a spoonful of sugar


Under more normal circumstances, I’m part of the Food Police. If not the commisioner, certainly an officer, maybe even a sargeant. While remaining open to the occasional donut, I’m very into vegetables, preferably locally grown and/or organic, eating very little meat, consuming lots of wholesome foods, rarely anything from a box, etc. Probably my only vice is exceeding, on a weekly basis, the daily recommended allowances for alcohol- but some of us don’t see that as a problem. My good eating habits help balance out the fact that I really like to eat– a lot. My philosophy is, if you are bad at portion control, you better fill that giant plate with veggies.

Well, it doesn’t help that I’m in one of the most obese cities in the world under stressful circumstances, but I tell ya– the sugar is flowing through my veins, and its not all-natural, nor from organically grown fruit sources.

I got my first taste of this phenomenom, to use a bad pun, in the waiting room for my mom’s first visit to the lymphoma clinic at MD Anderson. A volunteer came around with a beverage cart, and the choices were hot chocolate or decaf coffee. Distrustful of the decaf, which smelled a bit like a chemical dump, I went for the hot chocolate. And how soothing that was! It was a slice of childhood, when my friends and I would buy the watery, brown beverage, barely recognizable as hot chocolate, that squirted out of a machine at the local ice arena. One of those childhood slices that probably wasn’t all that wonderful at the time, yet irrationally provokes nostalgia. And here I am, in 2011. Yes, my mom has lymphoma, and sitting in that waiting room was certainly the manifestation of a terrible nightmare. But as I slurped up that reconstituted hot stuff, I felt a bit of peace.

I’m going to try to be patient with myself, and allow a certain amount of liberties (ice cream with Grandma!). But I also remember that I feel better when I eat better, and a belly ache after that big sugar binge is a gentle reminder that there are better ways to cope with stress. Like breathing deeply, taking walks, exercising, drinking extra water. I need to be loving to myself so I can be there for my mom.

2 thoughts on “a spoonful of sugar

  1. Michelle Fuller

    Yup. There were donuts and bagels in the parent lounge every single day. I was coming off a month of bedrest (read: major muscle loss), I was quite depressed, and I certainly wasn’t taking time to exercise. I still carry those ten pounds around. But you know, those pounds are almost a battle wound for me. They are part of the price. The good news is, I didn’t beat myself up about losing them at a time when I really, really couldn’t think about it. As much as healthy habits can decrease stress, trying to maintain them increases stress at a time when it’s hardly possible to do otherwise. Such is life.

    I love you, Katy. Thank you for sharing the complexities of how hard this is.

  2. Barb in Minnesota

    I think as long as you’re not shooting anything into your veins or snorting anything up your nose, you’re probably okay. These are very stressful times for you, so yes, cut yourself some slack my friend.


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