My name is Leslie, and I am a Sugarholic.
There are only certain times when it seems impossible for me to control sugar cravings – when I’m highly stressed or overtired, and then, well, let’s just say “every 28 days” and leave it at that.
Since last weekend, I’ve been under a self-imposed deadline that’s been impossible to meet. In short, I’m trying to complete in one week a project that normally takes a month or two.
Even though I’d sworn off all-nighters, I’ve been staying up until 4 or 5 in the morning, sleeping a few hours, then getting up to go at it again. The result: I’m swollen and irritable, I’ve consumed gallons of tea, coffee and Pepsi Max, and my digestive system is completely out of whack.
“Just one more day” I’ve been telling myself. Since Monday. I don’t know what my weight is doing, but I feel as though a couple of pounds have crept back on, and I’m trying very hard right now to convince myself that it’s not the end of the world.
But the pound-creep hasn’t been due to sugar, except what I’ve put in my coffee and tea – even though I’ve had a great deal more than usual this week. Because of the swelling, I know I’m retaining too much water. That’s a chronic condition for me, which is why I’m on a prescription diuretic. It’s a very small dose, and I’m supposed to take one a day. I often forget, and just now took my last one, then called Walgreens and did the automatic-refill thing. I’ll pick it up in about 90 minutes, and take another dose.
Yes, another water pill. Yes, it’s improper. No I’m not afraid of an overdose, because I know of several people, including my mother, who are on the same med, but at a much higher dose than I. My mother’s dose is twice the amount of mine; I know a woman whose dose is quadruple mine.
I also know it’s OK for me to double-up on rare occasions like this, because before I did so the first time, I cleared it with my doctor. Just be wary of the side effects, he warned. Since this is a med that rids the body of excess fluids, you can imagine side-effect No. 1.
But I did overdose on something this morning, and as an adult who should know better, I am embarrassed and ashamed. I mean, what kind of example am I setting for my children? (One of whom, by the way, overdosed on Aleve yesterday. It was the ol’ if one is good, four is better form of insanity I can only attribute to teen years, and I was truly fearful. The person on the Poison Control Center hotline told me what to do and what symptoms to watch for, sleepiness and nausea being chief among them.)
For me, though, there was no need to call the hotline. I knew exactly what was going on when my hands started shaking and I broke out in a sweat. I was high as a kite. Thirty minutes later, I crashed. Hard. And slept more than an hour.
All because of three Krispy Kreme doughnuts.
It’s my husband’s fault. (That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.) Though he’s nice and trim, he’s the worst offender when it comes to sweets. Every night at bedtime he’s scavenging for something, even if it’s just a bowl of cereal. Despite this stressful week, I was pretty good at calming my sugar cravings with yogurt and fruits. I’ve had so many peaches this week I’m surprised my hands aren’t orange.
But this morning, as I was contemplating breakfast, I succumbed to his power of suggestion. “Hmmm. Krispy Kreme” he said, and I was out the door. There’s a drive-thru about three miles up the road. I ordered a half-dozen. However, the worker convinced me to order a dozen, since it would only cost just over a dollar more. Ugh. I did.
Got home, Bobby took three doughnuts, then left for work. I took three, then headed upstairs.
That’s the last thing I remember.
If there’s a bright spot in this, it’s that I must be healthier, because I used to be able to handle that much sugar, and then some. Not anymore. My body treated it as the enemy and went to war.
So now I’m focused on literally flushing out my system all day today, including drinking up to a gallon of water. I’ve also been skipping my vitamins and minerals, and that may have been behind the sugar cravings as well.
I still have about four hours’ worth of work to do before my project is completed, but am laying off all sugar. I learned my lesson: One doughnut is bad, but three are toxic.
My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished 2 bags of M&M's and a chocolate cake. I feel better already. ~ Dave Barry
Leslie J. Ansley is an award-winning journalist and entrepreneur who blogs daily for TheRoot. She lives in Raleigh, NC.