You have heard me on many occasions at 9 Kid Fitness talk about sugar. I guess it is a sort of love-hate relationship that I have developed over a long period of years. I love sugar because it tastes good and often satisfies in ways other foods just don’t. I hate it because no matter how temporarily satisfying it is, it is usually regretted later. I’m not talking about the occasional sugary treat. I am talking about the sugar monster lurking around the corner…only so happy to be indulged in and to “satisfy” an unsuspecting victim.
I realize that the word victim is not entirely appropriate. A victim usually doesn’t have any culpability. In the case of sugar, most of us have enough knowledge and experience to know better than to be a true victim. However, as with many other vices, we can be caught off guard and we can experience a type of amnesia about past consequences. Although I am not a nutritionist, I believe that I have a vast resume of experience on this topic and therefore feel that I can speak with a sort of authority on the subject. So consider this your fair warning. Don’t be caught off-guard!
The monster begins its tormenting about this time every year…and is often still seen escapading throughout November (with Thanksgiving desserts) and well into December (with Christmas cookies and well-meaning gifts of goodies). This is our chance to don our armor, to get ready for the fight against temptation, to prepare for the yearly battle against sugar! If I sound dramatic, I apologize. Suffice it to say the consequences of not being prepared are a not-too distant memory, and if you must know, I am speaking to myself…in hopes that by shouting the warning aloud, this time I may finally hear it loud and clear.
I also have to confess that I have already lost the first tussle with the monster. It happened innocently enough when I opened an early Halloween/Thanksgiving treat from my mother-in-law (it was delicious Norrene – and in no way do I blame you). It was one of those lovely, large popcorn tins…and I wasn’t expecting it (a good example of something to beware of). I am not usually tempted by popcorn. However, this was not your average tin of the cheese, carmel, and buttered variety. This tin was filled with flavors of which I had previously been unaware…carmel chocolate drizzle, apple cinnamon, white cheddar, and toffee crunch. As you can see, even the names weakened my resolve.
I do not want to dwell on the past or to discourage any of you so I will not describe the rest of the scene. But I will take the experience and use it to rally the troups (that means all of you). Don’t make the mistake I made. You have less than 24 hours to prepare for the onslaught of sugar (regardless of how you celebrate “All Hallows Eve”…it usually involves candy and various sugary treats). I want to help you in this endeavor and so I am leaving you with a few tips (don’t say I didn’t warn you). When it comes to sugar we need to proceed with caution…
Eat a good, healthy and filling breakfast everyday. This will help arm you against the hungry feeling that is a natural invite to the unwelcoming monster.
Repeat after me: “I will not eat more than three pieces of my children’s candy” (that’s per day and bite-sized only).
Do not succumb to false bravado and try to give up sugar during the holidays (it WILL backfire)…hence the three-piece rule.
Drink a lot of water. Often times our thirst is disguised as hunger…see Tip #1 above.
Stock your cabinets and fridge with yummy, healthy alternatives. When a carrot or some celery is all you have to go up against the sugar monster…you are outnumbered.
Don’t eat after 8 pm. This is often the time when we are most likely to go in search of something sweet..
What do you do to ward off the beast? Please add your own tips for guarding against the sugar monster. After all, joining forces to fight together is so much better than going up against him alone!