A long humorless screed about the evils of dessert. Get ready.

Now that I've become a fitness junkie (or, okay, a person who works out more than I did before, which was never), I've been making some changes to my diet. I won't bore you with the details of my daily menu, because truthfully nothing I've been doing is all that extreme or groundbreaking. In addition to the usual More Protein and Vegetables, Less Crap, I started eating more like an adult, and no longer inhaling, say, a tubful of brownies at a sitting.

In addition to the various dietary change-ups, I decided to stop putting sugar in my coffee. I was using agave syrup, actually, and only half a teaspoon, but still, I wanted to see if I could. And the first few days of sugarless coffee, it was like I was drinking battery acid. Battery acid mixed with a squirt of bile. I winced and drank and winced some more. (Because I will never give up coffee, people, don't try to talk me into it. I have tried. Oh, I have tried. I have tried, and suffered, and concluded that life without coffee is not the kind of living I wish I engage in.) But then, on the third or fourth day, I...liked it. It tasted fine to me. A few days after that I accidentally took a swig of Scott's coffee, and it tasted like he had dumped a bowl of candy corn in his coffee.

After a few weeks I realized that not only was I not taking sugar in my coffee, I wasn't really eating sugar, period. I mean, I was still eating FRUIT, I am not CRAZY, but I wasn't squirting maple syrup into my smoothies because I HAD TO, as I had done in the past. Also my usual daily post-lunch cookie and post-dinner cookie and post-cookie cookie had not even occurred to me. Curiously, I was also no longer falling asleep in the middle of the day, nor did I have those weird episodes of shakiness and gnawing hunger that would drive me straight to the cupboard to stick my face in a box of Fig Newmans.

Fast forward to the holidays, during which I consumed my weight in my sister's holiday cookies, as is my tradition. We had also been given a tin to take home, so naturally I ate them for the next few days as well. I figured I might as well dispatch them as quickly as possible so I could revert to my usual asceticism. I mean, YOU try not eating chocolate covered toffee bars. Can't be done.

Actually I ate only, say, 2 or 3 cookies a day. (Okay, on Christmas, I probably had more like 5. Which is a huge improvement for me.) But the thing is, I felt terrible for days. Every time I sat down I would fall into a coma. I couldn't think clearly--it felt like my brain was had both sped up and halted. Like I could only think in sentence fragments. Hostile sentence fragments. My mood went into the toilet, and after I recovered from my initial hatred of all things human and good, I moved on to abject misery. I had no friends, and never would! It was cold and gray, and always would be! Life was torment, and would end only in death! Horrible! Aloneness! BoooOOOOOoooO!

I was a lot of fun, is what I'm saying.

ANY way, I never really intended on becoming one of those "sugar is evil" people, believe me, but you guys, sugar is evil. Now that I've seen what it does to me, I want it even less. I used to worry that eating better and exercising would turn me into a jerk, but now I see that the opposite is true: when I'm not taking care of myself, that's when I lose all sense of humor. I cannot believe it took me this long to figure it out.