
I am here to say that after 25 days, I have not yet achieved enlightenment.
This shit is hard. And yes, I know elimination diets do not work. It’s not sustainable. This isn’t a diet. I clearly don’t intend to sustain this existence. But I do need to kick the sugar habit, and I honestly don’t know how unless I fully deprive myself. I know moderation is key, but I can’t moderate. I will snack on sweets until I feel sick — there is no in between.
I’m trying to find other ways to satisfy the craving — and the hunger. Water doesn’t cut it and vegetables are not Sour Patch Kids, but they do the job for now. Extra hydration and nutrients can’t hurt, right?
Honestly and sadly, the hardest aspect has been how cranky and desperate it’s made me. Sweets are so delicious. Cookies make me happy. After I finish dinner, I look forward to dessert. What’s the point of a meal if you don’t celebrate with an ice cream sandwich?
But, I mean, surely there’s a happy medium between finding joy in one occasional cookie and finding happiness in three 500-calorie cookies in one day.
I do not yet know that happy medium.
And so still… I wait.
I did splurge on a small piece of pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving because no one and nothing can deprive me of the true meaning of Thanksgiving. But, if I’m being completely truthful, I felt like shit afterward. Although a contributing factor may have been the four pounds of spaghetti I ate prior to pie.
Like I said, moderation is a problem.
Needless to say, I’m still working on this sugar situation. I’ll get there. And hopefully, eventually, I’ll be able to control myself around sweets.
The upside is that my nagging lethargy is dissipating pretty quick. Although I still act like one, I don’t feel like a sloth. Cutting out a constant influx of processed sugar and cleaning up my eating habits in a handful of other ways has all but cut out my gut issues.
So, there are perks.
None of those perks come in the form of a perfectly sliced piece of buttercream frosting unicorn-decorated birthday cake, OF WHICH I DEPRIVED MYSELF DURING MY STEPDAUGHTER’S 7TH BIRTHDAY PARTY LAST MONTH, but I digress.
I’ll indulge in cake again. But not until those goddamn M&Ms stop harassing me.
And because I know people come here just to get updates on Owen, he’s still the cutest tiny person I’ve ever seen and I love him forever, amen. I promise to return to my regularly-scheduled mom talk next time.
Here, I offer you a parting gift: