Are you a sugar addict? I am. In 2005 I vowed to quit and began blogging about life without sweets. This site contains a forum, my journal, product reviews, Sugar-Free Challenges, and the self-published Stop Being Sweet ebook.

Glass Stomach

Glass Stomach

“Glass Stomach” is an art sculpture/experiment.

It consists of a jar filled with water and select Halloween candy from my Trick-or-Treat excursion:

1/2 an Oreo cookie ®
3 packages of Sour Skittles ®
1 package of M&M’s mini ®
1 package of M&M’s ®
2 packages of Skittles ®
3 Rolo ®
1 Starburst ®
1 piece of Dubble Bubble gum ®
1 box of Hot Tamales ®
1 box of Milk Duds ®

At 9:00 am this morning (November 2, 2006) I inserted my healthy, one year-old Wandering Jew plant into the Glass Stomach.

Check back to track the progress of the sugar-water-submerged plant.

Addendum: The plant lived. The cookies and candy didn’t break down. Eventually the “dust” in the water settled and the water was clear. I finally took the plant out and stuck it in dirt. When I poured out the water, all of the contents of the glass stomach were still whole but for the oreo cookie and the M&M candy shells. So I ate ‘em! (Just kidding. I threw it all down the drain and now it’s in our water supply.) 

Shifting the Trust to Corporations

On our cold Halloween night, only one of the ten people who had emailed to confirm their attendance at my Sugar Addict Adult Trick-or-Treat had showed. Gwenn, Zan, and I waited until a little after six and then entered Portland’s Ladd’s Addition neighborhood to carry out our mission.

3 Trick-or-Treaters

Zan hung with us for about an hour before she left to attend another event leaving just Gwenn and I. We’re both artists with something to say and we debated about whether Trick-or-Treating was the best way to get the world to Stop Being Sweet. 

I imagine people think it’s ridiculous that as grown adults we went Trick-or-Treating. I think so too but love how it points out ridiculous double standards in our society.

While Halloween supposedly fosters a sense of community, it also promotes a sense of fear and false trust. The prescribed activities bind us with our friends and family in unusually memorable ways as we eat self-indulgent sweets and have outrageous fun! Until we turn 13 and someone tells us we’re too old for that sort of fun.

Shift gears. Head out to parties at clubs and bars. Stop being cute and start being sexy. I used to work in a Halloween store and not one person (women especially) wanted a costume that didn’t make them cool and/or sexy. By adulthood we know that candy is for kids and we instead opt for adult candy—booze, smokes, and drugs.

Candy!

It only took a few carefully placed urban folktales to instill fear on us in a lasting and effective manor. Every town had a story about a friend of a friend who bit into a healthy apple collected on Halloween night only to find a hidden razor blade inside (they didn’t notice the large slit in the apple skin).

Similar stories had children dying of poison laden hand-made cookies and tripping out on acid laced Dots candy. The stories seemed to happen every year in every town and efficiently killed healthy and hand-made snack giving.

I recall an official announcement coming from my grade-school to parents saying that children should eat only company manufactured individually packaged candies.

From that point on we were taught not to trust our neighbors and instead to trust large corporations, who don’t know us, don’t care about us, and sell us individually wrapped and flavored chemicals marked with labels that describe the contents as tasty and fun food.

“The National Retail Federation said consumers will spend $4.96 billion this Halloween, up from $3.29 billion a year ago, as more consumers celebrate the holiday, according to a survey by BIGresearch. The survey said the average consumer will spend $18.72 on candy.” (source)

Halloween: Tricked-or-Treated

When was the last time you went Trick-or-Treating?

Sugar DMy Honey G

The amazing Gwenn made our costumes!

In my bag (and soon to be in my stomach):

Tootsie Roll Pops
Tootsie Rolls
Snickers
M&Ms
Milk Duds
M&Ms Mini
Peanut M&Ms
Hot Tamales
3 Musketeers
Reeses Peanut Butter Cups
Hershey’s chocolate Bars
Hershey’s chocolate Bars with Almonds
Mr. Goodbar
Skittles
Oreos
Sour Skittles
Kit Kat
Baby Ruth
Twix
Payday
Take 5
Almond Joy
Jr. Mints
Lindt Lindor Candies
Reeses Pieces
Smores
Butterfinger
Starburst
Life Savors
Life Savor Pops
Jolly Ranchers
Dubble Bubble Gum
Milky Way
Nestle Crunch
Twizzlers
Rolo

Feeling Sick at 3:25 pm

So far I’ve eaten some hand-made French chocolates last night at midnight. This morning I ate Pop Tarts for breakfast, and this afternoon I ate a box of Flipz Chocolate Covered Pretzels.

Nasty.

I can’t tell you how gross I feel. It’s like there’s a clamp in my stomach. My muscles are tense and I feel bad about myself. I don’t want to go out. I want to get in bed and sleep until I feel normal. Then eat an apple. It feels like I’ve just ruined a year’s worth of work, like I spilled a gallon of paint on a completed masterpiece.

And this is only the first day! I’m going to have to slow down. I was going to eat nothing but sugar for four days but it’s making me feel bad both physically and mentally. It’s time to eat something good and natural.

I feel tired, worn down, and depressed. Is it mental? Some of it. I don’t like what I’m doing to my body. I’m second guessing everything and thinking I should have spent four days doing nothing but exercising rather than eating sweets. Perhaps that’s what I’ll do next year. Build myself up instead of break myself down. What a lesson this is becoming…

Made It Through Morning

It’s 2:10 pm and in just four short hours I’ll be Trick-or-Treating. I’m eating Flipz brand chocolate covered pretzels as I write this. Today I’ve eaten nothing but three strawberry flavored Pop Tarts with frosting. It amazes me to think that people actually eat them for breakfast. Does anyone really eat Pop Tarts for breakfast? Can’t be. Might as well have an ice cream sundae, or some soda and a candy bar…the breakfast of champions!

I slept fine last night and woke up this morning with my muscles feeling slightly tense. In class, the only sign of sugar abuse was a my fingers slightly shaking. What’s in this stuff that is irritating the back of my throat? It feels tender. And my teeth feel really sensitive.

Just for kicks, here are the ingredients for Flipz Chocolate Pretzel Snacks:

Milk Chocolate (sugar, Chocolate, Cocoa Butter, Nonfat Milk, Lactose, Milkfat, Soy Lecithin, Vanillin (an artificial flavor), Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine, Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Corn Syrup, Salt, Yeast, Baking Soda, Ammonium, Bicarbonate, Barley Malt Extract, Artificial Flavor.

Imagine making Flipz yourself!

“Honey, would you please run next door and ask the neighbor if they have any Mononitrate that we can borrow. We’re all out!”

How to Prepare Junk Food:

1 Teaspoon Folic Acid per 4 cups Sugar
1 cup Corn Syrup per 4 cups of Enriched Flour
Mix with semi sweet chocolate chips
Stir in folic acid
Sprinkle with Bicarbonate
Add artificial flavor to taste
Eat excessively

I’m feeling gross! I don’t know if I’m going to make it a whole 4 days with nothing but sugar…this is ridiculous. How can people eat this stuff?

To think, I used to eat Flipz on a regular basis. It makes me ill. It was self abuse—as if punishing myself for something. Anyone relate to that? It seems we smoke, drink, eat sugar, or do dangerous things as a form of self-punishment.

It’s like people who go drinking to get drunk and push beyond their threshold. Right now I’ve made it 3/4 through the box and must stop. I feel acidic and am craving cool, clear fresh water.

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About David

After a weekend-long sugar binge in 2003, I realized my problem was very real. It took some time but I finally figured out a way to stay off sweet junk food for good! Read more.

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Don’t quit sugar. Stop Being Sweet instead! Questions? Please ask.