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I Am So Over You

March 23, 2016 • Laurie Newbound

white sugar in a blue bowl

SUGAR: You’ve been ignoring me.

ME: I told you, I am done with you.

SUGAR: But you’ve said that SO many times before and you always come back.

ME: Not this time.

SUGAR: You sound so sure, but it’s only been three weeks, you’re going to break down and come running back.

ME: Not even, and I was still seeing you a bit the first two.  But, in any case, this time is different.

SUGAR: You always say that.

ME:   No, I don’t. I have never said good-bye, publicly, forever. And this time I’m telling my all my friends.

SUGAR:   Do I look worried? We’re just on a break, we’ve been through this, what, hundreds of times.  And every time you have come back wanting more of me and more often than before. It’s going to happen again.

iStock_000015185024_MediumME: No, it won’t.

SUGAR: Getting off me is as hard as getting off my buddy COCAINE.   There was a study where rats chose sugar water over COCAINE eight times to one.  Particularly proud of that one….The way your brain reacts to us is so similar, we’re like twins, we even look alike!  So,please tell me, how is this time different?

ME: This time I have been seeing someone else who has been helping me, someone I have never let myself see before in this way.

SUGAR: Who?

ME: (sigh) His name is FAT.

SUGAR: Oh, I love FAT!  He has been such a good friend for me over the years!   We’ve done so many genius collaborations!   Cake, french fries, pankcakes with syrup…Remember the big bag of oversized Mrs. Fields cookies (back when they were good) you would eat for dinner every month before your period when you were in your twenties? That was awesome. Oversize was one of our best ideas.

FullSizeRenderME: That was a long time ago.

SUGAR: Ok, how about the pasta with pesto you gave your kids all through the nineties?

ME: I regret that now. I didn’t know better.

SUGAR? Ok, excuse me, but what about that recent run to Stan’s Donuts in Westwood? That wasn’t that long ago, it was just—

ME: This is different, FAT is totally different when you aren’t around. He behaves differently,  I behave differently.  He’s actually good for me.

SUGAR: (laughing) What? You’re going to tell me that you don’t put on weight?

ME: That is exactly what I am telling you. I am actually losing weight. And I don’t crave, well, I don’t crave….you. And I am in control of my feelings. And I’m not hungry!  And my energy is steadier all day.

SUGAR: But you need me! You can’t have butter without bread.

ME: I put grass fed butter in my morning coffee, actually.

SUGAR: Ok, now you’re really worrying me.

FullSizeRenderME: Oh, and coconut oil. Skin already feels softer.

SUGAR: That is the fattiest, most caloric thing on the planet. You have clearly lost your mind. You will have heart disease in five minutes.

ME: Gee, Sugar, are you threatening me? You are starting to sound nervous.

SUGAR: Where did you get these crazy ideas? They fly in the face of everything not only I, but the US Government, has been telling everyone for decades.

FullSizeRenderME: Um, have you read the new science? They actually flipped the food pyramid. You gotta stay current, SUGAR.   And at the end of 2015 the USDA changed all their guidelines about fat, of course, quietly.  And to answer your questions, I have been taking in  a lot of information, partly the documentary “Fed Up” where you are accused of, um, ruining our lives and, more heart breakingly, the lives of our children. Also, Dave Asprey, the guy who showed me how to whip butter into my coffee, and especially Dr. Mark Hyman who has a new book out called “Eat Fat, Get Thin.”

SUGAR: Arghhh!!!!!  Eat Fat, Get Thin???? C’mon, you gotta know this is crazy talk.

ME: Quite the contrary.  And guess what I am eating all this fat with?  Vegetables.

SUGAR:  My mortal enemy!

ME: Every meal, piling them on my plate.  Arugula tossed in walnut oil, brussel sprouts, asparagus—

SUGAR: Fine. You are feeling strong today but you will come crawling back. You always have.

ME: Yes, you’re right, for over forty years. A long time to be in a literally toxic relationship.

SUGAR: Cinnabon, God, remember the Cinnabon stand at the Trumbull Mall in Connecticut? Good times.

ME: It’s not going to work. I just don’t want you anymore. FAT understands me, he takes care of me.

SUGAR: It’s not all good with fat, you know.

ME: True, there is some nasty fat out there.   But even saturated fat is—

SUGAR: Terrible for you!

ME: I was going to say complex.  See, the story with FAT is, well (sigh) he’s complex.  But you?  You are simple.

SUGAR:  I’m not simple, I’m Refined.

ME: Ha!  Ok, that’s another word for it.  Some saturated fat is good for you depending on many factors.  But walnut, avocado, olive, they do nothing but bring joy to the world. And, by the way, a lot of the really bad effects of FAT gets way worse when he hangs out with you,  like with cookies and donuts.  And we won’t get into all the added sugar they put in to pretty innocent packaged food like marinara sauce and even the non sugary cereals.  But, yeah, sure, I’ll keep an eye out.  Trans fat is still really bad news, I admit it, and will continue to stay out of his neighborhood.  But, the others…um….

SUGAR:  Are you swooning?  Yuck.  So….what?  You’re going to live a life without bread, without deserts, without fruit, without chocolate, without wine?

ME:  Pretty much.  Since you asked, I can have low glycemic berries,  sweet potatoes and low sugar red wine like Bordeaux,  or some distilled spirits, depending on who you ask.  Everybody is different and I am still trying to figure this out.  But definitely occasional very dark chocolate,….and eventually maybe some unprocessed sugar, like raw honey and maybe some maple syrup, as a special treat, but not for a while.  Probably a long while for me.  I am so sensitive to your, let’s face it,  appeal,  I am going to have to be careful.

SUGAR: See, I’ll get you back, you’ll come around little by little. Just when you think you’ve escaped, something will drag you back in. Something like cupcakes at a party, or crackers or candy at the movies. You know it will happen.  Ooh, and pie!  You love pie.  Pecan pie at Thanksgiving? Come on, you’ll cave.

ME: Not if I keep hanging out with my secret weapon,  FAT. He satisfies me in a way I have never been satisfied. When I get enough of him, I don’t even think about you.

SUGAR: Wow, that’s harsh.

ME: Sorry if the truth hurts.

SUGAR: You know, there are plenty of others who will still want me.

ME: Maybe. Not everyone is carbohydrate intolerant,  not everyone is as susceptible to your addictive properties, but they estimate it may be as much of 75% of us, so it’s not always going to be so easy—we are catching on to you.  And frankly you at your worst—processed, refined– state is terrible for all of us, even if we’re thin.  Because that’s of course when you are your most addictive.  People don’t usually binge on apples.

SUGAR: Oh, but when you spread hot caramel on them….

What-Foods-Mediterranean-DietME:  Stop it!  All these years we have been blaming poor FAT for obesity and heart disease and bad moods and many cancers but it was YOU all along. And you very likely have something to do with Alzheimer’s and ADD and many auto-immune diseases. Don’t look away.  Poor FAT isn’t bad, he’s just been misunderstood, in fact doctors are starting to prescribe him to treat or prevent some of these conditions!  I am telling my friends with parents with early stage dementia to talk with their doctors and look into this as a treatment.  This isn’t quackery.  And of course you already know about Diabetes and what Dr. Hyman calls Diabesity and says that way more of us have it than we know.

SUGAR:   Are you done?  You are getting to be a real buzz kill.

ME:  Oh, cheer up, you are probably right, you can and certainly will move on to others, but, just so you know, I am deleting you from my contacts, and by stating this here I am making myself accountable. I am no longer your bitch, and guess what? I am telling everyone, I am spreading the word, starting right now.  And if I have a slip, I have a slip, but as long as I get some good fat to satisfy me before it turns into a binge I will—

SUGAR: Fine, when you come back it will just be as it always was, you’ll need more and more of me. Over and over you have said “I can’t quit you, sugar.” This time won’t be any different.

ME: Then why do you sound so terrified?

SUGAR: I don’t.

ME:  Whatever. Good-bye, SUGAR.  You are dead to me.

SUGAR: Hello? Hello? Hello???!!!!!!!

15 thoughts on “I Am So Over You

  1. Chris Newbound says:

    Very fun, clever way of giving such important information. Well done! And personally, I’m very happy to be preaching to the choir now. Welcome aboard! Fed Up is fantastic. The other important books for me were Gary Taubes fantastic, and at the time very controversial, Good Calories, Bad Calories and later his more “digest-able” Why We Get Fat? Great reads.

  2. Laurie Newbound says:

    As you know, you were an important part of my “aha!” moment, so thank you for that. And I appreciate your comment, I really enjoyed writing this one, I think it’s so important with this kind of stuff to not get preachy, and I was hopeful that adding humor might help. I am not trying to tell people what to do, but just want to share what I am learning in the hopes that others can benefit if they are interested. It’s so beyond just weight loss, although that never hurts as motivation….Thanks again, Chris!

  3. Donna Mills says:

    Love it!! And so true. There was a book called Sugar Blues that gave the history of sugar.
    Ought to try to bring that book back.
    Thanks Laurie for a very amusing look at a big problem in our society.

  4. This was a very funny but important information about sugar habits – loved it!
    It would probably make a great One Act play that could be performed in public in order to get to help reinforce the info about sugar and carbs.I have to admit it’s a little like the movie Sleeper where Woody wakes up in the future and finds that steak and chocolate are really health foods. I know sugar, she’s a good friend of mine, but it is a relationship that has lasted too long.Reducing sugar is the best thing I have done, and now will go all the way to end it. Except for my occasional bite of dark CHOCOLATE of course. – M

  5. Love this! brilliant and accurate.

  6. Mark Wexler says:

    Love it!
    Saw Mark Hyman here in LA the other day at the opening party for his new book. Both of you are incorporating many important ideas that need to spread wide!

  7. Debbie Alpert says:

    You go girl! I’m having some success in that direction too! Blood sugar down by 20%. And I’ve only done it in a moderate way for a few months. You’ve inspired me to kick it up a couple more notches. 👍

  8. Gail says:

    Exceptional, as always Laurie.

    I love reading what you write. What a reinforcing message to ‘move on’.

    Next one I hope you write is ‘Been there, done that….next”, to get over too much dairy and cheese. I don’t think you need help with any lines, but I do have some zingers for you.

    And your star performer Emma can bring it to the screen.

    Thank you for the chuckles and inspiration.
    Gail Lilley Zawacki

    1. Laurie Newbound says:

      Thanks so much Gail! And, yes, definitely about the dairy, but for me sugar was the key to the whole thing. Dr. Mark Hyman’s book’s program (not DIET) has no cheese or dairy except grass-fed butter and eggs. I have found it easy to give up on all of that, until the next time I am in a situation where someone puts a cheese platter in front of me, but fortunately that doesn’t happen too much these days. And I didn’t want to overwhelm people. I know cheese can be very addictive for some people, and I know once I start eating it regularly it’s easy to slip into the habit, but it has never had the same hold over me that sugar does, probably partly because cheese isn’t added invisibly to so many foods. But I was years overdue in giving sugar the cold shoulder and it feels liberating to do it this way, because he is/was the ex-boyfriend I could never quite close the door on!

  9. Roni Cohen-Sandler says:

    Very clever and powerful way to integrate and present the facts that many of us have needed to face for a long time. As others have said, although I’ve been conscious of cutting down sugar for awhile, your piece inspires me to be even more rigorous about it and also to educate myself about the other important part–how eating healthy fats can help us maintain a healthier diet. Thank you!!

  10. Malcolm says:

    Wow!…nicely done! Informative and funny and encouraging and empathetic all at the same time…it almost helps the “medicine” go down…your humor and info make it a little easier to “stick” to it…NOT sugar I mean…Thanks Laurie!…a really fun ride!…:)

  11. Carol says:

    So true and beautifully done, Laurie!

  12. Jolie says:

    Love this!!! I was actually laughing out loud!!!

  13. Jason Linville says:

    Great post!

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