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Not So Sweet

A hundred pounds ago, my house morphed Willy Wonka’s Candy Factory during this time of year. I made pounds of chocolate and peanut butter buckeyes, fudge, caramels, turtles, pecan balls, magic chocolate bars – you name it, I made it. My family requested and eagerly awaited their favorite confections.

I don’t do it anymore. I admit I experienced a brief moment when I thought about making buckeyes. I planned to pack a tin of them up and ship them to my stepdad. Those are his favorite, but he had a heart attack this fall, and I figured that would not be the best gift given the circumstances.

People think I’m strong or maybe even a little obsessed about food. But the truth of the matter is if the sweet crap is in my presence for more than about five minutes, I’m slurpin’ it down. My willpower only goes so far.

Instead, I choose to manage my environment. Enticements surround me on a day-to-day basis everywhere I go so I cannot afford to allow it in my cupboards. I say that I don’t have any willpower, but maybe I do. I turn down a barrage of temptation throughout the day – bagels at breakfast; creamy soups, fried food and dessert at lunch; fast food on the way home from work.

By the time I step through my front door, I feel like I need a place to recharge before it begins again the next day. If my cabinets stretch open to comfort me with cookies and chips, it won’t take long for trouble to find me.

Instead of thinking that I “can’t” have the crap in the house, what if I shift my perspective to accommodate the fact that I need a place of respite to re-energize. It can be about what I need to maintain success and health, instead of a place of dark deprivation.

I wonder why cookies called me the last few days, but could it be because they took residence right behind the whole grain, high fiber crackers?

I wouldn’t hang strobe lights and a disco ball in my bedroom as I blared the Bee Gees “Staying Alive” if I expected to get a good night’s rest. Before you worry, I wouldn’t blast that music for a host of other reasons, and just to set the record straight, I departed with my Bee Gees collection when I turned 15, or close to it. My point is that I create a place that is conducive to rest. Shouldn’t I do the same in my kitchen?

The cookies are gone, and I’m not getting any more. I refuse to feel guilty that my family doesn’t get to indulge in that holiday tradition. Lyle is trying to slim down a bit so he doesn’t need them, and I’m sure that Russell will still manage to become a functioning member of society without the help of homemade fudge. Problem solved.

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