The (Former) Sugarless Life: Attack of the Christmas Chocolate!

Oh, Christmas tree, oh, Christmas tree! How lovely are thy contents…

I did well until Thanksgiving, people. I really did. Sure, I had a few stumbles this fall – a sugar cookie here, a couple of Halloween candies there. But in general, I was sugar-free. Until after Thanksgiving. Until the holiday decorations came out, and the Advent calendar chocolate went up.

See, a few years ago I bought the kids a beautiful wooden Advent calendar in the shape of a house. I love it. They love it. They love it mostly because it means they get a piece of chocolate every day in December. I love it because it’s cute, and a German tradition, and a reason to buy chocolate for every day in December.

Around the same time, I bought a Christmas tree-shaped cookie jar. It sits on the dining room table, and it’s become our “tradition” to fill the thing with holiday chocolates. It’s been my “tradition” to inhale said holiday chocolates day after day, occasionally filling up the tree again and hoping nobody notices.

It’s a stinkin’ adorable house of sin.

Holiday traditions die hard, folks. I fell into the chocolate. “It’s Christmas!” the sugar-addicted devil in me kept whispering in my ear. “It’s only a month!” the sugar-addicted angel in me kept reassuring myself.

Gah. It’s been fun. In a way. And I’m not kidding myself that I’m giving it up before January. But it’s also been an eye-opening experience, to see how quickly I can fall back into this sugar trap, and to see just how much it affects me.

I’m fun when I’m on chocolate. I’m vivacious, chatty, happy, giddy. (Sometimes I’m those things without chocolate, but definitely more so with it.) My confidence level goes up. I have energy.

For a bit.

I’m also a witch when I’m on chocolate. Well, not when I’m ON; when I’m withdrawing. And if there’s one thing I’ve noticed this month, it’s how awful I feel when the rush is going away. I’m not sleeping well. I can’t concentrate – I seriously flit from thing to thing and haven’t sat down to work on writing or editing or anything requiring more than about twenty minutes of focus, because I just don’t have it. Part of that, no doubt, stems from all the demands December brings: gift buying and present wrapping and holiday baking and holiday recitals and holiday school programs and did I remember something for this person or that person? But part of it does not; part of it stems from the sugar highs and the sugar lows.

It’s depressing, this sugar addiction. When it’s not making me manic. I truly feel better without sugar. I’m more level-headed, more even-keeled. I actually want to work on stuff. My body feels better, and it was getting smaller. I can list many pros and many cons; the addiction discards them all in favor of itself.

So come January, I’m back on the bandwagon. I like resolutions. Starting over. New beginnings. I can’t say it hasn’t been fun, this bingeing. Sometimes. I can’t say I’m going to enjoy the withdrawal that’s coming. But I can say it will be better when I’m back to the sugarless life.