Thursday, April 4, 2013

Oh, Sugar

For Lent this year I gave up sugar (hey, it was either that or wine.) For six weeks, I ate nothing but sugar in its natural forms, so oranges and melon slices were dessert. 

It's not as fun as it sounds. Sugar is an addiction, I found - at night, after dinner, I fantasized about chocolate, ice cream, and even just a Murray's Mint. Glumly, I went to peel myself another clementine instead.

At other houses I was offered cake, brownies, cookies... and I had to politely decline. That was hard, especially when other guests grabbed the goodies and dug in, uttering cries of enjoyment.

And the most cruel thing? None of this dreadful deprivation changed my waistline. My scales stubbornly remained on the same number, even though I was foregoing dessert and exercising every day; thank you very much, post-menopausal hormones.

At the same time, in order to really scourge the flesh, I gave up computer games. I'm not a big gamer by any means - no WoW, no Assassin's Creed - but I do enjoy a quick turn at solitaire and Hidden Object mindless nonsense after a long day of writing, editing, and being a mom.

The six weeks passed, and on Easter I joyfully indulged in peeps and Malteaser bunnies. That night, I played some silly games before I went to bed.

And then the insomnia kicked in.

Somehow, so subtly that I hadn't noticed it, my sleeping patterns had smoothed out during the sugar- and game-free time. I was sleeping at least eight hours a night.

That changed as soon as I put sugar and a glowing screen back in the mix. Sleeplessness came back, with the jolting memory of what it was like to wake up at 3 am and not be able to go back to sleep.

It continued until yesterday, when I decided to give up sugar and night gaming again. And guess what? I slept sweetly for nine hours. 

I can still see Thornton's chocolates in my future, but perhaps only once a week. Friday could be my sweet night. My games will have to move to the middle of the day, if I play at all; my nighttime companion will be a book - in print.


karastewart said...

Oh heck. That is not good that the no-sugar kick didn't result in any weight loss. I decided Tuesday to go sugar free for just that reason. I didn't make it past dinner time however, and ate 2 cookies. I did better yesterday and stuck to the no-sugar thing. It really IS an addiction. I don't do any games but I have noticed that I can't fall asleep without the tv on anymore. So I am ditching the tv-to-fall-asleep-to thing as well as sugar. Except I really want to make ricotta-blueberries-choc chips today. It's spring break - I deserve it, right? See? This is what gets me in trouble.

Alison DeLuca said...

I thought I would certainly drop twenty pounds during my Lenten experiment, but noooooo. I do think that if I keep it up I will lose some very slowly, and it will mount up over the next year.

I hear you on the blueberry - ricotta thingy! That sounds really tempting :/

Joan Hazel said...

I came the realization about gaming a few months ago. I would play word games on my kindle until I finally fell asleep. Then I realized it was the game that was keeping me awake because my brain would not shut down. So now I read or write in my journal. It hasn't completely ended my insomnia, but it is better.