Lately I’ve been slagging off nutrition-wise. I’ve been eating a lot of sugar, letting the amounts of caffeine and alcohol creep up, and then I’ve eaten some more sugar, with sugar on top. I know I’m not a truly bad case, but for the past few weeks sugary treats have been more of a daily/twice/thrice daily occurrence rather than an occasional treat.
I call this the Christmas complex, since it is particularly salient around Christmas, but really it can happen during any holidays. The proximity of the holidays makes me think that I’m almost obliged to eat all kinds of things I wouldn’t normally touch. ‘Tis the season to be jolly, after all! There’s a weird feeling of “now or never” like I was the prototypical kid at the cookie jar, stuffing my face before mother comes in.
Only there is no mother. In fact, I am the mother, secretly munching another Christmas cookie with my coffee and then a third, since they’re there, and since one way or another soon they’ll be gone. I might as well contribute to their disappearance, since if I don’t, my chance might be gone. Soon it’s going to be January, and overdosing on sugar in January is just pathetic. You’re supposed to shape up in January, eat kale chips and find the gym shoes you lost in October.
I blame some of this problem on the kids. In order to provide gingerbread-flavored memories for my kids, I feel like I must bake and in order to look after my kids’ health, I feel like I must eat most of the things I’ve baked. This is the twisted rationale behind my actions.
But of course those are just excuses that I whip up like chocolate mousse to justify my intake of the same. Like a crack addict, I choose to have my fix. It makes me tired and cranky in the long run, but in the short run the taste is so sweet and addictive.
I read an article that suggests that reasoning is not fundamentally an inductive process where you analyze incoming information in order to reach a conclusion based on this analysis. Reasoning is really more about you watching the incoming information and then picking out the stuff that helps you justify your preferred conclusion. So you’re not really making conclusions, rather you’ve made your conclusions long since and now you’re trying to hang on to them tooth and nail. At least in the case of the Christmas complex, this is largely true.
At the moment I’ve decided that I want to have sweets and indulge, and nothing will stop me from doing this until I come to another conclusion. This idea gives me hope that with enough processing, I might one day overcome the cookie-jar kid within me and wrench her hand out of the jar for good. Maybe one day I will finally come to the conclusion that I do not want to spend an entire month feeling irritable, nauseous and lethargic all for a few moments of fleeting mouth pleasure.