Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Gotta Have Sweet!

My eating habits are strange and constantly evolving.

My core philosophy is to eat processed foods as little as possible and stick to organic veggies, whole grains, nuts, fruits, and fish for protein.

This nice, healthy foundation, supplemented by lots and lots of sugar and caffeine, makes up most of my diet.

The sugar part has been impossible for me to kick.

Even knowing that it's aging hasn't kept me from slowing down the intake.

I'll hide from the sun. Exercise all day. Brush my teeth in a restaurant bathroom.

Anything to stave the effects of aging.

But sugar is one thing that's too good to let go of.

My addiction is bigger than me.

And it goes beyond actual physical consumption.

I love to watch shows about cake.

Savory cupcakes. Work-of-art wedding cakes. Cartoony birthday cakes.

If it has cake, I'll watch it.

I don't bake. I could never make this kind of cake. Nor would I eat these cakes.

I couldn't imagine spending four figures on a cake.

But I'm as addicted to shows about huge, thousand-dollar cakes as I am to sugar itself.

I know they cost thousands because I've been to the Web sites.

I've tried to reduce the negative impact to my system by consuming only raw sugar.

I know. Sugar is sugar. But raw sugar somehow makes me feel less creepy.

I put lots of sugar in my coffee and have even started pouring it on my innocent blackberries and strawberries.

Berries without added sugar can be so tart!

Raw sugar, albeit plenty of it, has been for some time now, my only sweet fix.

You can imagine the horror I felt last week when I was blindsided by a random craving for Twizzlers.

I hadn't had Twizzlers in ages. Why Twizzlers? What are Twizzlers?

You don't want to know.

I picked up a package and read the ingredient label.

I put the package down and got myself as far away from the demon Twizzlers as I could.

Food is a big deal. It's what we put inside our body to breathe. To live.

It empowers my kidneys to filter my blood, my lungs to take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide, my brain to think its Real World Yogi thoughts.

I'm proud of my insides and grateful for them.

My heart, bless its heart, does whatever I ask it to.

Run, go to work, drive in traffic, sit down, get up, do a headstand.

My heart has to be ready for anything.

What would happen if I put Twizzlers and all that is wrong with them in my body?

Robert assured me the acid in my stomach would burn off the bad stuff so it wouldn't affect anything else.

Even Red 40? I wasn't so sure.

I visualized sticky red nuggets clinging to the sides of my arteries, red gunk gumming up my intestinal walls.

How could I do this to the body that works so hard for me?

But the craving hit again and thus began a wrenching inner struggle.

At first, it was me against the Twizzlers. Then Twizzlers teamed up with the brazen side of me against the yogi-you-know-better-than-this-Twizzlers-are-poison side.

It all came down to which side would torment me worse.

The brazen side argued, why can't I just have the damn candy! People do heroin and live!

The yogi side said, Twizzlers? Really?

The arguing was emotionally exhausting.

Why couldn't I just have the Twizzlers?

It wasn't so simple.

Would I eat them, get my fix and be done with them? Or would they be a gateway candy?

And if so, what would be next? Caramels?

Soon I'd be arguing the merits of Three Musketeers and then, we all know what happens after you open the door to Three Musketeers.

Snickers are not far behind.

Let's not even go there.

Eventually I turned my head off and bought Twizzlers.

The fluorescent lights of a damp drugstore at night with other people effortlessly picking up chips and sweetarts and big bottles of blue soda helped the decision making process along.

I bought a big bag.

I ODed. Then wanted more and bought another bag.

ODed again and now it's over.

The storm has passed. Twizzlers no longer have a death grip on my conscience.

Now I want raw protein and steamed veggies. To be followed by dessert, of course.

But no more Red 40 for me. Not for now anyway …


  1. i think the stress of worrying so much about the candy actually did more harm than the candy itself. life's too sour, we need to add a little sweetness to it.

  2. My dear, you worry too much. A little twizzle here and there is ok as long as you don't let the "I wants" control you:)