If you know me, you know I claim to have a sweet tooth. I've long made such an admission in order to push away the responsibility of my own actions, of my shopping habits that lead me down the dessert aisle.
I've heard that researchers have found people credit their successes to internal forces while blaming their failures on external issues. So my love of sugar...it's not my fault, right? I was born with a sweet tooth.
Every week, I make bad decisions on what I put in my body and that sullying of my health has to end. Maybe you can relate to my habits: My supper won't be complete without a bit of dessert to cap it off, even if it's a long-forgotten Aroma chocolate hiding in my jacket coat pocket. Or I'll find an excuse to get ice cream in the summer, claiming to myself, "Oh it's hot out, I deserve this cone."
That's not to say I've been trying to reverse poor eating habits. For the past 5 years, I've been off pop and I no longer buy fruit juices. I prefer mayo with my fries, because ketchup tastes too sweet to me. I use cinnamon instead of sugar in my coffee.
I have a long way to go, though. And I'm writing this post to hold myself accountable, so I can look back at what I wrote a month ago and gauge if I lived up to my promise to drastically reduce the amount of sugar I eat.
That doesn't mean I'm going to swear off every dessert ever (I just discovered an Italian resto near me with amazing tiramisu...Damn it!). I'll simply make smarter decisions at the grocery lineup or at restaurants. I'll choose fruit salad over cheesecake. I'll ease up on wine, which has loads of sugar. I'll remind myself eating trail mix might feel healthy, thanks to their nuts and sunflower seeds, but those candied pineapple and Smarties aren't doing my diabetes risk factors any favours.
Like many of you, I've had a tough time with food. It has always been social for me, while also being a comfort during times of stress. Or I'll mindlessly eat garbage while binge-watching TV shows. It's soooo easy to fall into destructive routines that take a lot of energy to change, but if I want to avoid the many ailments associated with sugar consumption, I can't get lazy. Not at this age.
I'm framing my decision like this: Dave, you had a good run. You indulged in every exorbitant dessert imaginable. It's been a delicious 38 years, right? Well. That was fun stuff, but it's time to bring new flavours to your taste buds. Maybe it's time to cook this new ratatouille dish your buddy told you about. What about that peach and kale smoothie you've been meaning to try?
With this shift, I know I can curb the sugar I eat, but it's not going to be a cakewalk (ugh, great, now I'm thinking about cake). It'll take willpower, determination and effort to find other ways to satisfy that sweet-tooth craving. My life depends on it. Literally.
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