Kicking a Habit

by Ms. Joy

It’s not like it’s a real addiction. The sweets after everyone else has fallen off to sleep. Or, the extra teaspoonful of sugar cascading into a steaming mug of tea, waiting to envelope the granules into its caffeinated embrace. The chocolates sneakily popped into your mouth until suddenly there are so few left in the box. All these things are normal. Right?

Right? Perhaps if it’s once in a while. But, no.

Because it’s not just once in a while. Afterwards there is that spine clawing rush of anxiety, the digestive freak out, and we shall not discuss the dentist .

There is also the long family history of diabetes, a disease that felled my own father. You’d think I’d learn my lesson. That my system just cannot take having sugar thrown at it constantly and not face the repercussions.

I am fortunate in that I have never faced a (physical) health crisis. I would also like to think I am one of those people who can see the signs, make a connection and use my reason to say: Stop being a dumb ass.

At the end of the day, when we push away from the table where we have eaten and laughed, or eaten and cried, or perhaps even both, our health is all we have.

Without good health, playing with loved ones, toying with hobbies and pursuing our dreams become just that: A dream.

My dad liked to think of himself as a healthy man, just as I like to think of myself as a healthy woman; but, I don’t really think that’s true. I often joke that I am a “skinny fat” person, even though it’s not really a joke. I’m slender(ish – I had kids), I have enough energy and I look half decent in skinny jeans.

But. My energy isn’t where it should be for a healthy woman of 29, I’m prone to migraines and that little pooch that encased babies has yet to make a disappearance. Add to that my the knotty zits that randomly appear, prompting Boy to say, “Mommy, your face owie look bigger”. Thanks kid.

The point is, I don’t want my children to hear “total system shutdown due to diabetes, exacerbated by…”. I did. And it sucks.

I do not have diabetes. That is clear but my body is telling me to smarten the hell up, so I should. It’s just really, really hard.

I’ve been trying to cut sugar out of my life (earnestly) for one entire year. 365 days of blowing it.

That’s a lot of failure for one gal. So, I’ve started to measure how long I can go without refined sugar. Yesterday, I made it to 9 pm before I caved and made peanut butter and honey toast. For those about to decry honey, shut your trap. This is hard for someone like me who inherited her sweet tooth from a 6′ farmer called Grandpa.

Evening is always the worst for me. I have meds to take every night and I have to eat with them, lest I get sick. It’s at this time I always crave sweeeeeeetness, too.

One day down (kinda), one day to start again. I ate a pumpkin spice muffin from Tim Hortons and it was so good. But not good enough, so I’m restarting the sugar measure on today.