Again, I’m both happy and sad Christmas is over. I love all the build up to The Big Day. The malls, the music, the wrapping paper, the decorations, the solemnity of candles in celebration of the holy day.

Mostly, though, what I’m feeling right now is relief. I don’t know what it is about this time of year, but I go into a baking frenzy. Not one day passes when there isn’t a selection of cookies or candies or cakes around.

And I’ve got the weight gain to show it. But more on that this Friday, along with other news.

Here in Raleigh, we actually got snowed in over the weekend. It was historic – the first white Christmas since the 1940s – and plentiful: the final tally was around 7 inches. Since I don’t live on a major street, we didn’t get plowed, and that foiled my plan to do penitence at the gym.

Monday was much better, so off I went – and hated every minute of it.

That was different. I don’t recall ever being that disgruntled during a workout, but I was. Pissed on the elliptical, mad at the resistance machines, and whined all about it to my buddy Courtney at the front desk and trainer Leslie, who were both working that day.

Not sure what got into me. Maybe food poisoning, as in way too many empty calories.  I felt sluggish and weak, and abandoned the strength circuit about halfway through. I’d had enough, and hit the showers.

The really bad news is, I probably was suffering from a form of food poisoning. When I’m eating healthier, I feel so much better, even if I haven’t been to the gym in awhile. It makes me wonder about the effects of a steady diet of sugary carbs on the central nervous system. I’m guessing “cranky” is a known side effect.

So I’ve given up sugar for a few weeks. I’ve sworn off everything that’s sustained me the past four weeks, except for what I put in my coffee or tea. I returned to work today and am pleased to report I had none of the remaining Kisses or candy canes I’d put out for coworkers.

The sugar thing is really the first baby step in a series, preparing me for the big day on 1/1/11.  Though I didn’t get a treadmill for Christmas – and I really didn’t think I would – I did get a Nook Color to distract me while on the treadmills at my gym. One day soon, I’ll figure out how to use it . . .

I also got a pedometer, and a cute pair of sweat pants and a vest that I look forward to returning to the store. I don’t do “cute” at the gym; too high-maintenance. I go for comfort and efficiency, and tomorrow three pairs of sweats and two sweatshirts should arrive on my doorstep, thanks to Amazon.com.

A couple more days of being off sugar should result in a properly adjusted gym attitude, I hop.

Onward and upward.

I was eating bad stuff. Lots of sugar and carbs, junk food all the time. It makes you very irritated. ~ Avril Lavigne

Leslie J. Ansley is an award-winning journalist and entrepreneur who blogs daily for TheRoot. She lives in Raleigh, NC.