Sugar: Deliver Us From Evil

by Claudius J West

sugar skulls and cross bones“Sugar is poison. Sugar is decrepitude. Sugar is disease and self-destruction. I must avoid sugar at all costs.”

That’s my daily mantra. It doesn’t lend itself to broad interpretation. I wrote it after reading yet another article about the horrors of sugar. I wanted to be as emphatic with myself as possible in a “scared straight” kind of way.

I know it’s true that sugar is evil. And yet, and yet, and yet, why can’t I stop myself from indulging in the darn stuff?

Sugar is the villain you just gotta love. It’s so sweet it’s charming. Beguiling. Addictive.

I’ve reduced my intake quite a lot over the past few years, and that’s some sort of success, but with what I know about the harm that sugar does to a body, and with wanting to be Mister Immortal, or some approximation thereof, you’d think it would be easy to really get behind the “avoid sugar at all costs” rallying cry and stick to it.

So, why don’t I? Why don’t you?

Sugar is ubiquitous, that’s one problem. Just today I stopped into an office and saw a bowl of candy on offer, a three-week trial run in anticipation of the coming Halloween leftovers.

Later at the bank I saw a container of free lollipops. Those are for the kiddies, only? I don’t think so.

In my early years, my grandparents lived a block up our street; around the corner was a mom and pop store with an incredible candy display. My grandparents loved to take me and my sisters for walks to the candy store to show us they loved us by spending money on us. You can imagine what that combination did to my emotional associations with candy.

smart dog wearing mortar board cap

Knowing where those associations came from, however, doesnt’ make them go away, or make them easier to ignore. I don’t eat candy on a regular basis, but sometimes I go on jags, like when Cadbury ran a summer-long sale on their Fruit and Nut chocolate bars, three for $5. Oh, come on, with a deal like that, how could I resist? The real struggle was not to eat all three bars in one sitting.

I could be ashamed of being weak in the willpower department, but what good would that do? I don’t see it as a moral failing. It’s a curiosity thing. I wonder what part of my brain is able to so consistently override my better judgement.

But I’m doing better. I fall off the wagon every now and then, but the trick, I think, is getting back on the wagon as quickly as possible.

These days, I try to reserve sugary treats for rewards or for celebrations.

For that, sugar is good. As a way of life, it’s a dead-end.

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