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Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern
  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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Kicking the Candy Habit....

Kicking the Candy Habit

It's the season for sweets, and I LOVE old-fashioned hard Christmas candy. Sugar is not seen as a negative by our society. We give cookies to our children, use candy as a reward for good behavior, and celebrate birthdays, weddings, and holidays with cake.

No wonder I'm a sugar addict.

People can digest some sugar, but we cannot handle the amount of refined sugar in the American diet. The average person eats 150 pounds of sugar in a year. If you eat more sugar than your intestines can absorb, bacteria and yeast feed on it and create gas and cramps. After several days of an upset digestive system, I decided to eliminate possible causes one at time.

I know I am eating too much sugar, but I have chosen in the past to ignore it. I can't give up sugar. If you've ever tried to cut back on sweets, you realize how incredibly difficult it is. Some experts say that sugar is as addictive as drugs. I thought of all the sweet stuff in my life and knew I'm GUILTY of abusing sugar.

Just say no and stop sucking up candy. No problem.

I've put away all the candy. But from the top of the refrigerator, it calls my name. I try not to think about it, but the harder I try, the more I think about it. Visions of candy canes dance in my head. I sure picked a heck of a time to give up sugar -- during the holidays.

I crave candy like a pregnant woman craves pickles and ice-cream. Did someone say ice-cream? If I can't have candy, maybe ice-cream? But almost everything seems to have sugar, even things that don't seem sweet. Maybe I can give up foods with large amounts of sugar and then take on smaller offenders after I have conquered the obvious.

I am getting crabby, though. "Just one piece of candy won't hurt," says the devil in me. "Do you like having cramps and gas," says my conscience angel. And so it goes, on and on and on. I am angry because I feel deprived. I yell at my family. "Sorry, it is my withdrawal from sugar," I tell them. "Try to stand me a few more days." I am climbing the walls. I crave sweet rolls stuffed with sweet fruit filling and sprinkled with sugar.

How long is it going to take to kick this habit? I ask "Dr. Google" and find it will be about three days. I think not --  three weeks, maybe, three months, possibly. But I am determined to lay off the sugar, not only for my immediate predicament,  but also because a high-sugar diet causes tooth decay, heart disease, and diabetes, not to mention weight gain.

I feel weak. Sugar in the blood gives you energy, but it quickly burns up and the bottom falls out. I sliver through the day dragging my belly. Sugar is in everything, even applesauce, oatmeal, and canned fruit. I read the label on my yogurt and fructose is one of the main items listed.

Sugar by any other name is still sugar.

Candy sings the song of the siren. I love sugar and I hate sugar. I need to rid my home of sweet stuff. I can't be tempted to eat what isn't there.  How long will this obsessive craving go on? I feel dizzy. I need something sweet or I may pass out.

Eventually, though, I get through the worst of it. No more popping a lemon drop in my mouth while on my computer. No more soda, no cookies, no ice cream, no cake, no pie, no more climbing the rock-candy mountain of sugar addiction.

My hands are still trembling and I can't help wondering, why does something so bad for you have to taste so good?


Copyright 2011 Sheila Moss


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