People told me, “Oh, you’re going to get in the papers!  Or on TV!” I didn’t really think so, but it happened.  Now, I’m suddenly a media whore in print, on TV, and on radio.  I feel like a whore in the worst sense of the word (as opposed to the “rolling in cash and …
" /> Jason Holborn | Cybercarnet/Weblog - Days Without Sugar: Media Whore

Days Without Sugar: Media Whore

People told me, “Oh, you’re going to get in the papers!  Or on TV!”

I didn’t really think so, but it happened.  Now, I’m suddenly a media whore in print, on TV, and on radio.  I feel like a whore in the worst sense of the word (as opposed to the “rolling in cash and looking dynamic!” sense.)

There are two sides to every coin (ask an expert).

On the one hand, I haven’t liked doing this publicity; it’s extra effort and I’m busy.  I do feel happy to help get the word out about the dangers of over-consuming sugar, however, I don’t feel like any of these stories really convey that point.  It’s a “fun” story, or a “fun health” story, not a major “health” story, and because I’m slim, many over-consumers need to have it emphasized that if I can do it, so can they.  I know how some look at me and think, “Pft, like he has a problem with sugar!”  But I do/did.  A lot of the stories don’t get across the point that without the window scoreboard, I’d still be battling to give up my white master.

And yet, the publicity has really pushed me into some personal reflection.  Am I not-eating enough sugar?  I did have a white-bread kaiser roll on the weekend.  It was a situation; should I have just not eaten the kaiser roll?  Having conquered root beer and liquorice, should I be working on reducing even whole wheat pasta?

What about the times I’ve grabbed a hamburger on-the-go…?  I thought it was a necessary junk-food snack in a hurry, despite the white-flour bun.  Yet I realize now, the ketchup and relish and mustard is all sugar that I should have steered clear of.  Hamburgers are fast in a rush when you’re embarking on a bike ride up to Eglinton or to the Beaches, or whatever other task.  Probably I could have found some nuts for an equivalently priced snack.  Maybe I should have paid a little more and gone for the falafel, white-flour pita and all.

I’m not over-thinking; if I’m stuck for energy and calories again in the future and there’s  a Burger King nearby, I’ll swallow the bullet.  But I’ll look harder for options first.

I’m proud of going 225 Days without ice cream, without cake, without pie, without cookies, without doughnuts, without chocolate milk and vanilla milkshakes, without gummi animals, without Skippy Peanut Butter, without Nutella, without honey.

I never had a problem with indulging in white bread (I don’t like it anyway), I never had a problem with treating myself to too much brown rice or whole wheat pasta.  I didn’t have a problem over-eating Burger King, complete with ketchup and relish and mustard, occasionally for a quick snack.  Those foods are not a problem for me; candy and sugary sweet treats are my problem.  It’s a 2litre carton of Heavenly Hash I can’t have one bite of without needing to polish the rest off, not Red River Flax Cereal.  If the worst I can say about the last 225 days is that I’ve had a little bit of ketchup, that’s a good thing.  I never ate ketchup by the spoonful, I never drank ketchup, I never licked ketchup off of the cutting board to save every precious drop of it.  I don’t even like ketchup; like white bread, it’s okay to have once in a while (even if I’d rather have a stronger, healthier option available).

Still, I did some clarifying reading.

Carbohydrates are one of the main dietary components. This category of foods includes sugars, starches, and fiber.

Function

The primary function of carbohydrates is to provide energy for the body, especially the brain and the nervous system. An enzyme called amylase helps break down carbohydrates into glucose (blood sugar), which is used for energy by the body.

Food Sources

Carbohydrates are classified as simple or complex. The classification depends on the chemical structure of the food, and how quickly the sugar is digested and absorbed. Simple carbohydrates have one (single) or two (double) sugars. Complex carbohydrates have three or more sugars.

Examples of single sugars from foods include:

  • Fructose (found in fruits)
  • Galactose (found in milk products)

Double sugars include:

  • Lactose (found in dairy)
  • Maltose (found in certain vegetables and in beer)
  • Sucrose (table sugar)

Honey is also a double sugar. But unlike table sugar, it contains a small amount of vitamins and minerals. (Note: Honey should not be given to children younger than 1 year old.)

Complex carbohydrates, often referred to as “starchy” foods, include:

  • Legumes
  • Starchy vegetables
  • Whole-grain breads and cereals

The window scoreboard’s power is accountability; if I needed accountability before, I’ve really got it now, in spades.  I’ll probably try cutting back a little on my servings of brown rice, and trying to replace those carbohydrates with ones from an extra green vegetable portion instead.

Also, I’ve wondered if I’ve been craving plain yogourt and sour cream and milk because of the lactose.  I’m now pretty sure that is in fact the case.

I’ve learned today than I knew yesterday, and it’s because of media over-exposure.
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