Okay, I’ve been on the 21-Day Challenge for four days, and today it happened (I’m surprised it didn’t happen sooner): the craving for “a little something sweet” after my lunch. I was dying for a Fannie May Mint Meltaway. Livestrong.com has a great article about this phenomenon that confirmed for me my suspicions. That desire for “a little something sweet” after a meal is for me, first and foremost, an ingrained habit developed over years and my brain won’t let me forget it. Second, something fantastic happens after eating sugar and simple carbs– the body releases serotonin, the feel-good chemical. (I think I’m in love with serotonin. If I ever have another baby maybe I’ll give it the middle name serotonin…or some derivative…or maybe not.)
Not that sweets, in moderation, aren’t just fine. Even The Green Gourmet Chicago sends a sweet afternoon snack each day (yes, desserts can be healthy and delicious). But it’s mind over matter. If I don’t want to devolve into the lower form of myself, stuffing pop tarts and ice cream bars when the kids aren’t looking (mainly so they don’t steal my pop tarts and ice cream bars), I need to have a backbone. I need to have standards. I can’t let myself down. I’ve got to see my health as a long-term investment, and that means not eating 15 Maurice Lenell pinwheel cookies (not too crunchy…just a little bit of bend) in a row instead of something that’s going to give me long term energy.
Sugar is a drug and I’m addicted. They say recognizing the problem is half the battle won…well, we’ll see. I’ve got to re-train my brain to think differently about food, but especially sugar and simple carb foods I love. Do they have “A Little Something Sweet” Anonymous meetings? Might need to go to that.