My sweet tooth is almost as old as me. I remember once, at the age of about ten, coming out of the dentist with a new filling. It was in the days when all dentists were grumpy old men and before they’d discovered the anaesthetic. Or perhaps children’s pain didn’t matter back then.
Anyway, to comfort and reward myself I bought a bag of toffees before jumping on the bus home and by the time I got off, the new filling had come out, stuck onto a bit of toffee.
So I know what it’s like to feel out of control, to feel overwhelming urges to have a chocolate biscuit, then just another one… If I ate a bar of chocolate during the day I could rarely get through the evening without eating at least one more.
But since starting to read Jason Vale’s books four weeks ago I have all but lost my sugar cravings. I can’t remember the last piece of chocolate I had, fizzy sugar-laden drink, biscuit or cake.
This is so not about being on a diet. I am absolutely not agonising and depriving myself and feeling bereft. I’m exercising the smallest amount of willpower and that’s only because people have returned from holidays with large tubs of sweets and shortbread and they’re lying around all over the office.
I was just about to say "goodies" and I had to stop myself. They’re not goodies. They’re not "forbiddens" (because I’m not on a diet). They’re "baddies".
They are just like the cigarettes I no longer smoke. The nicotine monster was always hungry, always scratching away at my resolve, "come on, it’s ages since you fed me, just a few lungfuls of nicotine and I’ll settle down, promise".
But the more nicotine he got, the more he wanted. And the only way to deal with him was to starve him out.
And finally I’ve realised that there’s a sugar monster too. I now know that the more sugar I fed him, the more he urged me for just another taste.
I don’t think he’s quite dead yet – but he’s getting weaker every day. If he knows which side his bread is peanut-buttered, he’ll give up and realise it’s all over.
Bye bye sugar monster.