Being married to someone who is always right is challenging. I spend considerable time trying to avert situations where J. can say: “I told you so.” Some days, this is not easy, like today.
Please sit down before I go on. I don’t want you to faint when you read on.
I have largely dispensed with my last remaining food vices, sweets and sugar. I say “largely” because I would never banish these evils in their entirety; were I to, I’d be setting myself up to fail. But I have recently become one of those people who eats one square of chocolate for dessert rather than the whole bar. I’ve become blind to the supermarket’s tempting bulk bins too. I despise people like me.
Following our strudel-filled vacation, I spontaneously slashed my sugar and, I must say, I feel like a million bucks, for someone who has leukemia. Miraculous things have happened since I’ve made this change. I can see my toes again, and my belly no longer enters the room well ahead of the rest of me. My waist circumference is barely recognizable. I’m no longer having blood sugar crashes, or insatiable cravings, and, watch out, I’ll fight you for that washroom stall. Look at me, the incredible peeing wonder!
This shift was unplanned and unexpectedly easy. One day I asked myself why I cook healthy food if my chaser is sugar-laden dessert. I have always known that sugar consumption leads to fluid retention via osmosis. (Don’t ask me to define osmosis; chemistry is beyond my soft-science scope.) Simple sugars spike insulin release, resulting in the body’s hoarding sodium and retaining fluid. Hence, just like Chinese food, excess sugar causes bloating.
J. has been asserting this truth for years, but I have not been listening. (I can be a petulant child sometimes.) I did not want to give up sugar; I love sugar. I can’t get enough of wine gums and licorice and chocolate and baked goods. Leave a bowl of Jelly Bellies within reach and I’m the first to dig in, and dig in, and finish them off.
Don’t confuse this change with dieting, however. I don’t believe in diets. Diets inevitably lead to a binge-starve cycle. No thanks. Rather, I’m making a minor adjustment to my diet, which so far seems to be helping. My goal is to feel better, not to lose weight.
How have I accomplished this wondrous feat? With the support of my sugar mommy, who is keeping our current treat stash out of my sight and out of my mind. (I understand she plays a similar role at work, where her colleagues are permitted reasonable access to her snack drawer.) When I want a little something, I have to ask J., which I do surprisingly infrequently. I’ve discovered her hiding spot, by the way, but no matter; I’m treating the easy-access container like a safe with an uncrackable code. I could dig in, but since I’m feeling so much better, why would I?
So no, I’m not dieting, I’m breaking a bad habit. Reducing my sugar consumption hasn’t killed me; it’s made me
stronger pee. And so today I concede publicly but begrudgingly: J., you were right. You always are.