When Will I Learn?

Seriously. When? Because I know all the facts. I know what sugar and preservatives and flavorings and artificial things do to my body. I KNOW. And, still, I find myself getting sucked in.

So, I was Christmas shopping yesterday, trying to get it all done in one fell swoop because I detest shopping in general – much less when it’s surrounded by masses of people running into me with their carts – so I wanted to get it over with. I was in Kohl’s, waiting in the long checkout line (it was like 30 people deep. Really.) and right there, taunting me, tempting me, on shelves next to the line were bags of Ghirardelli peppermint bark.


Have you ever had Ghirardelli peppermint bark? Every Christmas for the past three years, this has been our family treat. I put it in the stockings as a Christmas morning surprise. It’s, quite simply, divine. AND…it comes in a DARK chocolate variety.

Dark chocolate is my weakness.

So, I saw the bags of peppermint bark. I saw the dark chocolate option. I remembered how good it tasted last Christmas, and how much I liked it. And I thought, “Well, I COULD just pick some up so that my husband and kids can still have some. You know. For THEM.”

I brought it home. I ate lunch. And then I heard it.

“Rachel. Raaaacheeeelllll.”

It was calling me. Seriously, it was. From the depths of the Kohl’s bag.

I went and got it. I opened it. And I ate one. Just one, I told myself, and I’d be done and be good for forever and ever.

But after that one, I just needed another one. And before I knew it I’d scarfed down three of the things.

And felt immediately guilty.

Not even five minutes later the headache started. I haven’t had a headache in weeks – maybe even months – but I used to get them all the time. I’ve rather gotten used to feeling headache-free, so the pain shocked me when it hit. And it really HIT. Suddenly and hard, right above my right eye, descending without warning.

I guess it could be coincidence that the first headache I’ve had in a really long time came just after wolfing down more sugar than I’ve had at one sitting in 3 months. But that seems to be a stretch to me. It has to have been that sugar.

I suffered through the rest of the afternoon until it subsided, and kicked myself for my weakness. It’s just so hard, especially when you’re surrounded by people – a WORLD – that doesn’t understand or do what you do, who kind of think you’re crazy (or at least unnecessarily extreme) and there’s cookies and cakes and candy everywhere. Especially this time of year. It’s so hard to remember why I do what I do.

So, I’m going to try to remember! Remember the headache! And the nausea and the joint pain and the insomnia and everything that used to be part of my normal life. Because feeling good can get to be routine, and it can become easy to take it for granted and forget the reasons I went off those tempting things in the first place.

I’ve read other people commenting that they can’t understand why people are ever tempted by food, or have a hard time avoiding things that they know are poisonous to them. That must be so nice. I wish I couldn’t understand it either. But, unfortunately I can. All too well.

Maybe it will get easier with time? I hope so. Until then I just have to, as they say, “remember my chains.”

And avoid long checkout lines booby-trapped with chocolate.

2 thoughts on “When Will I Learn?

  1. Jo

    I love and relate to that story. I was recently diagnosed with RA at 34 and after much reading I have decided to cut sugar out of my life. Of course that is way easier said then done. If I had the skill earlier in life I might not have such big sized jeans. After weeks of feeling good I ate pizza and I swear I could feel my body swelling 30 mins later. I feel like someone was blowing my hands up like a balloon. And when I tell certain people my story about that night they just say don’t eat it. Thanks if only it was that easy!!! I am enjoying your blog!

    1. Rachel Post author

      I’m glad, Jo! It does help tremendously to know of other people experiencing the same thing – failures and all – which was a big part of my motivation in starting it! Good luck with your own journey!

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