Sunday, April 04, 2010

Happy Sugar, Er, I Mean Happy Easter

So, are you wondering how my giving-up-sweets-for-Lent project went? Are you wondering how I feel today, Easter Sunday, the day the sugar ban is OVER? Are you picturing me lounging around, surrounded by Cadbury Creme Eggs up to my neck, joyfully discarding foil wrapper after foil wrapper over my shoulder and flooding my brain with sugar-rush happiness?

Well, I'm not doing that. Yet.

No, really, the sugar fast was a strange thing. I suffered GREATLY for the first few weeks, maybe even the first full month. In other words, I suffered greatly FOR MOST OF LENT. In the beginning, I swear I could feel my brain losing serotonin faster than a leaky bucket losing water. I went crazy trying to substitute artificial sweetener and alternate junk foods for my usual daily sugar treats, which didn't really work. Yet, I kept doing it, for weeks--feverishly seeking the kind of reward my brain cells used to get from ice cream and chocolate and cookies, searching for a quick energy boost or mood lift. Infuriatingly, during this time I believe I actually gained a few pounds. ARGH!

Then, near the very end, avoiding sweets became easy. I didn't crave sugar, and I stopped eating anything with non-sugar sweeteners. I didn't buy Cheetos. I didn't fantasize about going through the Dairy Queen drive-thru. It was amazing for a sugar addict like myself. I even lost a few pounds. What amazed me about this process was how long it took to feel "weaned" off of sweets. I can't believe it took nearly six weeks to feel uncrazed about sugar, to not think about the fact that I was actively resisting treats. What a struggle!

And how ironic that it only became easy just when Lent was ending. I know, I know--you're going to point out that I could always just keep it up. There's no reason I have to resume eating dessert just because it's Lent is over. To that I say, "Is Dairy Queen open on Easter?"

No, seriously (actually I was completely serious about that DQ question), I look forward to consuming dessert, treats, and iced mochas again. I just hope and plan to resume doing so at a much less frequent rate than I used to, before the Lenten fast. It would be nice to keep such sweets as occasional treats and not daily indulgences. Although I'm a bit worried that once my brain gets a taste, it might be impossible to embrace moderation. Will I eat a chocolate egg and then tumble straight into sugar addiction once more?

You can ask me later, after I've enjoyed my DQ Blizzard.

1 comment:

Mnmom said...

Congratulations!!! It will be good for you to return to the land of iced mochas.

For me, the secret is not keeping much in the house. Except Ovaltine for milk. Then again, I'm not a sugar hound, so maybe it's just easier for me.

Now if you want to take away my shredded cheese or smokehouse almonds we may have a problem.