Paying the Piper

Yesterday morning I had the great misfortune of looking at myself naked in front of a full-length mirror in a well-lit room. It’s not something I recommend doing after consuming pounds of sugar and excess food the entire month of December.

sugar sringe

First off, I must say shame on me. I know better. Or at least I pretend to. Now don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I’m regretting my over-indulgences. I must say I enjoyed every decadent bite. But now I must

pay the piper

Damn that piper.

The thing is, I love to bake more than cook. Probably stems from having an unquenchable sweet tooth. So my excuse for making plates of delectable goodies is that I must thank the vets and staff at the Marin Humane Society for their help with our feral cats. Yeah, let’s go with that.


Some of my 40 Christmas platters

The scenario: I find an irresistible dessert that leaves a day-long sugar high. I bake and I taste. Sugar is my chosen addiction. I’ve never tried pot or drugs other than alcohol. Hard to believe, right?

I can’t imagine inhaling smoke on purpose, even if the high is awesome. I’d have to force myself, which for me is a deal-breaker. So with my aversion to inhaling (sorta like Clinton), smoking pot has never been on my to-do list.


All this to say each of us has addictions — food, sex, alcohol, drugs, exercise, whatever. Mine happens to be sugar, which isn’t great for the body. I guess at age 60 I shouldn’t expect much from my appearance, but I sorta do. My friend Pam, at age 59, is in the best shape of her life. Not a cellulite cell in sight. (Try saying that fast 3 times.) Her addiction, as you may have guessed, is exercise.

My tennis friend Kathy has the body of a 25-year-old yet she’s older than me. Just the other day she said she’s been trying to gain weight since 7th grade. She’s also an exercise junkie. When I’m not hating her I’m envying her dedication to fitness and ability to shun a plate of cookies.

Hate her

I blame sugar for my 60-year-old body looking 60-years-old. When I shun sugar, I feel better and look better. But let me tell you, giving it up is hard. Headaches and crankiness accompany sugar withdrawal so if I want to keep my friends, I need to go into hiding for a couple weeks so they don’t see my Dr. Jekyll side. Or is it Mr. Hyde?


A pleasant side effect of limiting sugar is weight loss. I lost 19 pounds when my husband and I divorced. Of course, hardly being able to eat will do that. But I also know reducing my sugar intake contributed to the weight loss and subsequent cleansing of its toxic, addictive effects.

I don’t, however, recommend going that route for beating an addiction. Besides, once emotional healing begins, sugar starts looking pretty damn good again and there ya go. Pass the cake please.

chocolate cake

Come to Mama

So here’s my plan: I will rid my kitchen of any left over goodies from the holidays. Going forward, I will only make treats I personally hate. I’ll get back into my morning excise DVDs I shunned during December and I’ll increase my time on the tennis court. All those sound doable, right?

Here’s the reality: I won’t completely give up treats and will only sporadically increase my exercise other than tennis, which is another addiction of mine. The one thing I can unequivocally guarantee, however, is the unlikelihood I will ever again stand naked in front of a full-length mirror in a well-lit room.

sugar cartoon2


2 thoughts on “Paying the Piper

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