For reasons I don't quite understand I have signed up for Sugar Free February. It's to raise money for charity so there is a purpose besides punishing myself. You see I have a ridiculously sweet tooth. When people say they don't really like chocolate I'm not entirely sure what that means. It's like when someone describes themselves as 'not really a dessert person." Who are these people exactly ?
We're drawn to sweet tastes as children and when I was weaning Brown Bear I was told that he would naturally eat sweet foods so to encourage a broader palate I should offer savoury foods and strong flavours such as spinach and olives. He loved both. I also offered him a variety of textures like homemade houmous and roughly mashed banana with weetabix. Despite my best efforts he still prefers sweet foods, loves chocolate and will pretty much jump through hoops for Haribo. Which funnily enough is also what he does after he's eaten them too.
So the point of this post is to explain quite how much of a challenge it is for me to give up sugar. I pretty much dream about sugary foods. I think about them when I'm not eating them. As I sat in the theatre last night I was contemplating whether to have a blueberry muffin or a cherry one when I got home as a last sugary treat* Yes that's right. As TV hunk Clive Mantle was acting his 6 foot something self in front of my very eyes I was thinking about cake. I'm not even sorry. Ok, I'm a bit sorry. I'm not entirely sure that's even normal.
When I'm swimming I'm thinking about what I will eat when I finish. I sometimes have a sense memory of a creme caramel that I particularly loved. I don't actually eat those things afterwards, but it's what goes through my mind when I exercise. In face I really only keep fit so that I can eat without guilt. If I didn't exercise at all I'd pretty much live on cardboard.
Ok, I can live without dessert and I rarely order it when we eat out as I don't often see something that appeals to me enough. However, knowing that I can't order it means that I will suddenly find everything on a dessert menu sounds delicious - even if it has custard in it. Honestly whoever created custard has a lot to answer for. All my boys love it so I have to buy it, but I can't even bear the smell. Years ago I watched a Paul McKenna show where he suggested visualising something you loathe covering the thing you want to stop eating. For me that would be custard poured on chocolate. It's not for nothing that the title of this blog has the word chocolate in it.
Anyway, I think I have convinced you of how hard this month will be for me. Not least as I will be following it with a month without chocolate for the British Heart Foundation. Either I will kick my sugar addiction completely or I will have keeled over into a mountain of sweet stuff before then. I hope it's the former.
If you would like to sponsor me at Sugar Free Swazi that would be absolutely amazing. Wish me luck !!