Today marks one week since I gave up sugar and artificial sweeteners for Lent.
And I had a major, MAJOR slip-up last night.
And it wasn’t even the first slip-up!
Slip-up #1: Last Thursday night – not even a full two days in – I went to my Zumba class, and our instructor Julia immediately asked me how the no-sugar thing was going.
“Great!” I replied. “I think I’m actually getting used to coffee with just a bit of skim milk, and I’ve been very good in all other departments. Just fruit so far, and I haven’t had any mad cravings for sweets, so that’s a bonus!”
And then she kind of looked at me quizzically, and said, “What are you chewing?”
“Gum,” I replied, without a second thought.
“Sugar-free gum, I hope?”
Of COURSE gum is not allowed!!! I checked the package – it was Dentyne, and it listed fructose and aspartame in it, two of the major sugar-sweetener buzzwords that I’m steering clear of.
But by the time I realized it, I’d been chewing it for an hour, and by then it was too late.
I didn’t beat myself up too badly, though. I mean, it was just one piece of gum. Not a fistful of mini marshmallows or a package of Hersey Kisses or a giant-ass mug of hot chocolate. It wasn’t even a food item that requires swallowing.
I promised myself that I wouldn’t have any gum from here on out, and put it behind me.
Then came yesterday. And a trip to my very first council meeting. I’m not going to get into details, but let’s just say my reason for attending the meeting was to support an issue that is very important to me, and it would be an understatement to say that I was disappointed with what I heard last night from our mayor and council regarding this issue. When I left the hall, I was extremely aggravated, irritated, and, quite frankly, furious.
When I got home, I was pacing around like a caged lion, still feeling the anger burning red in my cheeks, when I got a text from a friend who had also been at the meeting, telling me that they were headed to the local watering hole to “unwind” from the stressful meeting. I quickly grabbed my coat and purse and headed out the door to join them.
I walked in and saw my Coach sitting with a beer before him. He raised it, and said, “First drink I’ve had in 65 days.”
“Does that mean you think I’m entitled to a drink too?”
“Absolutely. I think we all need it tonight!”
I didn’t hesitate. All I was thinking of was that I haven’t had a drink since Christmas Eve, but to calm my jangling nerves, it seemed the only thing to do. And my Coach was giving his blessing.
I ordered up a Rum & Diet Coke.
It wasn’t until the glass was almost empty that another friend quietly drew my attention to the fact that I had just drank Diet Coke, one of the most major things on my list of stuff I gave up.
son of a NUTCRACKER!!!!!
I felt horrible. I had been doing so well, aside from the gum mishap. All of that label-checking and resisting temptation (especially Monday night, when I was at the Sens game with my mom, and I was so jealous of all the people with Timbits and pop and even the cotton candy looked good!)
My Coach took the blame for encouraging me to have a drink, as he also forgot about me giving up sugar & artificial sweeteners for Lent. And when I spoke to my mom, she also absolved me of this faux-pas, telling me the drink was necessary in her books.
But I still didn’t feel good about it.
I felt like a failure. I couldn’t believe that I forgot. I couldn’t believe that I succumbed so easily in a moment of weakness.
I guess I’m most disappointed in myself because I really thought I would hang tough for 40 days. I love the challenge of something like this, and I can’t believe I messed it up – and so early on too!!
This morning, though, I woke up with a fresh resolve. I added an extra $1 to my Lenten coin box, as penance, and promised myself I won’t allow myself to make that same mistake again.
This next week will be better. I promise!