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A Sweet, Sweet Battle: Versus the Vending Machine

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I have a terrible relationship with sugar, mostly in that I crave it with the fire of a thousand suns. I’m normally happy to bemoan my dependence on the holidays, and then carry on with blase resignation the rest of the year. After all, this isn’t just a bad habit. It’s a TASTY bad habit. Not only that, but it usually comes packaged in bright, happy-colored exteriors! How can you dislike something so pleasant?

Smarties: Inverted Double Spiral
It’s like a vortex of joy, pulling me in…(gadi of Flickr)

Well, it turns out that sugar, particularly the kind that I prefer, isn’t so great for you. And not only am I terrified of diabetes, I would also like to live a healthier life, and after I found myself eating brown sugar out of the bag we keep for cooking. Well, it was kind of like hitting rock bottom. I knew I couldn’t keep doing this.

There is no way I will cut such a delicious treat out of my life. However, I WILL minimize my intake. My roommate gave me some great advice a couple days ago, which I am putting into action. I like to grab a handful of M&Ms when I get up–kind of like an incentive to face the day (I have depression, so sometimes this is difficult)–but Allyson suggested that I keep my sugar consumption low during the morning. That way, I set my system to expect a high level of sugar all day long, meaning any sugar crash in the afternoon will be easier to handle. I’m excited about this, because I think it makes sense and it’s a great and easy way to start out: I’m not completely cutting out sugar, but I am controlling it.

Today, I forgot to bring a snack to class. Usually I take a Nutrigrain bar, but those are surprisingly high in sugar, so I bought some apples from the grocery store to replace them. But today, I had nothing. So around comes 1 o’clock and my tumbly is rumbly. I’ve got a fast metabolism and naturally low blood sugar (possible source for some of my natural cravings), so when I’m hungry, it can turn ugly. I like to have food on hand. There’s a vending machine in my building, so I turned to it for help. The problem is, I need to minimize my exposure to sugar! I am weak! I don’t want the chance that I will pick the wrong thing, like those delicious Starbursts. Or a package of yummy Reese’s Pieces.

Yet even on a nutritionally-conscious campus like UMW, the vending machines are rife with bad choices to be made. Thankfully, I noticed a package of Toast Crackers’ Peanut Butter snacks, and bought that, but I’m still disappointed by our selection. I’m grateful to not be overweight or obese in a society that fetishizes fatty, sugary, cholesterol-packed food, but I wonder how much more difficult my relationship with food would be if I hadn’t inherited my mother’s metabolic system.

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