My Sweet Tooth

(or, indeed, teeth)

This is a tough one for me to admit, so apologies if this post degenerates into self-loathing and textual crying over my inability to eat healthily on a regular basis; but I have a pretty bad sweet tooth.

You may not expect this from me, considering I’ve had a medical condition for eleven years now actively making it difficult to eat sweet things between meals, and I abstain from everything everything from alcohol to drugs to fun because I apparently want to be a Puritan, but it’s true – I got through two packets of custard creams today. Two! And while that might not be a lot of crap – volume-wise or sugar-wise – for most people, it’s worryingly lax of me when doctors have spent over a decade drumming ‘don’t eat snacks’ into my squishy, ever-attentive head.

I go through phases of binge-eating; there’ve been the biscuits today, but I’ve not indulged in anything like that for months. But the last time, I ploughed my way through my own body weight in milk chocolate digestives, and when the NFL season is on, I’ll get through one of those sharing-sized bags of Doritos and a couple packs of Monster Munch per weekly game, for about four solid months, before inadvertently starving myself for the days in between.

I’d like to blame this on the diabetes side of things, that my current method of managing the damn thing – a pump, controlled by a button-press instead of injections that have to be, you know, injected – makes it easy to slip into a snacking, junk food-eating habit, largely because there isn’t the physical hassle and pain of an injection waiting for you if you let your diet slide. It’d be like getting an electric shock whenever you ate chocolate – you’d pretty quickly associate eating unhealthily with that pain. And sure, this pain isn’t there any more, but I think this reflects a wider breakdown in the structure of my life; at Sixth Form I was basically the epitome of upsettingly effective organisation and motivation, and now I can sleep for two hours a day, or sixteen, and honestly spend the wee hours of the morning writing poetry in alleys around central London like a kind of literary version of Jack the Ripper, about to spring out at you with iambic hexameter and the sustained metaphor of a shadow for transient, human existence.

But I don’t feel like a lazy, disorganised frakker, and I don’t think I am one – I still write regularly, keep up with work and essays, etc., etc. – I think the difference is that now the few fixed points in my life, e.g. I have to be at dodgeball at this time, are just that, ‘points’ to anchor my days, nights and activities around, instead of bits of rigidity and structure that feed into a wider structuring of my life. Essentially, if I need to be in Camden at five every Friday, that doesn’t mean I have to be up at nine that morning, and it’s taken me about eighteen years to realise this.

Equally, I’m eating more crap between regular, fixed meals, but those fixed dietary points are still a thing; to use a naff metaphor, I’m not falling off the rails so much as the rails now have loops and bends in them to make life a bit less like a depressingly efficient playthrough of The Sims 4, where all your Sims’ dreams come true and they master all their skills like well-behaved little shits. And to avoid becoming such a shit myself, I’ve decided to binge on custard creams occasionally, which is totally worth it.


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