Sunday, July 26, 2015

A birthday miracle: the tyranny of sugar is over

49 candles ablaze

Now I know I've truly turned a corner on my sugar addiction. On the morning after my birthday party, with a quarter of my birthday cake sitting in my refrigerator, I wasn't even tempted to have cake for breakfast. It was my favorite cake (yellow cake with lemon filling and white buttercream) from my favorite bakery (Central Continental Bakery in Mt. Prospect, Illinois) and I didn't want to dig right into it the morning after my party!

Since grade school, one of my favorite traditions has been enjoying my leftover birthday cake in the days following my party. As a child and teenager, it would be the first thing I'd think of after I woke up: there's birthday cake in the house! As an adult, I decided that cake was best at breakfast time because that's when I was hungriest and could enjoy it the most. Living alone, I've cherished the days following my birthday parties because life is so much better with leftover birthday cake to relish, all by myself.

[Bizarrely, I'm taking a break from writing to tap away some nausea that suddenly came up.  ???]

But my most recent attempt to change how I feel about sweets has been the most successful yet. Eating birthday cake was a different experience this year. It tasted good, but not as good. Or maybe the change was that that I didn't feel the bliss I usually get from buttercream frosting. The chain reaction didn't happen that usually has me going back for seconds and thirds and later dragging my finger around the cake platter for extra frosting. The cake didn't "call my name," as people describe food they can't resist. It was just a very good cake that I was able to eat one piece of, and then stop.

The next day, after lunch, I had one more piece of cake and put the rest in the freezer, where it sits silently. I might or might not ever get to it. I believe I could get physically hooked on sugar again if I started eating it regularly, but I don't believe I'll be emotionally hooked on it anymore. That link has been broken.

My next decades are going to be so much better than the ones I've already lived.

Blew them all out in one breath because I still have the lungs of a singer!

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