Erik’s challenge

Monday night at dinner after eating approximately 2.5 lbs. of chocolate over Easter weekend Erik announced to the family, “This is the official start of ‘no-treats’ week for me: no candy, no brownies, no Nutella, no ice cream, no treats!”

“Yeah, right.” Ben quipped, “That will last for about 20 minutes.”

“Just you wait and see. I’m going to do it.”

Erik is a healthy eater. He loves brussel sprouts, lima beans and broccoli; he eats jars of 4 bean salad just for fun. Whole-wheat bread, brown rice and wheat pasta are staples in his diet.
Rarely will he partake of American junk-food staples like french fries, soda, hamburgers or potato chips.

But sweets, ah sweets– Dove chocolate, pastries, ice cream, chocolate cream-puffs, brownies, chocolate chip cookies, Lindt balls, marzipan….. Erik once picked up a pound of marzipan from the local Scandinavian bakery and ate the whole thing on the drive home. It’s not unusual for him to pick up day-old pastries from a bakery and eat 3 of them for lunch. At work he keeps a jar of Nutella at his desk and eats it by the spoonful or mixes it into his oatmeal. It’s a sweet life.

No one would call Erik fat– but with a marathon on the horizon and his 40th birthday coming up he wants to drop a few pounds. I just finished 4 weeks of no sugar(yeah, that’s why I am so grumpy) and I told him, “With your metabolism you don’t have to drop sweets completely– just go for moderation.” But moderation for him means 6 cookies instead of a dozen.

The first few days called me from work whining, “I’m starving!” Erik estimates that 1/2 his calories came from junk. He didn’t know how to fill in the calorie deficit. Suddenly he’s eating double portions of dinner and bowls of shredded wheat for dessert.

Today is the last day and he’s dragging. Fresh brownies are on the counter and Easter candy is still sprinkled throughout the house. “You guys are killing me here!” he cried.

“Are you tempted to end it early?” I asked.

“I’m going CRAZY! But it feels good to really do it. I’ll see a piece of chocolate or a jelly bean and think, ‘I could just eat that and no one would ever know; it wouldn’t matter in the least.’ But I would know, and I want to be true to myself.”

“Are you going to keep going for another week then?”


We found this excellent e-card(thanks Bonnie!) to celebrate his liberation tomorrow:

Everything will be OK.

March 30, 2008
March 31, 2008



  1. Jan Russell

    March 31, 2008

    Wow, I think I had a “no treats” hour once….

  2. Bonnie

    March 31, 2008

    Is that a different Bonnie, ’cause I don’t remember telling you about any e-card…

  3. Michelle

    March 31, 2008

    No, it’s you Bonnie. We learned about Hoops and YoYo from you and your mom! We love them– thanks!

  4. Blue

    March 31, 2008

    Love Jan’s comment!

    there have been so many times, especially recently as I’ve been putting on weight and getting bummed out about it, that I’ve toyed with going “cold turkey”. Because I am like Erik…I just can’t do the moderation thing. But I’m so uncommitted thus far. It could only be a good decision, but I’m still chicken.

    I didn’t know you were off treats. Sorry to have tempted you! That was horrid timing of me.

  5. Mama

    March 31, 2008

    Michelle, I gave up sugar recently, and I have to tell you, it feels good! I know how Erik feels, as I too eat Nutella by the spoonful. [blush] But it has helped to remember that sweets are there anytime I decide to indulge; I just have made a conscious decision not to indulge every day. And my body actually does run a lot better, and I lost weight this week even though I broke rule at the beach and shared a grilled banana split with the fam! So worth it!

  6. twoelves

    March 31, 2008

    Erik must have great will power — you too for that matter. With all these Easter Sweets around, I find it extremely difficult not to snack on just a piece here and there and then it turns into 2 or 3pieces, etc etc. I think the no carbs would even be more difficult for me. Ughh!


    March 31, 2008

    Feel free to send some of that Nutella out this way! 😉

    Love Cuz’in Annemarie

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