My Worst Diet Decision, the Sugar Crash

It’s ironic that yesterday I wrote about my best diet decision ever, giving up soft drinks. Today I made my worst diet decision of the year. I ate a large Dairy Queen Blizzard by myself. This decision makes slightly more sense in context, so let me start with that.

Get away from me, foul temptress!

A friend of mine took me to an ultimate frisbee skills clinic today. This friend is a very good frisbee player. I would call him a diehard, and he even competes on a touring team. To him and others like him, the sport is simply called ultimate. No other word is needed. For my part, I barely know how to play frisbee, which is why he invited me to this skills clinic. I got to practice and get tips from some amazing players.

I should add as an aside that this is perhaps the best way to learn something. I was surrounded by about 15 people, all competitive players, all super-nice, all giving me tips, from the specific (which fingers to grip the frisbee and how hard) to the more general (look where you are throwing the disc). In those two hours, my throwing has improved tremendously, and I understand the game and strategy so much more. Because I was one of the worst people there, I get lots of individual attention, and it paid off. If you want to improve or learn a particular skill and you have the option to go to a clinic or a workshop or a seminar, it’s a very good investment.

If there was downside, this event occurred outside, in a beautiful green field under a scorching red sun. I think I got a sunburn before I fully applied my sunscreen. With the humidex, temperatures eclipsed 40 degrees Celsius. For you Americans, that’s over 100 F. Simply standing resulted in waves of sweat rolling down my brow, and if you know one thing about ultimate, you rarely simply stand.

The heat death of the universe couldn’t be much hotter than Saturday.

Just like in football, you never throw at a stationary target. The receiver stays in constant motion. We ran drills, and we ran cutting patterns and zigzags and sprints. We did defence drills, where you need to stick to your partner no matter how fast or where he runs. I brought three bottles of water, and I used two of them in the first 45min. It only lasted two hours, but my clothes were soaked in perspiration by then. Oh, a cold shower would feel so good when I got home.

We ended just after noon, so the hottest part of the day. I was dropped off at home, and as I walked inside, I saw, as if placed by destiny, an advertisement for Dairy Queen. I haven’t been to a DQ in ages. One is just a ten minute walk down the street from me. On a hot day like this, some cool, delicious ice cream would be heaven. My decision was made: I drank a glass of water and then headed out for a frosty treat.

As a kid, I always loved the Blizzard. This is a mix between a milk shake and ice cream, usually with some sort of topping as well. My description does not do it justice. Bottom line, a Blizzard is the King of ice cream treats. I’ve never had anything else that compares. After scanning the menu, I noticed the large size was nearly three times bigger than the small and only twice as expensive. I’ll order that; get maximum value. Oh, I got the maximum alright.

Despite everything I’ve been through, looking at this image tempts me to get another one.

I ended up with a large Cookie Dough Blizzard. If you love cookie dough ice cream, you’d love this. I finished it before I got home. This was necessary, as the heat reached its zenith and about a third melted even as I wolfed it down. It tasted so good. Honestly, when it’s that hot, you should be required to have ice cream. I felt pretty good with myself … for about 40min, and then the sugar crash hit me.

It happened without warning. I suddenly became tired beyond reason. I could barely hold my head up, and as I lurched around in a waking coma, my head buzzed. A sugar headache seized me. My throat went dry and I couldn’t concentrate on anything. When I finally, merciful had a nap, I dreamed of sugar plum fairies murdering me with sharp, delicious ice cream knives. A day later I’m still feeling the adverse affects. I would not trust myself with heavy machinery … or anything, really.

To put things in perspective, here are some numbers. I eat a fairly healthy diet; most of my sugar input comes from fruits and processed breads and pastas. I don’t eat much sweets. Let’s say 100g a week, just for fun. A large Cookie Dough Blizzard has 141g of sugar in it. In other words, I ate more than my normal week’s worth of sugar in ten minutes.

I was hoping to find a copy of the book Snow Crash, but with Snow replaced with Sugar. I did not find it. Internet has disappointed me.

I’m lucky I didn’t die, though I certainly overdosed.

Other numbers are just as funny. It has 1,340 calories. That’s more than some people get in a day. Nearly 500 of those calories are from fat. It also has 1.5g of trans fatty acid, something that sounds so bad anything higher than 0 is terrible. On the plus side, I got 60% of my recommended calcium and 40% of my recommended sodium … wait, that last one is bad. I used UP 40% of my daily recommended sodium.

All in ten minutes.

Now, to be honest, most of these numbers don’t mean too much to me. I have a lucky body type in that I never gain or lose weight. I naturally stay thin. If anything, I would like to gain some weight for athleticism, though I would prefer muscle over fat. What I do care about, though, is how I feel. For four hours after I ate my delicious, delicious treat, I felt terrible. The next day, I still feel ill. Literally, I feel worse than when I have a cold. Doing even simple things takes extra effort, and I’m doing a worse job. I care about this a lot.

Yesterday, I wrote about giving up pop. I drank three Pepsi a day. That’s 120g of sugar a day. It was more spread out, but it’s still nearly the same as I had with my Blizzard. In other words, I used to live in a perpetual sugar crash. Right now, my terrible feeling, this was my old normal. That’s unbelievable.

You are what you eat. I don’t intend to eat 140g of sugar in a ten minute window ever again. Oh, it was delicious, and it made my hot day so much more bearable. It just also made the rest of the day equally unbearable. I’m not ready to give these things up for good, as a Blizzard on a hot day is pretty awesome, but I think I’ll go for the small.

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