Maybe I should amend that title. For the last xix weeks I’ve had no covert sugar. As in no cookies, no candy, no cake, no pie, no donuts or other bakery goods, and none of my beloved nemesis: Ice cream! In other words, traditional dessert items are no longer on my approved food list.

Sugar, however, is not the bad guy. My reaction to sugar is the problem. My body simply cannot stop craving the stuff once it’s been introduced into my digestive system. The chain of events, also known as “the vicious cycle” goes something like this: 1) Ingest sugar, 2) Spike in insulin to process the sugar, 3) Dramatic blood sugar drop after processing, 4) Uncontrollable urge to eat MORE sugar to bring energy level back up. 5) Repeat cycle, ad infinitum.

The consequences are pretty much the same as with any addict. I start craving it to the point where I become a raving lunatic to get my “fix.” My personality changes and I’m not the kinder, softer, gentler person I usually am. At that point, sugar controls my life.

Six weeks ago, when I decided to take back some semblance of control, I spent the first four days in what can only be described as “withdrawal.” Four days with a pounding headache and a short-temper and jonesing for my “drug of choice.” And if it hurts that much to get off a “legal” substance, I can only imagine the hell street addicts go through.

But that, too, passed. Oh, I still occasionally think about falling face down in a vat of gooey caramel topping, but today I’m choosing not to do that. And I never want to forget how easy it is to get sucked back in. Sugar addiction is just as cunning, baffling, and powerful as any other mind-altering substance. I hate to admit it, but in the throes of my disease, I have experienced “food comas” and displayed behaviors certainly not becoming to a sane person.

And yes, I know there’s still some sugar in such innocent-looking foods as catsup, but unless, or until, I find myself devouring several bottles of it at one sitting, I’ll continue to use it moderately. As far as I can tell, catsup doesn’t provoke my mood swings, and my abstinence from covert sugar helps me to level those off.

So today I’m feeling pretty good. Six weeks off sugar and I can safely say that my current moods are not “chemically induced.” So I guess I’ll have to resort to blaming menopause for any future poor behaviors!