I’ve had a couple of occasions since I published my book where I’ve felt like people have viewed me as some kind of sugar police force. Case in point, someone tweeted (and included me) recently, “Don’t tell Maureen you had sriracha. There’s sugar in it!” It was a humorous exchange, but also a little unnerving. I don’t have a problem if someone chooses to have a hot fudge sundae never mind a bit of sriracha sauce!
I serve sriracha at my table. I also serve homemade (by me) hot pepper and fruit jam loaded with sugar. I don’t eat it because I don’t like what the sugar in it does to me. I know the pepper jam tastes really good and people like to eat it with meat or on grilled cheese sandwiches with apple slices. I used to enjoy it. But I have limits on my sugar intake and so I choose to avoid things that have sugar as an ingredient. I don’t impose those limits on anyone else. I do what I’ve proven to work for me and my health.
I’ve read lots of articles about various eating styles and diet plans but I’m hesitant to say that everyone should eat a particular way. If someone has trouble with bananas, it doesn’t mean that no one else should eat bananas. And that’s about as far as I think I’ll go with that. Body chemistry and other factors vary greatly from person to person. I’ve found what works for me, but it doesn’t necessarily work for someone else.
I’ve been offered apologies when someone I’m with has candy or pastries or something that I don’t eat. But I’m not at all offended by the sight or smell of such things. I don’t feel deprived. I feel thankful that I have learned how to be around them without diving head first into sugar right then or later when I’m in private. I actually enjoy the smell and memory of the taste of things I don’t eat now. I also remember how I felt afterward when I couldn’t stay in control of eating because my sugar monster had taken over.
I’m thankful that people are reading my book. I’ve had some very positive reviews on Amazon, in emails, my blogs, and in person. Whether or not a person struggles with eating issues, the book is my story and my experience. I don’t think I give the impression that anyone needs to do exactly what I did as if I’d introduced a patented new diet. I don’t want anyone to think I’m judging them or expecting them to reduce their sugar intake.
I am aware of one woman who got my book and was afraid to open it because of what she’d have to do after she read it. I hope she can read it and laugh. Because some of what I wrote is kind of funny. Like my youngest daughter cracked up when she read it.
Speaking of my youngest daughter, she’s the only one of my three kids still at home. She’s been aware of my occasional struggle with grazing between meals. But she’s also aware that policing me about it doesn’t work for me. Or her. She’s told me (after I’ve told her that I was having trouble) that she was worried for me because she knew what was going on. She’s greatly relieved when the grazing stops. (I am, too.)
She’s good at cheering me on when I’ve tell her about a victory I’ve had over wanting to graze, but she’s also good at saying nothing when I haven’t quite succeeded. Yes. I still am dealing with my addiction. But I’m in a much better place than I used to be. I have learned to crave feeling good more than a sugar (or popcorn or potato chip) hit. Even after I’ve fallen off the wagon into a field of grazing.
Not everyone has trouble if they eat between meals. But I do. And if you offer me something, I’ll say, “No. Thank you.” And if you insist, I’ll say, “Thanks, but I don’t eat between meals.” I’ll be happy to have a glass of water while you have your donut. It won’t bother me to watch you eat it, either. I remember eating donuts. I just donot want the aftertaste. Police don’t worry about it. I’ll be fine. I’m Possible without sugar or eating between meals! Best wishes to you for your own possibles!