To the Editor: Starting the year anew 



To the Editor: 

I feel trapped this time of year, hooked on this addictive chemical – C12H22O11 – better known as sugar. Like clockwork, I become lost in the sugarcane forest of cookies and cakes. ‘Tis the season for yule logs, chestnuts on an open fire, a chance to be jolly and sugar plum fairies dancing in our heads – and stomachs. ‘Tis also the season for New Year’s resolutions, that serendipitous time of the year where we reflect on our shortcomings and create an abstract picture of our future. We prepare for this moment to declare our vision of change. Eat healthy, exercise more, meditate, don’t sweat the small stuff. 

My resolution was to eat healthy. Shocker, I know. Diet change is probably the number one resolution. But let’s face it – diet is a bit broad. Let’s narrow it down. Which culprit within this thing we call a “diet” is the real threat? Fats always get a bad rap, but much like carbohydrates and all mighty protein, they all are essential. Sugar is where my brain gets foggy, my body feels energized, and keeping with tradition of playing gay ole songs and cold days and frigid nights, sugar warms me up.  

Growing up, my family used to make a smorgasbord of confectionary treats. Cookies a plenty for our neighbors. Chocolate chip, no bake, peanut butter blossoms, gingerbread men and, of course, sugar cookies. We constructed gingerbread houses so sweet and divine the Witch would be jealous, and Hansel and Gretel would surely be safe. Sugar has, in a sense, glazed over my childhood, and I’m sure it did yours as well.  

It’s also found its way into adulthood and is one of the toughest things to kick. Yet, I set out each December hoping to exclude unnecessary sugars that could otherwise come from apples, oranges or strawberries. This means giving up the poster child of thoughtful holiday greetings that is fresh-baked cookies. Needless to say, I eat the cookies, and fudge, and mom’s homemade peanut butter-chocolate bars. I eat them all, and do I feel guilty? Only a little bit. Come eleven fifty-nine and fifty-nine seconds, that will be Andrew’s problems from the past, for tomorrow we start the year anew. 

 

Andrew McQuinn 

Bangor 

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