Sugar Woes

I hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day weekend — sorry for the lapse in posting but we took an 11-hour road-trip to Annapolis for Luis’s 10-year USNA class reunion.

It was a blast–lots of wonderful quality time spent with our besties and a football game to boot–but exhausting and I just haven’t been able to muster up the strength to blog, pathetic as it sounds!!!

I haven’t been to the dentist since December 16, 2010 — 2 days before I was scheduled to have Maya — and I had to cancel a few appointments at the 6-mth mark so yesterday was my first trip in ages.

I braced myself for the verdict of at least one cavity … but, like last time and the time before, I had NONE! Go me! (–>tossing confetti)

See, this was extra-exciting because though I didn’t have a single cavity til I turned 18, suddenly the cavities began piling on … one on top of the other, for the next decade or so. I felt like I LIVED at the dentist for a while there. And I had more fillings and root canals than I care to admit.

The irony of all this is I’m a fastidious teeth-brusher and flosser, and am pretty anal about my teeth.

But I drink diet soda. And, admittedly, I eat a lot of sugar. Even on Weight Watchers all these years (since 2004), I always found a way to work my sugar fix into my Points … and I never did what all the magazines and books tell you to do — allow yourself one 150-200 calorie “treat” a day. No, even before my yucky days of chewing and spitting, I’d take a bite of this, a taste of that … and toss the rest. I’d mindlessly munch. I’d eat just to eat … not even because of anything emotional but rather, just because “it” sounded good.

And even now — more than three years “clean,” I still tend to just give into whatever I want at the moment with zero structure. A mini Reese’s (or two or three …) from my friend’s candy jar at work, a bite of my husband’s cookie there, a few nibbles of something from my fave coffee shop, a handful of chocolate chips while I’m preparing tomorrow’s babyschool bag … the list goes on and on. And instead of savoring ONE sweet treat, I end up wasting my Points (and calories) on silly things instead of what I might really want. Which means I’m not eating a sensible 150-200 calorie snack but rather multiple “snacks.”

That’s not good.

As I’ve noted many times here, I’ve gone over my allotted Points every week pretty much since June. And though my clothes don’t fit any differently (an indication of weight gain) I haven’t stepped on the scale since June, either … but I’m sure it wouldn’t be pretty.

Anyway, my dentist wasn’t there but a new one in his practice saw me. Though he could see I had no cavities, he asked immediately about my sugar consumption. Well, gee! You can’t lie to your dentist!! The evidence (worn-away enamel) is right there, plain to see.

So after I came clean and told him I still drink a lot of diet soda and do enjoy sweets … he basically told me he can tell I eat a lot of sugar and should cut back on it STAT or I’ll end up with cavities and more problems than I bargained for. He suggested not eating between meals, rinsing/brushing after I do eat, drinking more water and less soda, chewing Trident or any of the gums on the market with xlylitol, reducing my overall sugar intake, and using MI Paste at night — which you use AFTER you brush your teeth and it has to stay on.

I realized by doing all of these things, weight loss will probably be a natural byproduct, even if my fitness regimen remains the same.

SWEET! (pardon the pun!)

Not eating between meals: This will encourage me to organize my meals — and ensure they are balanced.

Rinsing/brushing after I eat: Who wants to eat after they’ve just brushed their teeth or used mouthwash?

Drinking more water: DUH. I need to be doing this, anyway.

Chewing gum: Will keep my mouth busy and gum with this ingredient helps rid your mouth of cavity-causing bacteria.

Reducing sugar intake: He suggested not making fruit (or chocolate!) my go-to between-meals snacks … if I need something, I’m better off having something that isn’t loaded in sugar–natural or otherwise–because it tends to remain on your teeth (unless you rinse/brush)

Using MI Paste: I can’t mindlessly munch with this stuff. It’s sticky and white and coats your teeth. If I put this on after dinner, there will be no snacking opportunities. None.  Instant mindless munching control!

Truthfully, I’ve needed a “wake-up” call like this to get me into weight loss mode. I’ve cruised along this summer and haven’t made any concerted efforts to lose these ten pounds from before I got pregnant and I’d like to lose them NOW before Baby #2 someday!!

I don’t want to give up chocolate or sweets forever — that’s not realistic for me and a life without chocolate would just SUCK.

But I do think I can be a little more picky/choosy about which sweets I DO eat, and I am going to start being really cognizant of having just one “treat” a day vs. multiple BLTs (bites/licks/tastes).

This awareness is kind of necessary at this point in my life. Maya is watching our every move (and reaching/grabbing for everything we are eating!) so I don’t want her to see her mommy eating little bits of everything uncontrollably vs. sitting down and enjoying a small ice cream cone.

I think I needed to experience a mind-shift from appreciating quantity to appreciating quality.

My teeth (and dentist) will thank me.

H!ow about you? Any tips for reducing your sugar intake for a sweets-a-holic like me? Did going cold-turkey work or did you slowly wean and cut back from your sugar addiction?

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2 thoughts on “Sugar Woes

  1. arghhhh, this is a nightmare for me. I have porridge every morning for breaky and religiously have 2 teaspoons of brown sugar on it. I have sweetner in my tea and I have copious amounts of fruit in my day. I started back on ww yesterday and I am sure like many of us out there I go for the zero point foods such as fruit which do contain natural sugars. I do honestly feel that you can’t win, because you get told to eat 5+ a day of fruit and veges but then when you visit the dentist you are warned about the sugars even in fruit, so what do you do?? I have come to the conclusion that as long as I chew gum after I eat a meal and I brush, floss and use mouthwash twice a day then I’m covered. I don’t drink, go partying, do drugs or smoke so I am entiltled to have brown sugar on my porridge every single day:)

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