Sugar Addiction On The Rise

Diary of a Fat Girl – Day 37

Weight: 234 lbs.

 I just read an article on healthy beverages that are not water.  To my surprise, it stated that one should be drinking chocolate milk after exercising.  It said something about carbs and protein helping an individual to recover from the workout.  That doesn’t seem doable for me.

 I’m afraid that I may have gained weight this week.  Nutrition wise, I have slipped off of the band wagon, plunged into the gravy train, and devoured an entire car of sugary sweets.  Last Friday, I felt that I was doing such a good job in keeping in sync with my little goals, eating healthier and exercising consistently that I rewarded myself with an ice cream cone to help me cool off from the scorching heat.

 I walked into the little country store with my head held high and ordered a single scoop raspberry cheesecake waffle cone.  As I watched the clerk fill my order, I counted three scoops piled high atop this large cone.  My eyes grew wide and I was stunned that I was actually going to eat this.  I thought to myself that it was okay.  It was my treat for all of the hard work that I had done and as long as this was the only slip, I should be fine.

 I had no idea what doors that one ice cream cone would have opened.

 The next day, my husband took me out for dinner at Red Lobster.  As a vegetarian, I’m allowed to eat fish.  I hate fish. 

 My grandfather had purchased lake front property the year I was born, and he opened the very first bait and tackle shop in the northern thumb area of Michigan.  He was quite proud of his shop.  He made his own lures and captured minnows that he would place in large tanks in the back of the shop.  He would run the sprinklers all day long and went night-crawler hunting after dark.  Then he would store the wiggly little worms in styrofoam cups and place them in the refrigerator by the minnow tanks.  He would, also, register hunting licenses for hunters of many different wild games.

 His shop grew so popular that he was able to create an addition to the building, rent boats, fix engines, sell guns, and maintain a dock at the beach for fishermen alike to ship out and cast their lines.

 As a child, my parents would make multiple trips “up North” for a day of fishing.  Dad would wake up all three of us kids at 4:00 am, and Mom helped the sleepy eyed children into their day clothes.  Dad would say that we had to get there early because that was when the fish would bite. 

 Once in the car, each of us kids would close our eyes and lean on the other into an oblivious sleep.  After an hour into our ride, mom would wake us indicating that we were getting closer to our summer destination.  I would gather together every ounce of energy to wake myself up so that I could get a glimpse of Lake Huron in between the houses that would rush by my window, and I would eagerly search for the sign that encouraged a stop at Frank’s Place.

 The name of the shop felt more like a welcome home than a retail business.  Frank’s Place, tucked in a tiny little village south of Harbor Beach, was anticipated refreshment to the road weary.   Signs indicating Live Bait would encourage visiting fishermen to stop for a chat on the weather and the fish reports as they purchased supplies on the way to their cabins.

 Screams of excitement would reverberate off of the back seat as we saw our grandparents stepping out of the shop to give us hugs and kisses.  Then my brother would run to grab the aluminum handle of a large green fishing net and chase my sister and me around young pine tree that separated the house from the shop.  My uncle and other fishermen would arrive for the outing.  They would grab their supplies and truck down the steep hill towards the beach.  My siblings and I would run down after them and play in the sand as they prepared for their departure.

 While the men were out fishing the ladies managed the shop or prepared the meals, and the children would continue to play in the sand, dive off the docks for a refreshing swim in the crystal clear water or hike along the shoreline finding gullies with rustling leaves, streams with crooking frogs and ponds with regal swans floating in the early morning sunlight.  Once hunger struck, we would run up the hill and back to the house for sandwiches and chips.  Then, Grandma would dig out the chocolate ice cream from the freezer while my mom would protested; stating that we were too young for chocolate.

 Afterwards, the men would arrive home with their triumphant catches.  Pictures would be taken of the largest catch, and my brother would once again trap me in the net just as the camera clicked.  We would follow my father and my uncle as they took the fish out back, chop the heads off, and cut a line down the belly of the fish so that they could stick their hands inside to clean the guts out.  My brother would grab the garden hose and he would wash the blood off of each fish and place them in a large white bucket.  Once finished, my sister and I would take the buckets inside to the women who would descale and prepare the fish for that night’s dinner.  The rest of the fish would be wrapped in newspaper and plastic bags for the deep freezer for future meals.

 Fish was a prominent meal for our family.  There was trout, catfish, and smelt.  As a child, I preferred the smelt.  My mom put a lock on the refrigerator once because I would sneak into it in the middle of the night and practically devour a whole plate of fried smelt; tails and all.  We had so much fish that I began to develop an aversion towards fish.

 Today, the smell repulses me and the taste doesn’t settle well.  I will have a bite or two, but cannot seem to manage to make myself eat anymore.  My childhood memories of my grandparents were fond memories, but I can no longer seem to bring myself to take another bite of fish.

 So, why did I go to Red Lobster?

 Cajun Chicken Linguine and garlic rolls.

 The meal is tantalizing to my tastes buds.  Since becoming a vegetarian, this was the one meal that I wanted.  I was going to order it without the chicken, but I thought that maybe just this once would be okay.  When the dish arrived, the odor was intoxicating.  I spun noodles onto my fork and dived in.  Delicious!  Then, I did it.  I added a chunk of chicken to the noodles and shoveled it into my mouth.  At first, the taste was exquisite, until I began to chew the chicken.  I discovered that the chicken was bland and chewy.  Even with the spices, I could not enjoy the flavor of the chicken.  I took another bite, and I could barely chew the chicken.

 What was wrong with me?  Why can I no longer eat the chicken?  Was it because of my newfound vegetarianism that my body refuses to enjoy it anymore?

 I was repulsed.  I began to push the chicken aside and just ate the savory noodles.  The plate looked so bad that the waiter asked if there was anything wrong with my meal.  I attempted to explain my new aversion to chicken but he just gave me a look of confusion.

 To make up for my slightly disturbed meal, my husband took me out for ice cream.  It wasn’t until I was my fifth bite into the chocolate-nut-caramel concoction that I remembered my ice cream treat the day before; and now I was in trouble.

 Two days of large amounts of sugar was all I needed to send me into a downward spiral of sugar addiction.  The next day, I purchased a chocolate bar, and then two bags of chocolate were given to my department at work.   Orange candy slices, chocolate caramels, and sugared drinks followed and it all ended last night as I gorged myself at a local buffet style restaurant that hordes you in like cattle to graze at the enormous trough.

 Here I am.  So determined to lose this weight and so humiliated by my downfall. 

 I expect that come Monday when I hit the scale, I should see at least a two pound gain.  All of that hard work and torturous exercise flushed down the drain.  I realized that it would take nearly two weeks for me to clean my system out of all this sugar. 

 It’s back to drinking unsweetened ice tea and water.  No more sugar, except as a reward and in small amounts.  If I want to reward myself, it will only be one scoop of ice cream and no longer that single scoop waffle cone offered at every ice cream parlor available.

 My grandfather still has his bait and tackle shop open.  He is no longer able to manage it since he has been on a ventilator, but Grandma keeps the shop running for him as he refuses to let it go.  The customers have been reduced to the locals and some seasonal residents.  They no longer rent boats.  The shoreline is now a mile out, and the dock has been overgrown with reeds. 

 We are celebrating Grandpa’s return home from his two year stay at the rehabilitation center on Labor Day, and Grandma would no doubt serve up chocolate ice cream for dessert.  I will hug my grandmother, and gladly accept her generous offer as I recall the many memories of my stay in White Rock.  I will relax and enjoy myself while consciously making smart decisions about the kinds of food and the serving amounts that I will dish up onto my plate.  I will no longer deny myself the pleasure of my family’s company for the sake of losing weight.  I will find the happy balance to enjoy my family and still manage to eat healthy.  In the meantime, I must be good and eat my spinach salad for dinner.

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