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Hey Ya’ll: Sugar Brained

I went to the doctor the other day and stepped on the scales. I was told not to remove my shoes.

Marlene Ratledge Buchanen

OKAY! Two extra pounds right there. I have let my hair grow out about four inches, four pounds. I was wearing a shirt and pants, an extra 37 pounds. This justification thing works for me. Given enough time I could be underweight.

Unfortunately, the nurse smiled at me and wrote down the real number of the scale. “Don’t worry,” she smirked, “Covid-19 means you will gain 19 pounds during the pandemic.” Well, old Smirky, I mastered that by the end of March, 2020. I am working on Covid-38.

First, we need to establish some rules.

I am not fat. I am fluffy—pudding like fluffy. It is all contained in a thin skin of epidermis. Poke a hole and red sugar water will run out. Yep, I have decided that my blood is more fat and sugar than corpuscles. This brings me to my symptoms: Tired, sluggish, unhappy, and slow to react physically and mentally. I am not functioning as the organized person I used to be. Remember things? I remember only that I don’t remember. I am craving sweets, bread, and food that isn’t necessarily the most nutritious. Personally I think all those added preservatives have probably kept me from rotting from the inside out.

Here is the diagnosis: I am SUGAR-BRAINED!

We have been eating a lot of packaged and prepared meals. I have been using the old early pregnancy trick of slipping a rubber band through my pants loophole and then around the button. I am needing the extra strength thick LONG rubber bands. I am not pregnant. The girl at the Arby’s take out window knows my voice and calls me by name. That isn’t good.

There is a cure for sugar-brained.

It isn’t pleasant. I did it once. For fifteen years I avoided gluten. I ate one gluten and now no gluten is safe from me. I must give up all gluten products. That is all wheat, rye, and barley.

Basically this means all things white: bread, potatoes, anything with white flour. To go gluten-free one relinquishes all fermented things like alcoholic drinks, beer, wine, liquor. I am a cheap drunk so I don’t drink anyway. That won’t be a problem, but here is the bigger issue-sugar.

There is a way to heal yourself from Sugar-Brain Syndrome.

Don’t eat sweet stuff—refined sugar, non-refined sugar, chocolate, citrus fruits, canned and pre-packed products. Look at the labels. It says sugar, fructose, dextrose, most any kind of “trose” or “tose” means sugar, you cannot have it.

Want to lose weight. Stop sugar. Want to have most of your brain cells working again? Stop sugar. Want to have the headache from hell and all the withdrawal symptoms of heroin or cocaine? Stop sugar.

The part of your brain that is sensitive to drug addiction is also the part that is stimulated by sugar. Sigh. Withdrawal from sugar is not life-threatening like cocaine, but it does leave you with some issues. Being hateful, mean and nasty is often a part of the withdrawal syndrome. Perhaps you will threaten the life of someone else. Tell your friends you are “off sugar and are struggling with a bit of withdrawal issues. Then you can let all the pent up rage and cussin’ you’ve been saving out. You will be forgiven. After all, you are in chemical withdrawal from one of the most addictive substances in the world. Sweetness. No sugar, no sweet disposition.

The good part is, if you can make it about 21 days, you are over most of it. Once the sugar is out of your system, your brain begins to work as it should. You start to shed that added fat from the slower metabolism and higher calorie count. You begin to remember things. You can actually find your keys again. Buttons button. Sleep becomes restorative. Energy returns. You have a life again. Natural sweetness returns to your disposition unless you are in Mama’s words a “Sweet Old Boy” or “Biddie.” Then you are just nasty anyway.

So I warn you all of this. I am going on a gluten-sugar reduction diet. I suggest you take this time of quarantine to avoid and pray for the three of us. If I am going to suffer withdrawal, so are James and Snell. James has my sweet tooth. Snell is one of those people who can pick up ONE piece of candy and not eat anymore. Yes, he can eat only five M&M’s. James and I had the severe sugar additive gene. One M&M means one pound of M&Ms. You don’t stop until they are all gone.

This is going to be tough, y’all. I think I need one more cup of coffee and a couple of chocolate covered almonds before I start this torture.