Last Sunday, after an especially shameful mutual-gorge, Derrick challenged me to join him in quitting sugar from that very day until Memorial Day weekend. It has been eight days since we made the bet and so far neither of us has wavered. I have not consumed a single gram of sugar in over a week. I will now offer you a multiple choice question to learn how I am doing:
a) I feel great.
b) I have more energy.
c) I am less bloated.
d) I am miserable.
Need I even waste breath in giving you the correct answer? I am miserable. MIZ. UH. RUH. BULL. I’m always vaguely hungry, but not for anything I can have. Cinnamon Orbit and Diet Squirt can only satisfy to a degree. (We have not ruled out aspartame. I know. Baby steps.) I do have some Weight Watchers Double Chocolate Mousse candies that are sugar-free. They used to be favorites of mine when I ate them occasionally, but now that I’ve been popping a dozen a day, they are beginning to taste like poop-dipped Nilla wafers. But I ask you: what else is a faithful to eat when she can’t have real chocolate-chip cookies, real chocolate chips (a mugful after dinner was standard) or real chocolate anything? I’ll tell you what she eats: twice the breads, twice the crackers, and twice the carbs that she used to. And though all those white-flour no-nos amp up her daily caloric intake, none of them tastes very good. Because, as she’s learned in these last eight days, a carb without sugar is like a week without a Target run: bland, depressing, and ultimately pointless.
Derrick wagered that I would break before he did, and then added that whoever ate sugar first had to pay the other person one hundred dollars (“ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS!”–said with pinkie on lip ala Dr. Evil), of their “own” money. You see, I have recently starting working a bit (tutoring part-time), and my husband, it would seem, is now trying to get his hands on “my” money. Well let me tell you, my faiths, that “my money” is hard-earned and earmarked for Important Things. Necessary Things. Extraspecial Things, like spring clothes, self-tanner and new pillows for my downstairs couch. Does the Hub really think I’m gonna turn my filthy lucre over to him? Puh-shaw. Step aside, Sugar Daddy. I’ll show you a Sugar-Free Mama.
You can see that all logic points to my not partaking of sugar for the entire three-week challenge. Yes, it is only three weeks. And yes, there are Primal Eaters out there who haven’t ingested a single carb–let alone a sugary one–in over a decade. But I am not one of them, and none of them are me. The Primal Eaters do not have a chocolate fondue party to attend the day after tomorrow (whatever do I tell my hostess? For rude!) The Primal Eaters aren’t jetting off to Portland this weekend to reunite with some of their oldest and dearest friends; friends with whom their main common interest has always been discovering cool restaurants and, of course, eating. What–am I supposed to just sit stiffly while this couple orders cocoa mousse crepes at Suzettes on Alberta Street and say, “I know we haven’t seen each other in five years, but I’m just gonna sit here and watch you eat that crepe. I am disciplined. You are not. Sorry.” And most importantly, the Primals aren’t driving home Saturday morning just in time for the Mother’s Day Brunch that their ten-year old daughter has been planning with her church class for the last month. I have been assured that delicacies defying description will be on the menu. What am I to do? A Primal Mother wouldn’t even touch the cracker tray, which is exactly why I have never been a Primal Mother. I have only ever been a kindly, chubby mother, and it’s worked okay so far. What do I tell my little girlie now?
I shall take a deep breath, and then I shall simply tell her what I have always told her: It’s All Your Dad’s Fault. He sucked me in and will, I fear, eventually suck me dry. After I accepted his challenge last week, he loudly announced to our children that upon winning he would insist that I toss one-hundred single dollar bills over him as he lay on the bed, rolling around the money like a pig in poop. (Think Demi Moore in the trailer of Indecent Proposal. Never saw the movie myself, but you get the picture. Derrick stretched across the mattress suggestively as paper bills shower down around him. Eww.)
I can’t let him win this. I just can’t. It’ll be like a month-long game of Settlers of Catan. But I can’t keep living without sugar, either. What do I do? Lie? Cheat? Steal? You have to tell me. I need advice from my faithfuls almost as much as I need a package of Fudge Sticks right now. And that’s pretty bad.