The mental toll
Type 2 diabetes was virtually unheard of 40 years ago. It now kills someone every 10 seconds. I have a hunch that it hasn’t been the rise of the internet that’s done it.
After 11 days now I am definitely getting some very clear understanding of the effect that sugar has on our state of mind. While a lot of emphasis is rightly focused on weight and damage to internal organs, sugar may be impacting our mental state as a culture much more than we realize. My lady has been quite blown away at what a ‘different person’ sugar is making me. Shorter fuse, less patience, not as alert or present and very quick to fatigue. This comparison is clear because she has known me so intimately for 2 years without it. I suspect a massive percentage of the population have never experienced what type of person they are without sugar as they have no idea how much they are actually consuming. I can categorically state that I am happier, more buoyant and an all round better and kinder person when not on sugar.
I look forward to pursuing the science of this more closely in the weeks ahead.
That said I was temporarily a happier person this morning as I demolished my first bowl of Fruit Loops in 20 years. At 33 grams or 8 teaspoons, they contained less sugar than my Just Right and low fat yoghurt combo from friday but I soon realized that the childhood excitement of this cereal has definitely faded in time. ‘Sickly Sweet Chemically Coloured Candy Rings’ is how I will now refer to them. I don’t know that kelloggs will go for that new title.
I buzzed out the front door like a hummingbird on meth and once again found myself in the birthing class. I had slightly come down by then and so had a cup of tea with one sugar. A fellow burgeoning father said to me that he decided to cut sugar from his tea a year ago in order to lower his intake. He nearly went into labour himself when I told him about the likely other 25 teaspoons he could also cut out.
I hope this is what the film is able to achieve. People do generally make an effort and think they are doing the right thing. The time has come for them to really know what is going on.
A break came at 11am and I muscled down an Oats Express Banana Honey liquid breakfast. 24 grams or 6 teaspoons of sugar and just an odd texture. Perhaps Oats Express gets it title from how fast it comes out the other end?
Lunch was a terrific schnitzel sandwich from a lovely cafe with friendly staff. My very humble looking ‘Mineral Water with Orange’ drink delivered 8 teaspoons to go with my 2 teaspoons for the sauce and bread on the schnitz.
I had another tea with 1 sugar around 3pm and a green wrapped, eco looking, made by mother earth ‘Nature Valley Nutty Almond Bar’ with 2 teaspoons. One reader of the blog suggested I rename these the ‘Sugar Ninjas’. Such a potentially perfect term. Stealthy, misleading but ultimately an efficient killing machine. Our investigation during this film will determine the title’s accuracy.
10 teaspoons remaining, a head full of birth plans and acronyms for labour procedures and we headed home. I felt desperately like vegetables so my lady lightly steamed some greens with some noodles and once again I ruined it all by pouring half a jar of Kantong Peanut Satay sauce on top with its 24 grams or 6 teaspoons of sugar. Those precious life giving nutrients were buried in a candied, nutty paste with a slight Murray River hue.
I then had a shot glass and a half of apple juice to get me through writing these words. 4 teaspoons.
I am so excited about our imminent child. I feel I am getting closer and closer to a certainty about my attitudes to sugar. I wont know the physical results until the tests are in but if I want our child to be calmer, caring, with a bright and glowing spirit, then I am afraid the ‘white gold’ will be as rare a commodity in our house as it was to the masses some 400 years ago.
11 days down. Really? and another 40 teaspoons