Stop Being Sweet

Why Binge on Sugar

Stop Being Sweet

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. 

Reeses Peanut Butter Eggs

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!

Free Cone Day

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. 

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Comments 18



Thank you! I needed that! That’s exactly how I feel when I eat it - like I’m having the time of my life and being crazy - rebelling against the responsibilities of adult life and rebelling against the pressure I feel to be perfect and look a certain way. I’m working on associating it with bad feelings - it’s hard when the Easter bunny was always such a GOOD feeling! Thank you for this post.



Damn that easter bunny! And those reeces eggs! And that chocolate! smile



I know! F u, Cadbury and Reese’s! And Easter is late this year, so I feel like the candy has been in the stores for MONTHS!! David, I’m so happy for you that you’ve managed this sugar-free lifestyle year after year. I’m ready to get there - today is Day 1 for me - I’m definitely doing a year. It’s freeing and scary at the same time. I’m so ready. Thanks again for the inspiration - I finally feel like I’m getting somewhere and I have a place to go to connect with people who have the same problem as I do. Awesome. Okay, off to eat some lentil soup.



You can so do a whole year. (And you told the world so you’re accountable now!)



I haven’t had any Cadbury eggs this year, but they are my favorite Easter candy. I haven’t had any because it’s so much cheaper to buy a bag of some other kind of chocolate, especially when the bags are ‘buy one, get one free!’ Thank god you have this site. I printed out the book around the middle of last week and had my last binge Friday night. The book’s forcing me to think about things I thought I knew the answers to. I like that it’s written by a lay-person (I don’t mean that as an insult at all) and not by a therapist who can’t speak from personal experience or who uses therapy language. I’m not Catholic, but I think you should set up a confessional. Whenever I do break down again, I feel like I’m gonna need a place to go and say, “forgive me, Father, for I have sinned again.”



Ha! Would I be the priest? I would prescribe that you go eat seven carrots and one pepper. Glad the ebook is helping…



Francesca, I’m glad to know you’re out there doing this too! I’m “taking a year off” from sweets like David did/does. I’m only on Day 3, but I’ve already turned down sweets numerous times. I’m working on creating those replacement rituals without sugar - David, your blog has helped so much - I’ve been feeling really irritable, and I know that I could temporarily make myself feel better with sugar. But this process is forcing me to deal with the situation and feelings rather than medicating myself. I look forward to getting through the tough phase and feeling more energetic and level-headed. Francesca, let’s do this! And David, thanks for “walking the walk” and keeping up with this site - all of the other sites you quoted in your blog in 2006 are long gone. I think it’s great that you’re still doing this - thank you! And I love the idea of doing a year and then having 4 days to binge - it makes me relax a little if I tell myself I can have whatever I want over those 4 days, even if those 4 days are a year from now…



Woo hoo! It’s great to know that you are both sugar free! Yesssss.



Katie, I’m with you on day 3. : ) Ya know what I used to do to kill my appetite for something sugary and delicious? I HATE the smell of coffee, so I used to buy a bag and stick my nose in it. That would kill any cravings. Opening a can of cat food for my “kids” will do the same thing because it makes me gag. If I’m smelling something hideous, the last thing I want to do is eat with that smell around.



Hey David- you might have this somewhere on the site, but what do you do for a living?



It’s not on here at the moment, I’m reworking the site. I’m an artist/storyteller.



Francesca, Katie, David - thank you for being here.
David, I found your blog over a year ago and I’m finally coming back to it in my determination to stand strong and get to know myself outside of my characteristic sweet tooth. My adulthood has been rife with a struggle against candida. This struggle has formed my social life(dating an alcohol-free vegan) and my career path (organic veggie farmer), but I still feel like even if I’m not ingesting it, sugar often dominates my very thoughts. Today i dodged a friend’s invitation to Easter dinner because I didn’t want to have to be around the desserts. I’m 7 days into my strongest feeling sugar-free stretch yet(my man is even eating unsweetened oats with me in solidarity each morning), and felt myself wavering, so I hopped on the net and came back here, very relieved to find you still blogging.

my housemate is a physician’s assistant that spends his work week counseling diabetes/cholesterol/heart disease patients on their eating habits. he says the sugar-holics are the most difficult to treat because the appetite suppressants have no effect on the addiction to sugar. he recommends diluting 1tsp apple cider vinegar (preferrally the unfiltered Bragg’s brand, though i don’t know why this matters) in a small glass of water and sipping on it to help pass through a craving for sweets. the doctor that runs the office says the vinegar stimulates the same taste buds that sense sugar.

My partner asked me today, “What do you imagine a healthy relationship with sweets would look like for you?” I replied that I couldn’t imagine ever enjoying it in a balanced way without obsessing.

I’m going to pour myself a glass of apple cider vinegar and read through the stuff I’ve missed since I’ve been away.

raising my glass in gratitude,



“because the appetite suppressants have no effect on the addiction to sugar.” <——- so true! I’ve been on adipex for 4 months (doc is taking me off of it next month) and it made me eat less food overall, but I still had to have my dessert. I was cutting back on everything to save a few hundred calories at the end of the day; 300 calories out of my 1400 limit is a lot! Sure I’ve lost almost 20# so far, but by cutting out the good stuff, it made me crave the bad stuff even more. So now I’m having fruit after dinner and getting my diet squared away again. Losing the weight means nothing when those binges come around- it’s amazing how much you can screw up in just a few days after months of hard work.



David, this has helped me , I always agree with you ,I wish someday they would stop selling all this junk that is destroying our lifestyle , as much as I hate it , Im slowly getting there, this is something hard I’m still in the process smile



I’ve started calling it a practice. Process sounds like there’s an end to it!



Tomorrow is my birthday, but I have class tomorrow night, so tonight I had a slice of carrot cake. I honestly have to say that it didn’t bring me as much pleasure as it used to. After only a week and a half, I think I’m losing my love of freakishly sweet things. Time to find a new love….



Happy Birthday!



Thank you, David. I’m celebrating with nice, strong storms down here in the south.

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