Well, that was horrific.
I just ate whatever I wanted for two solid weeks. It was awesomely awful. 14 days of gluten gluttony. 14 days of sugar serendipity. 14 days of wolfing down all the things I missed eating in 2019 because I dutifully gave up all sugar and starches.
Two weeks later, I feel like shit. Looking back, I probably shouldn’t have drank that last gallon of caramel macchiato.
As most of you know, I have a love/hate addiction to sugar and carbs. So I went cold turkey last year to see what would happen when I completely stopped indulging. (Cold turkey, by the way, is one of approximately nine things I actually could eat on this diet.) Because all good things come to an end, at approximately 12:00:01 a.m. on January 1st, I face planted into a pecan pie. It was glorious. At approximately 12:05:01 a.m., I started suffering from a dull headache that hasn’t gone away in two solid weeks. Tylenol won’t touch it. Sleep doesn’t help. It’s been nagging me non-stop since I ingested that piece of pie (and a litany of other desserts.) Think migraine-lite.
Oh, sure people warned me not to dive headfirst into Sugar Lake, but did I listen? Nope. I went on a cruise for New Year’s—and, lemme tell you, I drowned myself in cookies and cakes and flan, oh, my! Did you know most cruise ships offer a 24-hour gourmet pizza bar? When you haven’t inhaled pizza for 365 days, it does have a certain allure to it.
The first port we landed in was Ensenada, Mexico. I ate my weight in churros. Other than cyanide or anything from Taco Bell, it’s literally the worst possible thing you could put in your body—a deep-fried, rolled pastry, slathered in a combination of cinnamon-sugar and filled with frosting or melted chocolate. God, it was delicious.
In case you must know, I’ve kept a running tally of all the things I’ve eaten these last two weeks. (Rigatoni! Bread pudding! Pecan sticky buns!) How bad was it? I bought a box of Pop-Tarts and ate them simply because I could. Once people realized I was back on the candy bandwagon, they wanted to help me celebrate. A local confectioner swung by my office with her gourmet, homemade toffee. A baker showed up to my house with a gigantic, three-layer peanut butter/chocolate cake for me to enjoy. I nearly died at how accommodating everyone has been—well, that and diabetic shock has been imminent.
Besides my pulsating headache, my body appears to be in complete revolt. For one, I’m thirsty all the time. I’m guzzling water and it’s not helping—at all. My joints ache. And despite near OCD-hygiene, a weird, sickly sweet, metallic scent is starting to exude from my pores. And because sharing is caring, let’s talk about my ever-present, urgent need to defecate. I get it—and it makes sense. I’m putting crap back into my body and my body constantly needs to, uh, crap.
Don’t get me wrong—that large meatball and garlic pizza from D’Bronx I ate on Friday tasted great going down. But by Saturday I was too lethargic to move. When I tell you I napped all day, I’m being 100% truthful. I barely had enough energy to get off the couch and warm up the rest of the leftover pizza in the microwave.
The one thing I coveted most of all? It was a giant hunk of Jasper Mirabile’s famous coconut cake. I’m not sure why that set the barometer for my cravings, but I would fantasize about that particular dessert nearly every day of 2019. Jasper graciously cut off a slab for me to enjoy. I licked the plate clean. Twice. Like a crazy person. (Don’t judge.) Jasper then sent me home with another piece on my way out the door. A parting gift, if you will. I gobbled that up before I got home. (Again, we’re in a judge-free zone here.)
My dietician said it best when she chided me, “You don’t need sugar to survive. No one does.” She’s absolutely right. And the same goes for flour. This two week experiment has been an exercise in excess. Now it’s back to eating clean for 2020. No sugar, no sweeteners, no starches, no gluten—no kidding. Will I miss it? That’s an unequivocal, big, fat no—emphasis on fat. I put back on eleven pounds in 14 days. That’s impressive. And by impressive, I mean appalling.