If I’m honest with myself, I’d have to admit, that I expected to have this bomb dropped on me at several different junctures over the past few months.
And yet, it was still a shock when it actually happened. My brain worked overtime to reinterpret the words I was hearing as my stomach churned with anxiety and grief.
Even long after I’d left that little room, previously a place of calm and good feelings, the words looped endlessly through my brain:
“You need to cut all the sugar out of your diet.”
Take a minute if you must to absorb the gravity of that statement. I mean, it took me several days, so I understand.
Now, I imagine you’ve probably got a million questions running through your head.
“But why??? You’re young and have always seemed to have an impressive ability to metabolize sugar.”
“Who told you this and where the F* do they get off?”
“What about the cupcakes?! My god, the CUPCAKES!”
And these are all very valid questions. Ones I’ve been wrestling with for several days now.
I’ll start at the beginning.
Remember in my last post I talked about how I’ve been…”off” for a while, but had a huge improvement after going gluten free? Well, in the course of investigating my gluten allergy, the doctor also took a vampire’s worth of blood and ran almost every test listed on the little lab sheet.
And what we learned is that my body is all kinds of buggered up.
My thyroid and pancreas have gotten lazy, digestive enzymes have gone missing from my stomach and white blood cells have run amok.
Most of these things are pretty easily correctable with minor interventions (like digestive enzymes and pro-biotics in pill form).
But that lazy pancreas… Now if that sonofabitch doesn’t decide to get with the program all kinds of bad things await me in the future.
So the solution to that problem is to eliminate sugar from my diet.
ALL SUGAR. As in, no bread or pasta (not even gluten free), definitely no candy or refined sugar, I even have to limit amounts of “good” things like certain fruits.
I had just gotten used to eating gluten free; had just found the best brands of gluten free pancake mix and recipes for gluten free brownies.
I’d even found a cupcake store that sold gluten free fudge cupcakes with cookies ‘n’cream icing! Which I will now never have again.
Sometimes life just doesn’t make sense.
The doctor tried to reassure me by saying “You adapted so well to the gluten free diet, I have no doubt you’ll adapt to this new diet just as well.”
I decided not to point out the fact that sugar may qualify as the longest running relationship in my life outside of my parents, and as such, isn’t as easy to cut out as wheat.
Sugar was who I turned to when I was sad.
Sugar was who I celebrated with.
Sugar could get me moving and improve my attitude when nothing else could.
In short, Sugar solved everything.
Can carrots do that? Or Grapes?
NO, they cannot.
Has a hard-boiled egg ever turned a frown upside down?
No. No it has not.
And the worst irony of all? Sugar is my salve for breakups. But where do I turn for comfort after a break up with Sugar? Hmm? Seriously, I’m asking, because I have no idea.
But on the other hand.
It’s not like it was the healthiest of relationships. I mean what with it being all one-sided and co-dependant-y.
Like any dysfunctional relationship, it took time, energy, and attention away from other parts of my life.
And now I’ve got digestive enzymes to replenish, and white blood cells to chase away, and a thyroid to wake up. I don’t have time to sit around savoring frosting or making gluten free french toast!
And I always suspected that my incredible ability to metabolize sugar was going to end one day. I just didn’t think it would happen so soon.
So Sugar and I are going to take a break. A four-week break, to be specific. Starting today.
And at the end of those four weeks, we’ll reevaluate. And who knows…maybe we’ll be able to strike up some sort of friendship.
Like…maybe instead of getting together every single day, it’ll just be once or twice on a weekend, at a wedding, or if I have a really bad day…
I know what you’re thinking. You think I’m grasping at straws. Telling myself stories so the break up doesn’t hurt as much. And maybe you’re right. But you know what? I’m 18 hours into this break and already white knuckling it through every goddamn minute – and when did minutes get so long anyway? Huh? So if I want to tell myself lies, I’ll thank you to allow me to keep my illusions.
Sorry. Withdrawals are a bitch…
But it’s not all bad news. Chris, in his apparent campaign to be crowned “Best Boyfriend Ever”, has decided to join me in this new adventure in clean eating. I tell him it’s not necessary, but at the same time,I’m pretty sure that if he were to sit down across from me with rice complementing his plain chicken breast and steamed vegetables, I might just be tempted to reach into his throat and pull that rice out so I could have some…
So he’s probably really just protecting himself. And rightly so.
Its probably going to be a long and interesting four weeks…
And I’m going to blog about it whenever I can, mostly because if my hands are busy typing, they aren’t reaching for those dman cookies in the kitchen of my office.
Wish me luck.