Sugar Log: 2022
Page Updated: Jan. 5, 2023
Every year, I eat junky sweets during the few days between Halloween and my birthday, and then I avoid sweets for the rest of the year. Lately I’ve begun to indulge sooner than my Halloween start date. In 2022 I ate some candy at art openings in early October, and I also ate pizza.
Below are my observations from 2022, my 2023 sugar abstinence plan, and the 2023 addendum (because things didn’t work out as planned).
People probably didn’t notice, or they could care less that I ate pizza and candy. Still, I felt the need to explain to folks, “I always eat whatever I want around Halloween. This year I’ve started a little early...”
When you’re living your own truth, you don’t have to explain anything to anyone. When you fall off your own wagon, it hurts you the most.
I had a few sweets over the course of 2022. Whenever I ate junk food, the next day I’d have to fight the urge to have more. A little leads to a lot.
Sugar Makes Me Feel Awful
It seems obvious that sugar would make me feel lousy, but the thought of indulging always seems appealing after having gone without sweets for a while. The idea that sugar is a treat has been drilled into me through advertising and social reinforcement. This year I forgot how much sugar impacts me, but I did remember to be weary around it. However, I still ate junk food and felt the repercussions in 2022.
Once an addict, always an addict—that’s what they say. It’s easy to slip back into emotional eating. Old habits don’t die, they just get replaced with new habits. You always have to make a choice, so choose wisely.
I have to pee more often when I eat sugar. It wakes me up in the middle of the night. I drove ten minutes to the supermarket... had to go again.
Water tastes bland when compared to junk food, so I drank less water.
My energy is steady when I eat well. When I eat sugar, my energy spikes and dips like a roller coaster, and I fall asleep half way through the day.
When I abstain from eating junk food, I don’t notice junk food ads. As soon as I allow myself to eat junk, I become aware of the many food products that I can impulse buy and eat pretty much anywhere I go.
Not Like It Was
While a friend and I were looking at Halloween decorations, we reminisced about snacks from our childhood. A few days later, my wife came home with a Tasty Cake cupcake that our friend sent for me. Either Tasty Cakes have changed or I’ve changed, because the tiny, packaged cupcake tasted like flavored plastic. I swear they were better in the 70s.
The chocolate chip cookies I got from the ACME bakery tasted like baked chemicals. I felt awful after eating them, yet I ate ’em. The ice cream was bland, yet I had several helpings. What’s in there?
Produce vs. Prepackaged
When I indulge in sweets, prepackaged food becomes all I want to eat. Veggies fall off my radar, and pizza becomes more appealing. I even considered buying a box of CheezIt snacks, but was wise enough to know that wouldn’t make me feel good in the long run.
Eating sweets had me up at night and exhausted in the morning. I found myself easily annoyed, angry, and full of angst. Then I just felt down and depressed. I don’t want to be social when my mood is all out of whack.
When I open up to eat junk food, my wife tends to eat more junk food. Then I bring junk food to my parents. It’s amazing how easily I can take my loved ones down with my own self-destructive behaviors.
My throat felt weird from the sugar and dairy, and eating sweets made me more prone to illness, which is just stupid with COVID around. Why negatively impact my health with immune system suppressing sugar?
2022 Junk Eaten
Ice cream (Tillamook mudslide, Tillamook ice cream sandwich, OwWowCow vegan ice cream sandwich, soft serve chocolate ice cream cone, Peace Pie), candy (KitKat, Snickers, M&Ms, 3 Musketeers, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups), ACME bakery chocolate chip cookies, Shoprite bakery chocolate chip cookies, Oreo cookies, Pillsbury cookies, birthday cake, cheese (pizza, tortellini, ravioli) and I made and ate biscotti.
2023 Sugar Abstinence Plan
(Spoiler: it didn’t work.)
Usually I eat sweets on my birthday, but this time around I am going to use my birthday as my sugar abstinence start day. (I succeeded.)
I’m challenging myself to eat 100% plant-based in 2023. Going vegan is obviously not a requirement to Stop Being Sweet, it’s just something I want to do. My vegan diet began on January 1, 2023.
Joker Snack Conundrum (see addendum below)
Every year I allow myself a joker snack (something slightly sweet that can be eaten in limited amounts). McViddie’s Digestives have been my joker snack for the past few years. They’re not super sweet, nor very expensive, and they’e kinda hard to find (Wegmans has ’em). I cannot / do not binge on them. What’s more, Digestives are vegan.
I want to try something different in 2022. I’ll bake biscotti cookies like how my grandmother used to make. They’re low in sugar, but not vegan.
My goal for 2023 is to figure out a vegan biscotti. Until I figure out how to do that, I’ll make and eat biscottas with butter and eggs.
Discipline is Healthy
In past years I’ve learned the most (about myself and others) when practicing a strict discipline based on a clear plan. My diet will be plant-based except for my joker snack of hand-made biscotti. That's it. Simple.
Stop Being Sweet was offline for the past few years. During that time, I found it easier eat sweets. With the site back online—whether anyone reads it or not—I feel accountable. You being here helps me, and I hope Stop Being Sweet helps you.
Addendum (January 2023)
My plan didn’t work. I started making biscotti, but they really called out to me. After eating them I ended up riding the sugar roller coaster.
As of January 1, 2023 my new plan is to avoid sweets until Halloween of next year. No cheating. I’m also going to eat vegan that entire time. 🤞