I tried. I really did my best. I thought there was a good reason to give up all those artificial sweeteners. I am talking about the little pink packets of Sweet'N Low that I had been emptying two at a time into my tea cup every day. And although I had kicked my diet cola habit years ago, there were still the cans of Canada Dry Diet Ginger Ale I had recently started chugging down at an alarming rate.
Artificial sweeteners don't have a glowing reputation. Old reports linked saccharin use to bladder cancer, though those studies were refuted long ago. And as for aspartame, a chemical I once had a professional relationship with, everyone seems to blame something on the little blue packets!
Paradoxically, the current concern with all the phony sweeteners is that they fool some of our brain centers and can lead to weight gain, obesity, and diabetes. I didn't need any of that. And knowing that just like Oprah I feel best when my weight is under 200 lbs, I decided it was time to give up the sweetness and pseudo-sugars, lose weight, and live a life of purity and grace.
For about a month I gave it all up for what I hoped would be blessed, unsweetened, Nirvana. What did I find? My tea, even hot, well brewed English Breakfast Tea, tasted like dishwater--dirty dishwater. The "nothing artificial added" fruit flavored bubbly waters I tried were blah and lifeless. I had headaches. Episodes of "The Handmaid's Tale," our current binging favorite, seemed to drag on for hours. I was sleepy and moody, and I am sure Grumpy and Sneezy weren't far behind.
And as for my weight? The scale stayed steady, no weight loss at all. The only time my weight trended downward was when I dropped a few pounds prepping for a colonoscopy. And we all know that no matter what late night infomercials and supermarket tabloids might say, colonoscopy preps are NOT an approved method of weight loss.
So I threw in the towel, bit the dust, said "to hell with it." Last night, feeling a little drained and sore after two hours of tennis that felt like four hours on the court, I toasted a bagel and made a cup of tea. I tore open two packets of Sweet'N Low, poured them into my cup and took a sip.
I'm sorry, but it felt sooo good!
Speaking of health and happiness, I am once again participating in the SEABlue 5K Run. SEABlue provides support, education, and advocacy for men with prostate cancer and their families as well. To support me in the run, please go to my personal SEABlue page here.
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