Happy Monday!  So unfortunately, I must report that I’m going against my own advice (for purely financial reasons) and going back to working insane hours for a while.  As a result, I want to make sure I keep my health a priority.  That means:

At work... for hours, and hours and hours.  And not Don Draper style - gif via
At work… for hours, and hours and hours. And not Don Draper style – gif via

1) Getting at least 8 hours of sleep.  Depressing, since I have to go to bed by 9pm sharp to make this happen – there goes Modern Family and Netflix.

2) Eating healthy food.  Again, tough since that means I have to wash my lunch containers the minute I get home, and refill them with delicious and healthy food for the next day – tough when I just want to pass out when I get home.

3) Getting plenty of exercise.  I vow to take at least one 30 minute break to walk during my lunch hour, and of course it takes me 20 minutes to walk to work every morning, and 20 more to get home.

4) I also vow to go to yoga 4-5 times a week before passing out in bed.  That means sprinting home from work, changing and running to catch the last yoga class.  Zoom zoom!

5) Getting sunlight because, as we all know, vitamin D is crucial, and spending twelve hours a day in a room without windows and only fluorescent lights is just terrible for your eyesight and pretty much everything else.

I'd prefer avoiding this scenario... hence we'll be taking matters into our own hands - image via
I’d prefer avoiding this scenario… hence we’ll be taking matters into our own hands – image via

6) Finally, keeping my sense of humor and a healthy dose of chuckles, giggles and grins.  This means, laughing at the crazies and listening when people say something funny.

Today’s funny quote from the miserable world of document review and contract attorneys:

Doc Reviewer 1: “Be good to yourself,” as Doc Reviewer 2 leaves at noon for two doctor’s appointments and a massage

Doc Reviewer 2: “This is how I ended up in this place.  A misguided youth.”

Honey, Honey, Sugar, Sugar

Chocolate husbands, what we all dream of - image via
Chocolate husbands, what we all dream of – image via

So today I’d like to address a very unhealthy habit I’ve had for a veeeeeeeeery long time.  My sugar consumption.

Everyone knows that too much sugar isn’t good for you.  And after reading some articles that say just how BAD sugar is for you, I’ve debating

how to give it up! What can I do to get myself healthier?

As if anxiety and physical inactivity aren’t enough to worry about in having a healthy heart, now I’ve read that eating too much sugar can also cause serious consequences for your heart.

“Of course, sugar per se is not harmful – we need it for the body’s energy needs – but when consumed in excess, it will contribute to weight gain and, in turn, may accelerate heart disease.”

Not to mention diabetes, obesity, and just regular ole weight gain.  No thanks.

Here’s my dilemma, I definitely consume more sugar than I should.  I eat it when I’m sad, tired or just plain bored!  I’ll have a Mounds bar here, an expensive Dairy Milk bar with hazelnuts there…. and then I’ll go home and have some Ben & Jerry’s to pretend I’m not sad that I’ve spent the last twelve hours at work.  So then I stop buying chocolate at the grocery store or pharmacy… and things are ok for a while.  But then I suddenly crave it on a particularly bad day at work, and spend $3.00 on a tiny chocolate bar at the overpriced store downstairs.  Or I get the urge when I get home… where I have NO chocolate anywhere.  So in a fit of rage, I’ll raid the house in search of ANYTHING sweet- and find that bag of chocolate chips hidden away in the back of my baking cabinet.  Then I’ll eat half the bag and feel that sugar high.  Like I said, I have a problem.  So what do I do about it?

First, I’ve evaluated just how much sugar I consume.  And the answer ain’t pretty.  The woman at the newstand outside my office knows to take my dollar bill as I pick out my chocolate bar in the morning.  And she knows to restock my Almond Joy (I’m sure I’m the only person who buys it).  The 7/11 with my Amazon Locker knows about my love of Phish Food – the owner has already asked me about the flavor, to which I’ve enthusiastically (and unfortunately without an ounce of embarrassment) replied, “Oh yes!  It’s the best flavor.  It has marshmallows and caramel!”  Of course, I had an agenda: I didn’t want her to stop stocking it, because I can’t always find it everywhere.

Next, I’ve been looking for what triggers my sugar cravings.  Is it just seeing chocolate bars as I pass by a newstand outside my office, or is it how I feel?  For the most part, I’ve noticed that stress and boredom induce severe sugar cravings.  Like if I’m stressed about not having any savings but still having to pay a crazy Obamacare craving… oy… eying the Trader Joe’s Powerberries on my desk just thinking about it.  Or when my mom visited me, I definitely finished off a pint of Phish Food in the three days before her arrival as I worried about looking good, being fit and having a clean enough apartment.  Obviously, it didn’t really help with looking extra fit, but it did calm my nerves.  Funny, most people go for alcohol, cigarettes or drugs to de-stress.  For me, I never craved anything but SUGAR!

The last thing is peer pressure.  I find myself constantly raving about the chocolate I’ve just eaten, or bragging about the double dark chocolate gelato sitting in my freezer.  And my friends and I always talk about dessert or chocolate.  Nobody ever acts judgmental or reminds me that sugar is bad.  Instead, my friends all rave about their chocolate consumption too.  And I get it, there’s something about chocolate that makes you HAPPY.  Especially for us gals.  And especially around that time.  But at the same time, we really need to find a way to talk about how much we consume, and maybe start holding each other accountable over how much we DO consume!

Chocolate - so hard to resist - image via
Chocolate – so hard to resist – image via

I say all this as I just finished a KING sized Mounds bar.  Within the span of 2 hours…  So clearly, I’ve got a long way to go.  But I’m going to try moderation.  Not cutting it out completely, but only having a small piece of dark chocolate or chocolate covered ginger (thanks Trader Joe’s!).  I DO need to cut out the Phish Food… and definitely all those chocolate bars.  Watch it, Mirabelle!

Share your sugar struggles, cravings and successful purging!  If not sugar, do you have other food addictions or unhealthy ways that help you cope with stress?

Please comment, share your thoughts and let me know what you think.  Please help me keep this a positive forum, though.  I am so excited for some debate, but let’s respect each other please.  I reserve the right to monitor and delete inappropriate posts.  Thanks in advance!

8 thoughts on “A Spoonful of Sugar

  1. Those strawberries look DELICIOUS. I may need to go buy myself some chocolate now . . . . Seriously though, this is a really important discussion. Good for you for trying to cut back!

    1. Thanks, Brigette. I think for me, I need to hold myself accountable and stop making excuses about my sugar consumption. But I do think a nice piece of dark chocolate once in a while, or chocolate covered strawberries, didn’t hurt anyone. Moderation is key, right?

  2. Hey Mira, trying to find out what triggers your cravings is a great idea. I’ll try to do that this week! I already know one of my triggers is boredom and inactivity. I’d guess that’s a pretty common one.

    1. Thanks Brenda. Boredom shouldn’t even BE in our vocabularies. Bonus points to anyone who can remember which movie/book/tv show character tells kids they aren’t allowed to be bored. (I’ll be honest I’m blanking on that one!) Help, anyone?

  3. I tried giving up candy, ice cream, cookies and cake this year for Lent and miraculously, it WORKED! We have tons of candy sitting around my office and I used to eat York mint after York mint. Now I’ll eat one here or there, but my ability to gorge myself on chocolate endlessly is gone – I guess my pancreas really got on board with this no candy thing :) If you stick to it, it gets WAY easier!

    1. Wow, Annie! That is pretty impressive! I hope you’re enjoying sweets in moderation now that Lent is over. Congrats on making it through to the end.

  4. Everything in moderation! I’m a firm believer that your body tells you what it needs. We just have to listen!

    1. Thanks, Natalie!! Agreed – moderation helps us feel like we’re not completely depriving ourselves of something amazing (and then craving all the time instead). I’ll do more listening, as you suggest.

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