Monday, January 2, 2017

My brother called...

...yesterday to wish me a Happy New Year and asked if I had any New Year's resolutions. His was to become a "better Catholic," and if you knew him you'd know how truly laughable that is: there is no better Catholic on the planet -- trust me. What, I asked him, could he possibly do to become better? He couldn't answer, but it didn't change his resolve.

As for me, I told him I didn't make New Year's resolutions as a rule because I always thought it was silly: if something is worth doing, just do it today. Why wait for some arbitrary date like January 1? (Also, as my grandmother once told me, "You just break 'em anyway.")

But then I thought of this piece I read in the Times on Friday, "A Month Without Sugar," by David Leonhardt. "I'm thinking of giving up sugar for the month of January," I told him. "Whoa!" he said. "That would be really hard!" "Yeah, and I'm also going to start reading food labels more closely to see how much sugar is in the food I eat."

It's funny; I've mentioned this to a couple of people and have gotten the same reaction -- like it would be impossible or something. And I'll grant that it would be nearly impossible not to buy food with at least some sugar in it, but couldn't I skip eating cakes, cookies and ice cream for a month? Would that be so hard? But people seem to think it would be. They might give up fats, or carbs, or work out more to drop a few pounds, but give up sugar? Are you out of your mind?!?

Right now I'm on Day Two. January has 31 days -- that's a long time. But, like Mr. Leonhardt, I just finished a couple of weeks in which I've consumed a whole lot of sugar. What better time to try it? I guarantee I'll be back to drinking chocolate malts this summer; after all, I'm not a monk! But, in the meantime, I'll keep you posted and let you know if I've cheated at all. And, if not, if I feel any better.