My doctor's warning was propitious because my middle-aged body was changing and not for the better, and my blood sugar levels and blood pressure readings were not to her liking. I was also not happy about buying a larger pant size. It was time to face the music. I began with an Internet search using keywords like "belly fat, sugar values, calorie burn, pre-diabetes, etc" and up popped websites selling weight watching tools and advocating fad diets like acai berry and colon cleansing techniques. As I sorted through the information, what smacked me in the face were five simple words ELIMINATE YOUR ADDICTION TO SUGAR. Bingo! Addiction is not a label I've thought much about in my own life, but I am definitely intense about riding my bike, reading emails on my Iphone, checking my net worth on Yahoo Finance, and talking to my girlfriends on the phone.
|Marion Berry Cobbler a la mode, Northwest Loop bike ride|
The internet says the scientific jury is still out about whether sugar is an addictive substance, but for me sugar was like nicotine, giving me a high and affecting my body in a negative way. Even the desire for a bowl of wheat chex would pop up in my brain first thing every morning. Check the label and you will see why. The only way I gave up sugar was to think of it as a dangerous substance, something I was allergic to, something that would make me sick, or worse maybe throw up.
Another obstacle is my love of wine. I won't go so far as to say I'm addicted because I'm not an alcoholic, but I sure do love the taste and the sugar calls me back for a second pour. My husband and I enjoy many aspects of wine short of making it ourselves, but unfortunately wine contains my demon called sugar. We've tasted in many appellations in the United States, and in notable wine countries worldwide. On a trip to Argentina, we spent several days visiting the main grape growing region of Mendoza. With the safety and ease of having our own driver and guide, we toured a few special wineries, tasted delicious Malbecs, and ate out-of-this-world gourmet food with a stunning backdrop of the snow- crested Andes. At home we keep a written record of the better wines we buy and now have more than one hundred bottles in our wine storage unit. When we consume all the bottles, maybe then I'll consider giving it up, but for now I'm still a wino.
|Wine tasting room at Andeluna Cellars, Mendoza|
|Dessert at the Esteemed Catena Zapata Winery in Mendoza|
Like overcoming most addictions, it takes a few weeks to stop climbing the walls and get over the hump. Looking back at my progress, eliminating as much refined sugar as possible was fairly easy. I occasionally capitulate and I'm far from perfect, but it was a lot easier than becoming a vegetarian, or eating gluten free. So what's happened in the last sixteen months? Well, I've definitely taken off some pounds but most of all I have brought my blood sugar down significantly and to levels that have my doctor cheering. There's always something to strive for. Now it's all about portion control. Can't a girl have any fun?