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Walking past a Fannie May shop this morning, I remembered those days when Pixies™, eggnog creams, and chocolate covered cherries covered the counters of nurses’ stations at Christmas. So, I want to challenge you, especially nurses, to skip the candy, in fact, to skip sugar altogether, over the holidays.

But, you say, there are too many temptations. Patients leave “thank-you” boxes of candy, the break room is laden with the unit manager’s fudge and peanut brittle, and the cafeteria has their famous peppermint stick soft ice cream.

But, I say, no excuses. Why? Because you have everything going for you to lose some weight over the holidays. You’re already running around, right? At work, you never sit down. At home, you’re shopping yet for that red cashmere scarf for your mother, wrapping that boring book on football for your husband, and picking up and dropping off kids until you’re ready to drop yourself.

So, just by running around, you’re doing the exercise part of losing weight. Now you only have to make sure you’re not eating more calories than you’re burning up. Nutrition 101.

And that’s where sugar comes in, or should I say, sticks to your hips. So, what can you do to ensure that you lose weight over the Christmas holidays? You guessed it. Skip sugar.

I know that’s not easy! One year, while I was conducting research in a medical practice, vendors I’d never heard of buried us with goodies I’d never heard of–German Stollen Bread, Lindor Dark Chocolate Truffles, Ghirardelli’s Peppermint Hot Cocoa… The office staff arranged each arrival on a table right outside my office. By the end of each day, the table was missing my hourly scavenger hunts for the next best thing. As my lab coat tightened around my shoulders, I couldn’t wait for the holidays to be over. Seven pounds later, it was New Year’s Day and time to make the annual “lose weight” resolution.

This year, in my eleventh year of retirement, I’m taking a new approach and starting my annual resolution before Christmas. Skip sugar. Walk more. That’s it. No sugar, more steps.

Skipping sugar covers all those foods that produce empty calories and end in “ose,” except for milk (lactose) and fruit (fructose). Simple—pass up the candy, cookies, cupcakes, pies… You know the rest. Nutrition 101 again.

I started two weeks ago. The digitized numbers on the scale are edging down, 0.2 pounds at a time. It is possible to skip sugar. I passed up my husband’s offer last night of apple pie. This morning, I walked 3,780 steps to a bookstore. If you nurses wore a step counter, many of you would find that you walk thousands more than that every day.

I’m sitting at the bookstore café now. The white-bearded man on my left is scarfing down a chocolate frosted chocolate cupcake. A little girl is eyeing the brownies in the display case. I rise from my chair, wander to the case, and contemplate the goodies infused with sugar: Oreo Cookie Blast, Chocolate Blackout Cupcake, Godiva Double Chocolate Cheesecake.

Did I tell you that my favorite comfort food is chocolate? A serotonin booster, you know.

I turn away. Since I started de-sugaring myself, I no longer crave chocolate, or any sweets. A miracle! I choose the Spinach and Artichoke Quiche.

And, I am sure that you, during this holiday season, can pass up the sweets and skip sugar too! Think of how good your scale would look and you would feel come New Year’s Day.

*I welcome company! If you’d like to join me, publicly, in my No Sugar binge, click on the little bubble on the top right hand of this post, and follow the directions to leave a comment. Or email me, privately, at caringlessons@aol.com

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