Nerd in Transition: Goodbye, Sugar! Hello, Juiceman!

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Nerd in Transition: Goodbye, Sugar! Hello, Juiceman!


a blogumn by Kelly Lett
My new boyfriend...

My new boyfriend...

Food. I think about it all the time. It doesn’t matter if I am on a diet or not. I can be hungry, or I can be recently stuffed; I will still think about food. Is this my greatest addiction? People say that quiting smoking is the hardest drug to give up, well I’ve given up cigarettes, but those people have never faced the monolith that is sugar. Sugar is in almost everything we as Americans consume, but most don’t know that because of all the different names used to hide it. If you are a label reader then I am sure you are familiar with high fructose corn syrup, but have you ever seen these:

*beet sugar
*barely malt
*ethyl maltol
*fruit juice
*fruit juice concentrate
* glucose
*sorghum syrup
*yellow sugar
*turbinado sugar

And that, my friends, is the short list. We all know the obvious offenders of foods to avoid; soda, twinkies, anything McDonald’s and counterparts offer, ice cream, white bread, chocolate, pudding, even yogurt and granola. But what about the not so obvious?

Check the backs of those protein shakes and bars and chances are you will find the sneaky sweet stuff. Not to mention the color it adds to foods like catsup, or the taste in your toothpaste. Yes, even cigarettes contain sugar, so maybe that does make them the hardest thing to quit.

So why is sugar so bad? Other than rotting teeth, what is it really doing? OH so very much. Without getting too technical let me just point out that your body has to work twice as hard to metabolize sugar and in doing so isn’t able to process the valuable nutrients you really need. Your liver goes into overdrive trying to convert the useless into something usable only to lose out when it just turns into fat settling down to rest on your butt, thighs, belly and everywhere else. Yes there is the sugar high, but don’t forget the crash and the headaches, sore teeth, mood swings and the…….oh why bother? It’s everywhere, in everything waiting to jack up your body.

Well I’m putting my foot down! I have taken on and beaten many other man-made substances only to return to my first love, food. Food has been a comfort, the friend that watches movies with me on Friday night. The treat I give myself when I do something good. The treat I give myself when I do something bad. It relieves my boredom and calls me out of sleep. Food, mostly sugar products but sometimes salt, is my ultimate frenemy. I love it, so tasty, so comforting, so necessary to my survival; yet I hate it for the way I can’t stop, can’t say no, can’t ever seem to get enough.

This past summer I started a pretty intense diet that I really liked, once I got past the first two weeks. I was doing great, until summer hiatus ended and I returned to roller derby. The calories I was burning while skating were so much higher then what I was taking in that I soon found myself back to old habits. Well I don’t skate anymore, so that excuse is gone, so the goal is not to return to the intense summer diet totally, but to incorporate it into a livable plan. After years spent in acting, modeling, sports and dance I am bursting with knowledge of food and how it works in the body. I have diet books, healthy recipes, exercise tapes and equipment; I even have a juicer collecting dust on my counter-top. I’m compiling all of it, joining an online health based community, and getting to work.

What’s my BIG goal? What’s the thing that’s going to keep me on track? It could be summer approaching in LA and I want to wear a bikini. It could be the simple fact that I live in LA where a size 8 is considered fat. There is the closet full of clothing I haven’t been able to wear in a long time. Maybe looking less like a Buddha and more of a pre-baby Jesus Madonna. The desire for clear skin and less cellulite. But really, I want an acting career. I’m already tall with a big personality that fills up the screen, so I might as well get my belly out of the way. Plus it would be nice to see those high cheek bones again instead of the extra chin.  
So here I come Hollywood. No more career self-sabotage. Ben, Jerry, I’m sorry boys but we just can’t hang out anymore. Hey Juiceman, how you doing?