Well, at least not much.
A couple of weeks ago I decided to give up eating sugar because I felt like I was addicted to it. In fact I haven’t been giving it up entirely. This is the amount of sugar I eat every day:
It’s all brown sugar, I choose the very dark chocolate that has brown sugar as the last ingredient on the list (I even tried chocolate with 99% cocoa in it, bleargh.) I don’t even remotely like dark chocolate. But I’m starting to get used to it. Better than no chocolate anyway. The müsli has a tiny amount of brown sugar in the corn flakes. I could eat the same sugar-free müsli as my husband but I like this much better. And the sugar cube shows my weakness, I can’t bring myself to drink black tea without sugar. And no, I won’t try artificial sweetener (Are you nuts? There are enough weird chemicals in my food as it is, and besides they taste horrible.), or splenda. (I don’t even know if that is available in Germany.) But from what I read about it I’d rather eat some honey or brown sugar, or even white sugar, before I tried that.
I know that when I’m writing about this “no-sugar”-thing I trigger every woman’s “I’m not eating healthy, and I should lose weight anyway.”-trip at once. Especially now that everybody is going the Atkins-route again, and carbohydrates are flailed right and left. I love carbs. I still eat a lot of sweet things. And I don’t think everybody should stop eating sugar. Only, when I start eating sugary things I instantly crave even more. And then, often, I can’t seem to stop before all is gone.
I still feel calmer when I don’t eat much sugar. But I’m getting used to it. At first, every time I ate something like cake I’d go completely hysteric. Or depressive. Now it doesn’t affect me that much. When I’m invited for cake, I eat cake. I only eat one piece though, not three. On Tuesday I even had iced coffee with ice cream and whipped cream with sugar in it. And stayed reasonably calm. I never eat those kinds of things at home though. My son’s candy is firmly out of bounds.
So it would be quite easy to say, “Oh, now I got it. I can have some white sugar on a regular basis without becoming all addicted again.” But I don’t think so. Every single time that I eat a piece of cake or a cookie I end up craving sugar even more than before. So this craving seems to be insatiable for me.
I’m still getting used to this. I miss baking. Every time I go to the grocery store I recite, “I can’t have this, and I can’t have that. ” “No sugar, no candy, no cake, no cookies, no ice cream,…” But it’s getting better. There are whole aisles I’m not going into anymore. And I’m finding peace in that. I don’t miss the bloated and disgusting feeling I had when I ate a bag of potato chips, chocolate, and a bag of jelly beans in one sitting. I don’t miss that feeling at all. And I don’t miss all that discussions going on in my head like, “But I want only one more piece of chocolate. And then I’ll stop.” and the mother-me saying, “But you already had four pieces. And you know that you will keep on eating, so why don’t you just stop now and eat the rest tomorrow.” – “But I waaaant toooooo.” – “Stop it.” – “Waaaaaaa.” – Sigh. “Okay, but just one.”
(After writing a screen play for three weeks I still haven’t got the hang of formatting dialogue. And in case you’re interested, 13,491 words so far. I know, I’m way behind.)
Oh, and if you think of cutting back on sugar for weight-loss reasons, I can tell you that eating two pounds of nuts for snacks every week will take care of that. I mean, the weight loss. Or, the lack of.