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Healthy Living for Mom: Quitting Sugar

Every few months, I fall off the wagon. I go from being a reasonable nutritious eater, to behaving like an all-out Sugar Monster.

What comes first? The brownie or the bad mood?

Now, I’m not talking about the occasional treat. I can do a sugary goodie, once or twice a week, and my weight and mental health remain pretty much unaffected.

But every few months, I fall off the sugar wagon (like I did last week) and find myself enjoying brownies, cinnamon rolls, cake, and cookies at a break-neck pace. I go from being a reasonable nutritious eater, to behaving like an all-out Sugar Monster.

That’s two M&M cookies, with chocolate buttercream sandwiched between them.

That’s two M&M cookies, with chocolate buttercream sandwiched between them.

Bad moods. Cravings. Mindlessly wolfing down any baked good within reach.

But this time, I’ve been able to look back and realize why I let this happen. Previously I’ve just wrung my hands, felt guilty, and swore off sweets for good...which obviously works just marvelously.

I have been sick more than I have been well for the last month or so. First it was the stomach flu and then I came down with a nasty cold that morphed into an even worse sinus infection.

On day 7 of what would turn out to be a solid 14 day illness, I had enough. I’d been in bed and feeling miserable for a week. I needed a pick-me-up and lurking in my pantry was a brownie mix.

I enjoyed more than my fair share of those brownies. Too many. The delicate balance had been tipped and now I was craving more goodies. In the aftermath of my brownie festival, I discovered a local bakery that will sell you gigantic cream-cheese-covered cinnamon rolls from a drive-thru window!

A body can only take so much and I started to feel like hell.

I thought about quitting sugar. There are plenty of reasons to do it and, for me, there is an obvious correlation between consuming too much sugar and becoming a cranky, impatient, edgy mom.

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But I like sweets. That cookie in the photo above, is a rare treat that I look forward to. Those drive-thru cinnamon rolls are going to make everyone in my house very happy some random Saturday morning. Birthday cake is pretty much the best idea ever.

Cooking and sharing something delicious with people I love is important to me, but it is important that I differentiate those meals and moments from when I haphazardly eat half a cake, standing in my kitchen with a cup of coffee in my hand.

I’m not quitting sugar, but I think I’m going to stick to single-serving treats for awhile.


  • Starting Weight: 195.5 pounds
  • Week Twenty-Five Weight: 167 pounds ( -5.5 pounds in the last two weeks / -28.5 pounds total)
  • Goal Weight: 165 lbs

Where do you stand on sugar? Can you enjoy treat after treat without turning into a pile of rage? Are you like me and have to keep an eye on your treat intake? Any advice? I’m starting to see the merit in frozen yogurt....

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