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Archive for March 4th, 2010

  • Day 5: Cue the (Real) Sun

    Date: 2010.03.04 | Category: Interviews | Response: 3

    I planned to ask the questions when Connie Bennett, Queen of all that is Sugar-Free in the Universe, and I spoke on the phone tonight from her Manhattan hq at Connie, if you don’t know, is Martin Luther King of the kick-sugar world. Connie has a dream – and that is to help everyone who wants to – get off sweets.

    She wants to help me. Theoretically, I want and need help. I think.

    But it’s strange and awkward to be the one being asked questions when you’re the one who does the asking. (See also: entire career.)

    Connie knows how to ask questions (she’s a former journalist) – as well as help (certified life coach.)

    “What is your goal in giving up sugar?” Connie asked me.

    Here’s the thing. Today I’m not so sure I want to. Had another stressful day – four hours at post offices tracking a lost painting my cousin mailed me from the U.S. – or was it stressful because I wasn’t eating candy along the way?

    So I didn’t want to talk goals to Connie. I wanted to ask her what is the point, really, of doing this.

    Quitting sweets is a great idea, sure, the night before you actually start doing it.

    I couldn’t escape Connie’s questions, though. It reminded me of how I ask people questions. Lots of things about Connie reminded me of me.

    “Where do you see yourself three months from now?” Connie pressed.

    “This is where I have conflict,” I said.

    “Tell me about the conflict,” she said.

    Hey, what am I doing on the couch?

    Plus, I’ve interviewed so many people that when I’m being interviewed, I feel a false self come up, as I’m parroting some of the more canned responses I’ve gotten over the years.

    It was hard to explain the conflict because I don’t really understand it myself. I love candy, I think, but I don’t love being a slave to it.

    Connie listened. She wanted me to think about what my life would be like in a year from now if I gave up sweets.

    Well, I said dutifully. I’ll probably lose weight. I’ll probably be calmer. I’ll be healthier.

    But I don’t know if I want to do this, I said.

    The more questions Connie asked, the more awkward and fake I felt answering them. The more uncomfortable I felt, the more feelings came up. Paging Dr. Phil.

    Every cliche in the book came up. Like I didn’t want to say goodbye to things. I didn’t really want to move on. I like the past.

    “Perfectly normal,” said Connie. “There’s often an emotional attachment to sugar.”

    “Ugh,” I said, or something like that. This sounds corny, I told her, but it’s as if I give up, sweets, well yay for me – but it’s going to be as if every day from now on is going to be cloudy.

    There won’t be any sun. Maybe some organic peanut butter but no sun.

    Connie suggested what I thought of as sun might be fake sun.

    Connie was driving along Pacific Coast Highway one day after she had kicked sugar, she said, and she realized that she felt as if she was seeing the sun for the first time. Really seeing it.

    “You have to trust me, the sun will be out,” she said.

    I do trust her.

    She gave me four assignments:

    1. Write about a typical day and how much candy and sweets I eat. (Ate?)

    2. Write about my resistance to this. (Easy!)

    3. Write about the benefits to your life a year from now if you stick with this. (A year seems like a long time from now.)

    4. Write about what you can do instead when you feel like reaching for something sweet. (Lie down in the middle of the street and scream?)

    Forecast for tomorrow in my neck of the woods: rain.

    Sun to come out on the weekend.

    If you’re interested in being coached by Connie, click below:


    Read Connie’s March 2 AOL piece here about Ellen De Generes and Jeff Garlin kicking sweets.

    More on Connie to come.

    Keep paddling. I hear there’s real light at the end of this.


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This American candy addict/journalist in France writes about quitting candy – and all desserts – for at least one year beginning Feb. 28, 2010. Follow my progress – or relapses – as I delete candy corn, moelleux au chocolat, peppermint patties, Carambars, tarte tatin, After Eights, crème brûlée, Nutella, tapioca pudding, mint chocolate chip ice cream, Haribo Polkas, M & Ms and more from my life. Learn about the evils of white sugar and its effects on mood and health from my interviews with experts and friends! Let the sugar fog lift!

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