Thursday, April 10, 2014


In my mind's eye, I see a silhouette of a young boy playing a violin on a roof top as the sun goes down. Fiddler on the Roof scenes are going through my mind, with some editorial changes. 

When I think of Tevia singing "TRADITION," I picture my mother and me, dancing around wildly, eating chocolates while holding our hands in the air, celebrating our own little history with chocolate. 

"Sunrise...Sunset..." All day long, from the sun's coming up until its going down, I have been thinking about sweet treats. My fascination had been compounded by my going without desserts and soda for over two weeks.

Fifteen days I went without sugar, which may be a record, in and of itself, for me. I set aside my goal for one day to partake of the famous Sunglow Pies of Bicknell, which, believe it or not, was on my bucket list. Then I went one more day without sugar, but it was a little harder. Again.

Then I caved. I succumbed. I gave in to temptation. Enter: Cadbury Mini Eggs.

While shopping for curtain rods and kitchen rugs for my little cottage, I couldn't help but notice the Easter candy prominently displayed throughout the store. 

"I better buy some for Bridger and me before they sell out of our favorite candy," I thought to myself. I'm a very logical person when it comes to seasonal candy. Mm-hmm. This was no impulse purchase. My intent was to take the Cadbury chocolates home, put them away, and later, ceremoniously consume an entire bag by myself Easter morning. The best-laid plans...

My first mistake was leaving the bags of candy on the counter as I puttered around the house yesterday. The second mistake was posting the picture of the candy on Facebook. Friends teased and cajoled, placing bets as to how long the mini eggs would last now that they were in my house.

I put the bags of candy in the kitchen cupboard to remove the "eye candy." (I crack myself up sometimes.) 

My third week of sugar-free eating was already blemished with the half a piece of pie I'd consumed Monday. My old mindset returned. "You've already blown it. You were never going to last very long without sugar anyway. Why don't you just be a normal person for once, and eat food in moderation? A whole month without sugar? Who are you kidding? Are you going to start over again today since you blew it Monday?" The berating continued.

I took the Cadbury bag out of the cabinet, and with my teeth, tore off a corner of the bag. I popped one of the sugar-candy coated pieces of chocolate into my mouth, and bit through the crisp outer shell. The chocolate began to melt on my tongue as I crunched on the small egg-shaped morsel. I filled a small bowl with one serving of mini eggs, not counting the one I'd just devoured. That was an appetizer.

Twelve small eggs does not look like very much. 190 calories of chocolate temptation, carefully counted out, the colors divided evenly to satisfy my artistic and mathematical preferences. 

Once I began to take the candies from the dish, the savoring ended abruptly. I made the mistake of eating the eggs while browsing through Facebook. Before I knew it, they were gone. WHAT? How can that be?

I returned to the cabinet, and poured out a small handful, and ate them, too.

This is the reason I started the whole sugar-free shenanigans in the first place. Once I start eating a trigger food, my mind reverts to auto-pilot, and no thinking is involved; just eating. I will consume whatever it is until it is gone, or I feel sick, whichever comes first.

On my refrigerator, I have this reminder on a Post-It note: 



Yes, I know, it's an odd assortment of words. The lack of parallelism bothers me, too. A verb, a couple of nouns, and a Yiddish phrase all mixed up, but it makes sense to me. I know that for me to be mindful, I need to focus on my breath, I need to be grateful for what I have, and I need to be do things for my health. L'chaim is my little toast to my health and well-being. It makes me smile. I fancy myself to be one of Tevia's daughters from Fiddler on the Roof, truth be told. 

So what did I do? I ignored my bright orange reminder on the fridge. Oh, I saw it. I can't help but see it when I open that cabinet door that held the stash of Cadbury eggs. I wasn't mindful of anything except the candy. My breathing was probably quite shallow in anticipation of the gastronomical feast about to take place, and while I was tickled pink about having my favorite candy in the house, I was not mindfully grateful for its presence. L'chaim was the last thing on my mind in that moment of time. "CHOCOLATE" was all that was on my mind right then.

Today, I resolve to do better. The bag of candy is open, but the tummy ache that followed that little party in my mouth will help me stay out of it today. That, and the fact that I am making a promise to you that I'm not going to eat any more Cadbury eggs today. I promise.



  1. I could smell the eggs as you opened the bag. What artistry in words. Now, make the bag last Easter.

    1. Stella, I'm not sure which box holds the mini eggs. I'm moving this weekend. I'll find them eventually, but I think I can stay out of them for awhile now! Thanks!

  2. Denise, I just love reading your posts. Your writing is so beautiful and you take me right a long with you. Often, I am in a similar circumstance or frame of mind and its just wild the syncronicities our lives have. The part of this blog that really resonated with me today was when you talked about the "old mindset" setting in. The self defeating talk that makes it seem like we have done something so horrible. That thing we do when we make poor choices, usually pertaining to food or other health choices. When you said you resolve to "do better" it hit me hard....I have been trying to remember that there should be no "better" or "worse" ...just choices. The thought that "I already messed up" or that I have to "do better" sets me up with feelings that I am bad or defected in someway. This is something I have been struggling with for years (very black or white thinkinging) and hence I have been starting to work on this past winter. I have made many so called "bad" choices that have brought this feeling to the front of my consciousness.I was wondering if you have had any thoughts about this??? I'd love to see if you would want to blog your thoughts on this sometime. Thinking of you and all you have been going through. Hope you have a safe move. Michelle

    1. Michelle! How are you, my friend? Thank you for your thoughtfully worded response. It was great to hear from you! Are you saying that perhaps I should reconsider making "better choices?" Just wondering...

  3. Great post and very funny. There is some very interesting research in the importance of staying away from the concept of deprivation in the context of the exercise of will power. Bottom line, you couldn't bring those eggs to my house and expect I would eat ALL of them, especially after fifteen ays sugar free. Pick yourself up and move on, oh, but send those eggs my way...

    1. Tonia, I know there is research backing up EVERYTHING, it seems. I was going with the camp that says once sugar is out of your system, the cravings disappear. I don't know if I will ever stay away from it long enough to truly test that hypothesis! ;-)

  4. I'm not sure if I should thank you for the "ear worms" and the sudden craving for Cadbury Mini-Eggs (Mmmm Mini Eggs!) or no. Thank you very much for the giggles and the encouragement to refocus on a healthier lifestyle. But if you need someone to help you deal with the temptation of those delectable sugar-coated morsels, I'll gladly take one for the team!

    1. Carryl, where shall I send the remnants of my candy bag? ;-)

  5. A blessing on your head. Mazel tov. Wonder of wonders and miracles of miracles when you don't have to think of the Cadbury eggs being Far from the Home (you) Love.

    Sometimes in times of change it is okay to give yourself. I read a book where to learn mindfulness you take just one and savor each taste sensation. I have tried it now and then and it does slow down the weight loss of the bag of candies.

    1. Savoring is something I don't do near enough! Mazel tov!


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