sugar sugar

Mar. 9th, 2017 06:59 pm
kindkit: Rupert Giles drinking a mug of tea and reading (Buffy: Giles and tea)
[personal profile] kindkit
So I'm trying to cut down on my sugar consumption. I love sweet things, but I increasingly feel like having a lot of sugar isn't good for me, and I worry about things like diabetes. My blood sugar was absolutely fine the last time it was tested, but I still worry. Mostly, I think, it's that becoming diabetic would be humiliating, as though I had failed by succumbing to a godawful victim-blaming trope that I detest. (N.B. I realize this is an internalized fat-phobia thing, and I don't believe I think about people with diabetes that way; I only apply it to myself.)

I'm cutting down on sugar, not cutting out; my decision at the moment is that if I make it myself, I can have it, but I'm going to try to avoid storebought sweets and especially soda. I figure, if I've baked a cake, at least I've baked a cake, but eating Oreos is no kind of accomplishment. (Girl Scout cookies, on the other hand, I may have to make an exception for. After all, it's a good cause!)

The soda thing though . . . AAARRRGH. When I was a kid we drank a lot of soda unless we were really broke, in which case it was Kool-Aid. Or, god forbid, water--our water at home had tons of dissolved iron in it, so much that all the sinks etc. got rust-colored stains, and it tasted nasty. Plus my mom loved Coke and it just seemed normal, if we had some around, to drink several big glasses of it a day.

When I was in college I mostly stopped drinking soda. This was partly snobbery (I wanted to be grown-up and sophisticated!) and partly spending a year in France, where soda wasn't literally on tap for free at the cafeteria. I hardly ever drank soda for the next, oh, twenty years.

And then I started working in retail, which is hard and tiring and sometimes you really want a sugar boost, and the soda was right there conveniently for sale. So I'd have a soda once or twice a week, and then I started at my new job and for various reasons it became a soda every day, and then I started buying six packs of it in the grocery store because it was cheaper, and then of course I started drinking it at home as well.

I want a soda really badly right now. *twitches* And I'm frustrated with myself for having become a soda drinker again after so many years. (Incidentally, my decision was triggered by this truly horrifying recent xkcd cartoon.)

I don't think soda/sugar is literally addictive, but soda is delicious and bubbly and sweet and caffeinated, and hard to give up because it hits so many pleasurable buttons. I don't want to drink diet soda because I don't like it, and I also have a vague sense, based on various clickbaity ads on the internet, that artificial sweeteners are bad for you. Then there's fruit juice, which mixed with sparkling water has a nice soda-ish effect, except that fruit juice seems to have so much sugar added to it that you might as well just have a Coke. Seriously, I almost bought some grape juice the other day, then I looked at the label and the second thing on the ingredient list was high fructose corn syrup. Et tu, Welch's?

Hence I am currently making iced herbal tea. I do actually really like drinking plain water, but sometimes I want flavor, especially now when I've got a soda monkey on my back. (<--- Irony. I don't for heaven's sake want to turn into one of those people earnestly lecturing about how Bad Foodstuff X is addictive, totally addictive, just like meth, and also if you keep consuming it you will have five undigested pounds of it in your stomach when you die.)

I'm not really looking for advice or anything, just wanted to talk about it. Also I just ordered a reusable yogurt container from, so I can take yogurt with me to work without (a) throwing away a lot of wasteful packaging, and (b) having to buy and eat those little pre-packaged cups of yogurt with fruit, which are all lowfat or no-fat but have tons of sugar. Instead, or so I have told myself, I can bring good-quality whole milk yogurt with no weird thickeners or anything, and I can have as much as I want of any kind of fruit I want, and only as much sugar as I choose; I genuinely prefer a significantly less sweet yogurt to the packaged kind. However, I can't help feeling like I have just bought the most ridiculous, unnecessary, gadgety thing in the world. Generations of my working-class forebears are looking over my shoulder and asking, "You just bought a special container for yogurt?" (Dear ancestors: it will save money in the end, because those little cups of sugary yogurt are expensive.)
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