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The Skinny By Elaine Langlois

So Long, Sugar

I know what you're thinking. How can the first female President of the United States credit giving up sugar for her success in life? Reader, this is my story.

It was some years ago after the holidays. I was 20 pounds overweight, pretty much as I had been for the past ten years. My family and I had eaten the good holiday candy and for the most part only the less desirable candy was left.

I had been good since waking up that morning, eating just whole-wheat pancakes and a banana. I was always good right up until 11 a.m. when it was time for tea. Then I got bad. Once I was bad, it was easy to get worse. Harry and David's Moose Munch Caramel Corn. Sundaes with homemade Hershey's Cocoa Fudge Sauce. Whoopie pies. Don't get me started.

While I waited for the kettle to boil, I thought longingly of the Ghirardelli chocolate bar on the coffee table. Then I thought, instead of eating that Ghirardelli chocolate bar, I will do something else. I will empty the dishwasher. So I did.

All afternoon and evening, I managed to keep sugar at bay. Then I went to bed and slept for three days. When I awoke, I felt chaste. Clean. Like a young child just out of the bath.

Days turned to weeks, weeks to months. I continued to do some activity each time the craving for sugar came upon me. I read all the books I'd been meaning to read since college. Without sugar, Ulysses really made sense. I did every home improvement project I'd ever thought of. I sold my house, bought another, fixed it up, and sold it for a higher price. Pretty soon, I was doing very well.

My finances were further improved by a substantial drop in medical bills. No more fillings. No more instances of my dentist telling me jokingly that I'd paid for his widescreen TV or jaunt to Aruba. My prediabetic condition disappeared, and my blood pressure plummeted. In fact, it's so low, people often mistake me for dead!

And the grocery bills! No more Double Stuf Oreos or Chips Ahoy! No Milanos or Stella d'Oro assortments. No peanut butter chips, tubs of icing, or sprinkles. Teaspoon by teaspoon, those bags of sugar add up!

My doctor asked me to do a public relations campaign on the benefits of not using sugar. I gained a lot of positive recognition from that project. People wrote articles about me. I did a music video with Eminem and appeared on Oprah. I was climbing to the top, over the Food Guide Pyramid. I even got to meet Arnold Schwarzenegger!

Although I could now afford to buy a gym, I no longer needed to, as without sugar I dropped those 20 pounds and have been stunningly attractive ever since.

In fact, I am lithe. I had never been lithe before, and let me tell you, being lithe is tremendously satisfying. It's right up there with Creamsicles.

It was my money and all that footage of me drinking water, eating three servings of vegetables a day, and rapping about fiber that got me elected to office. I quickly developed a reputation as a calm person who reflected deeply on the issues before acting. The truth is, without sugar, my thought processes have slowed down, so it takes me a good long while to think about anything. Also, I'm incapable of getting excited.

Every once in a while I pass a display of Twinkies or Mounds bars and my pulse starts to hammer. Sometimes I lock myself in the Oval Office with one of those cylindrical sugar containers you get at restaurants. I pour out the sugar, slowly, onto a table. Then I purse my lips and blow it softly all away. Nobody says anything to me about it, not even the cleaning staff. Because I'm the President.

I keep a 2-pound Whitman's Sampler in my limousine at all times. Every day I pick out a chocolate; inhale deeply, deciphering the flavor (ah, coconut); hold it in my hand for a while-and throw it out the window. Then I wipe my hand with a wipey.

If you were to carry away one thought from my little story, I hope it would be this: there is nothing in the world like Girl Scouts Thin Mint cookies. No, wait.

What I meant to say was:

Keep sugar, honey, and my sweet to say to your loved ones, and banish them from your body. Live sober, straight-eyed, and sugar-free!

© 2003 Elaine Langlois