Viewing Category: Sweet Stories

When Did You Discover You Had A Problem?

It was the nineties and I was conducting computer training at the United States Social Security Administration. There were a team of trainers showing the SSA employees how to use the latest and greatest thing—Microsoft Windows. During lunch break the training team would slip out of the building, down the the streets of Philadelphia’s old town, and grab a bite to eat.

One particular day I had ordered a sandwich and also purchased three giant cookies that came bundled together in plastic wrap. Toward the end of lunch I began to eat the first of the three cookies when it occurred to me that the polite thing to do would be to offer some to the rest of the team. I felt a sense of relief when everyone turned me down because that meant the 3 cookies were all mine. And I ate them, all of them.

As I was finishing up the last of the three cookies one of my coworkers, whose name I cannot recall but whose attitude I can, said something snide about how I scoffed down a whole lot of sugar. I felt badly about eating sweets in a way I had never felt before. That was the first time I had any inkling that my sugar consumption wasn’t normal.

It wasn’t until years later that I realized I had a problem. After a particularly heavy binge I tried to avoid chocolate and sweet snacks for one month. During that time I found myself automatically walking to the kitchen more times than I could count. I noticed how much money I was dropping at Rite Aid on chocolate covered pretzels. What’s more, since I wasn’t eating those foods, I began to transfer my addictive behavior to other sweet foods. That’s when I knew something was up. It took me another several years of trying before I stayed off sugar for any length of time.

Memories of Halloween

When I was a kid we’d start trick-or-treating after school by about 4 pm. My brother and I would be so excited that we’d map out the neighborhood and plan out routes to collect from the most possible homes. We usually had to “check in” around 5 or 6 pm for dinner. I recall returning home with my pillow case half full of candy, dumping it out on the dining room table, and then heading back out in the cold, dark night for our evening collection.

There was a street in Glacier Hills, the neighborhood up the hill from my neighborhood, that had several houses in a row that would go all-out. The first house would host an annual Halloween party for adults and they’d invite us into the living room to spin a wheel. There were numbers on the wheel and whatever number you got was how many pieces of candy you could take from the large plastic black cauldron/bowl. The people were always dressed up, having fun, and scaring us.

Another house around the corner would decorate their entire yard with dozens of carved jack-o-lanterns. Orange glowing faces would surround us as we walked to the front door. There were several more houses that would lace faux spider webs through their trees and sometimes someone would pretend to be a scarecrow and jump up and make us all scream.

By the time I got home my feet would be aching and my bag would be heavy. My parents would have already sorted through the candy from our first run and (of course) sampled it for “safety purposes”. I recall we would freeze the remainder of the candy and my mother would stick one or two pieces in our school lunch until it was gone.

To this day, the smell of the cool air in autumn and the crunch of colored leaves under my feet makes me think of Halloween.

What are your fondest memories of Halloween?

The Worst Sugar Binge

My worst binge was a two-week long indulgence after having quit sugar for one year. I was working on my senior thesis for college and housesitting at the same time. After dropping my friend at the airport, I stopped at the supermarket and walked the aisles looking for every type of favorite band of sweet I had not eaten the previous year. When I was checking out I felt embarrassed until I realized that my product choices didn’t look very different from other people who were checking out.

I purchased Captain Crunch, Pop Tarts, Chocolate Chip Granola Bars, Chocolate Covered Pretzels, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, and all kinds of stuff I can’t even recall now. The first week I was up all night and writing like a banshee. The second week I began to crash and couldn’t even stand the thought of eating a bag of Sun Chips so I burned them in the fireplace (Sun Chips burn a blue flame).

After a year I had conditioned my body to not like sweets. By the end of the two weeks I was dying for something healthy!

What was your worst sugar binge like?

Will Travel for Sweets

When I was a teen, some of my first attempts at being “independent” were to ride my bike to the 7-11 convenience store on Route 53 in Parsippany, NJ.

Candy was only 30 cents each. That meant my hard(ly) earned dollar got me three candies.

I’d buy myself a Snickers, a 3 Musketeers, and a Milky Way—or some such varied combination. The candy was a kind of reward for having ridden several miles uphill.

Later in life, when I got a car, I’d drive to the Lakeview Bakery on Parsippany Road. When I was a young kid my mother would buy me cookies there. When I got older I’d go alone and buy myself cookies there. They bake these smile-face cookies that, still to this day, make me feel happy when I eat them. There was a nice lady who used to work in the office at my elementary school who later worked behind the counter at the bakery. She very well might not be around anymore…

I haven’t been back to Parsippany in several years. If I go, however, it will be easy to avoid candy from 7-11, and a really hard to not visit Lakeview Bakery for a smile-face cookie.

Where do you go for sweets?

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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.

Quit Sugar?

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