What’s that stupid saying? “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”
Well, I had every intention of staying true to continuing my no sugar/no gluten diet through 2020. You know—the one I endlessly boasted about the previous year. Was I planning on being as fanatical/adherent to it? Nope, but I was going to be cautiously mindful of my sugar/starch intake—so as not to upset the balance of my yearlong dietary success(es).
And then coronavirus culture hit. And quarantine. And the fact that one of my bestie-boos got so sick with COVID-19, they were on short-term disability for 33 days. I started eating my feelings. I started eating other people’s feelings. For much of March and April, I could not stop eating junk food if I tried.
How bad was it? At one point, I was eating an entire bag of Ruffles potato chips per day. I took stress eating to a whole new level. My nutritionist/life coach was aghast. “I never thought I’d see the day when you would willingly wolf down a glazed donut like your life depended on it,” she admonished me. What she didn’t know is that I was wolfing down a dozen donuts—uh, and a couple apple fritters to boot.
Old habits die hard. Pastry engulfing habits die even harder.
I had every intention—there’s that damn word again!—of starting to show some self-restraint around Mother’s Day. Instead I ate a gargantuan charcuterie tray and an entire pecan pie. My friends would casually comment, “Oh, I see you’re off your diet” while I was eating frosting out of a can. “You deserve a medal for your perception,” I’d retort.
In the middle of all this indulging, a well-known national magazine asked me to write an upcoming column about my experience of eschewing sugar and gluten. I gleefully accepted whilst facedown in a coconut creme pie. I decided to include my three month dalliance with desserts, because—why not? I’m human. Sh*t happens—as does pandemic eating.
Why am I divulging all this? Because tomorrow I’m back on the wagon. It’s been three months —almost to the day—since I started relentlessly overeating. Today, I took the last train to Starchville—and went out with a bang. I chowed down on pasta, meatloaf, a bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, a copious amount of trail mix and something my friends whipped up called Miracle Mashed Potatoes. (It’s apparently made with a vat of cream cheese, an entire stick of butter and some bear lard.)
You’ll be happy to know I dutifully tossed seven half-eaten pints of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream from my freezer today. And I made sure my grocery run did not contain so much as one ounce of added sugar. Despite putting back on some weight, I have zero regrets about the last 90 days. When global pandemics occur, we all react to it differently. My coping mechanism just happened to be sourdough bread. I mean …
Remember how crabby I was for the first four months of 2019 as I was going through wicked bouts of sugar withdrawal? Well, I would approach yours truly with an abundance of caution until, say, Halloween. Safety first, people. And—be advised—if you come within a 500-foot radius of me with a fried cheese curd or peanut butter cookie in the near future, I will hire a mafia hit out on you. You’ve been warned.