It’s Day 214 Of No Sugar — But Who’s Counting?

It’s been a min since I blogged about my god-awful, kill-me-now diet plan lifestyle change. In January, I decided to detail the good, bad and ugly of going sans sugar/sans sweeteners/sans gluten/sans starches for the entire year.

Um, sans kidding.

Up until several weeks ago, I felt like I had finally, FINALLY conquered the sugar beast. Lord knows he was a perpetual monkey on my back for the first several months of this journey. Life without sugar gave me an obscene amount of homicidal rage.

Then everything went to hell in a sugar-free handbasket when my dad unexpectedly passed away in late May. Friends who knew I was going through every stage of grief possible desperately wanted to show up with casseroles, sweet treats and other sundry carb-tastic items. Instead, they showed up with weed. So. Much. Weed.

I’m not a pot smoker. I think I’ve inhaled exactly three times in my life. To quote Judy Bernly’s character in “Nine to Five”: “I could never figure out what the big deal was.” But because my friends wanted to be a supportive lot, they figured marijuana might be helpful. Well, that and charcuterie trays. Take my galpal Cindy, for instance. She magically arrived at Dad’s hospice before I even got there with all the meats and all the cheeses. It wasn’t until I got Dad settled that I realized I hadn’t eaten all day. I unhinged my jaw and ate the whole thing—platter and all—in one fell swoop.

Trying to stay true to my hellish nutrition agenda lifestyle change was nearly impossible, but somehow, I did it. And that’s despite every temptation imaginable. Did you know that local bakeries in Des Moines often donate their leftover goodies to hospices for people to nosh on throughout the day? Yeah, neither did I. I remember one particular instance when a bakery worker traipsed in with two giant sheets of brownies on her way home from work. Nice gesture, eh? Loved ones who were going through some of the worst days of their lives would get together and break bread together in the hospice’s common areas. Misery loves company—and apparently anything with chocolate frosting.

I, however, silently grieved the loss of my friend sugar right along with my dad. For a fat kid who always ate his feelings, this was like the Olympics of Willpower. I was determined not to waver. At Dad’s visitation, I finally broke down and wolfed down a piece of pineapple upside down cake—which was his all-time fave dessert. Looking back, it wasn’t my smartest move. An hour later, I became violently ill and threw up. My body full-on rejected the re-introduction of sugar and flour. Yes, technically, I cheated on my diet, but I’m not counting it. It’s like the five second rule, I guess.


Waves of grief hit at the weirdest times—as do my cravings to eat a dozen (okay, two dozen) oatmeal raisin cookies. But I’m steadfast in my resolve to keep my sugar-free dream alive. If I can do this, I can do anything. As my friend K.D. said, “You deserve a f*cking medal.” She’s right, you know. She then handed me a sugar-free, Gummi edible and all was right with the world.

2 thoughts on “It’s Day 214 Of No Sugar — But Who’s Counting?

  1. I admire your tenacity and resolve Michael. Sugar is as addictive as cocaine and probably just as bad for you…if not worse. Weed gives most people the infamous “munchies” so it’s probably a good thing that you don’t understand the appeal. It would probably weaken your resolve if it did. Though if I remember correctly, the light did finally go on in Judy’s head.
    Though your Dad and I were 20 years apart in age we shared a lot of common history. I miss talking to him a lot!

  2. Reid Cooper is right: Your tenacity and resolve is admirable, and it’s amazing. You’re an awesome bro. Your personality, your character, all of it… hits me daily as a reminder to be my best self. Cheers M2.

Comments are closed.