Why Binge on Sugar
Something happened recently. I didn’t think it would happen. It wasn’t anything bad. It was just something someone did that I didn’t think they would do. In fact, I was so sure they wouldn’t do it that I told Gwenn, “If they do that I’ll eat dessert.” I can’t say who or what it was, that would be incriminating. The person did it and I was surprised. Now I’m supposed to have dessert.
My “bet” wasn’t really a bet. I had nothing to lose. Or so I thought. If the person didn’t do the thing then I wouldn’t eat sugar. That’s no big deal, I’m already not eating sugar. If they did do it then I had an excuse to eat sugar.
My idea of dessert quickly became a full day of eating whatever I want. Just one day. So I purchased a package of Reeses Peanut Butter Eggs, which I LOVE. My plan was to eat all of them.
This past Tuesday was free cone day at Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream store. See the picture below. Notice how the line is starting to wrap around the building. Notice how many people love an ice cream cone. Notice how I’m not in the line!
I Couldn’t Do It.
There are a few reasons why I haven’t eaten sugar. First, I had dental work done this week. Dental work is one of those things that makes a person feel their mortality. I certainly felt mine. Having my teeth poked at made me feel as healthy as a chocolate bunny in the sun.
Second, I have come to associate eating sweets with feeling bad. Believe me, I want the Reeses. They’re in the house somewhere (Gwenn put them away). I’ve know it for weeks now but the temptation is almost completely gone. Almost.
Lastly, there was this week’s sugar challenge which asked us to figure out why we binge on junk food.
So this post is my long winded statement saying that I think I figured out why we like to binge on junk food. The answer is simple.
Eating Junk Food is Fun.
Junk food comes in fun packages and crazy colors. It tastes good. Whenever we got it as a kid we knew it was a treat—that thing we were not supposed to have. We’ve been conditioned over a lifetime of advertising exposure to think that we deserve junk food as a result of our hard work. When we eat junk food we’re letting go of the reins of life. We’re just living freely. We throw care to the wind. We’re letting our hair down! It’s fun! Like getting drunk, driving fast, or smoking something. Come on, live a little…
Maybe I’m just getting older. (Doesn’t every middle-aged person improve their diet in hopes of lasting longer on this planet?) I’ve been avoiding television advertising as long as I’ve avoided sugar. My association with sweets is now a negative one. I know that if I eat dessert (the Reeces and the ice cream) I will feel bad about myself. My body will feel bad. My teeth will feel coated with sugar. I will feel like I’m doing a disservice to my health. What fun is all that? Not much.