Sugar = love


Candy at Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Easter. A box of chocolates for a lover. Baking cookies with mom. Cans of homemade preserves in the pantry. A cake on your birthday. A pie (or three) for company. Cotton candy at the fair. A great big soft drink at the movie theater. An extra shot of syrup in your latte on a hard day. Sugar equals love for human beings everywhere, ever since we discovered the stuff. Eating it is a pleasure and comfort, in a physical sense and also an emotional sense. If you have something sugary to eat, somebody loves you. Somebody is taking care of you. And it feels good.

This isn’t just a cultural or emotional construct, it’s a physical reality. Our bodies really like rarefied carbs. Our bodies chemically reward us when we eat them. And thus the prospect of not eating them is scary. How will our kids know we love them if there isn’t a birthday cake? How will our relatives know we love them if we don’t send them cookies at Christmas?

My own answer, for the time being, is that I’m still doing those things. Lots of TV personalities have told me that it isn’t what you do on special occasions that matters, it’s what you do in the day-to-day. I sure hope that this is good enough, because while I’m able to cut out most sugar from my daily diet (do not talk about my dark chocolate), I would never deny my daughter her birthday cakes or Christmas cookies, and I’d never refuse to share them with her. As human beings we have certain universal tendencies and limitations, and I think it’s pointless to fight them. Humans share food. Humans feel happy when they eat sugar. We should feel happy together on special occasions.

As for the other 99% of my life… paleo. I am finally down another pound, so six pounds lost now. I think that a snow day cookie indiscretion combined with a large batch of guacamole is what put me back in the third week. It was always obvious that sugar made me put on weight, now with sugar out of the picture I can see for the first time that too much fat can do it too.

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