Sugar & Menopause Vs. Me

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With the onset of menopause, I’ve had to become acutely aware of the sugar I consume. My body responds to every additional gram with rolls of fat that I can’t exercise off. With increased insulin resistance, I have greater risk for a range of health conditions I’ve never had to worry about before. I don’t believe in not enjoying food, so there’s no option to remove sugar entirely, even though in general I don’t imbibe much.

So I’m trying to actively manage a dessert or sweet pastry to one or maximum two times a week. I’ve now found just how hard that is to accomplish in our current environment. My husband, who knows better, can’t help offering me sweets and chocolates (he believes he’s showing proper British manners). Anywhere I go, a slice of a cake remains a massive slice and every request for a small piece or thin slice is received with bemusement and just a little judgement. Every single food-related shop has prominent displays of sweets, let alone all the supposedly savory items that are stocked with sugar in reality. I have not given up on this battle but it seems like every other business and person around me wittingly or unwittingly is a pusher of sugar.

I wish I were surrounded by the McDonalds of non-sugar; or by beautifully packaged stylish boxes in shop windows of something delicious that didn’t include sugar. I wish celebrating Christmas included lots of razzle dazzle foods that weren’t cakes and cookies. And, I wish, someone somewhere was going to make money, at scale, by convincing us to eat delicious snacks that sustained us, were sometimes salty, savory, sometimes sweet but not in excess, could be packaged, designed and distributed with glitter to entrance and seduce us, to lure us during that final walk to the cash register, the impulse purchase of choice.

Thus my new years’ resolution — sugar on the side, please. That’s it. Not removed, just managed. But it will be a harrowing battle against a million little nudges coming from a range of players all of who I know have me squarely in their sights. As I push for distance, I’m girding up my defenses against their saccharine love. Because all I can hear is King George’s refrain in Hamilton bemoaning his estrangement from the American colonists — “…and when push comes to shove/I will send a fully armed battalion to remind you of my love…”