Sugar Blues

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Whippets I’m fighting with food these days.  I know what I should be eating, assuming I’m serious about maintaining a good weight and health. I know what foods make me achy, or upset my stomach, and I know sugar is my greatest enemy. I love sugar, sugar in chocolate, candy, cookies, cake, you name it and I can’t stay away. There’s a candy bowl in our office that miraculously reproduces itself whenever it gets low. I know its wicked sorcery out get me. Where my skinny little coworkers eat one as an afternoon pick-me-up, I find ways to pass the little bowl whenever possible and grab one. Before I know it there’s a pile of wrappers on my desk. I know sugar is my greatest enemy because when I do overindulge my bones ache and I start moving like a little old lady.

My love for sugar was inherited – yes I can blame that on my father too. Dad loved sugar, unfortunately I inherited his sugar habit but not his steam engine metabolism! I don’t know what other evil things it did to his body but he never seemed to gain weight.

Every so often dad would come home bearing a nifty box from his favorite French pastry shop. That night we’d zip through dinner, no fights over green beans, no sir, those suckers were goneso. Bring on the éclairs, macarons, napoleons, and pomme tatin. Then we’d bounce around the house on our sugar high.

Fortunately with seven children nothing lasted long in our kitchen so over indulging wasn’t a problem. Besides, my brother DID inherit my father’s steam engine metabolism and being a boy with a high metabolism he ate everything in sight leaving the sisters to scrape the bottom of the ice cream carton.

In the early 70s my dad introduced me to a newly published book called Sugar Blues by William Duffy. The book was a huge hit at the time – possibly because there are many sugar fiends out there trying to kick the habit. The author contends that sugar is an addictive drug and extremely harmful to the human body, and that the sugar industry conspires to keep people addicted. Hmmmmm sounds like the tobacco industry. Perhaps we should have laws stating that people can’t eat sugar within 100 yards of a public building.

My mother’s drug of choice was cheese, she could care less about the sweets. This meant one of us had to accompany her to the grocery store every week or she’d come home without the box of Whippets – lots of cheese but no yummy chocolate covered marshmallow biscuits. That and the fact that our family needed two carts for the weekly shopping so mom always had company at the grocery store. I volunteered a lot because the person who pushed the second cart was excused from bringing in the bags (and bags) from the car and putting everything away. It also meant I was around when the Whippet box was opened (usually by my brother who was also miraculously present when the food came home). Lest you think we were a bunch of sugar high brats we also fought over the red delicious apples.

All kidding aside I actually do believe sugar can be addictive, not in the heroine sense, but I know if I abstain for a few days I don’t have the craving and can pass the wicked little bowl without indulging – once I have sugar again it’s game over. Perhaps its time for me to put on my big girl pants and learn restraint. That or buy lots of red delicious apples instead.