Dear Annie: I have an addictive personality, and this time of year is really tough for me. Starting with Halloween, I can't stop eating sweets. Usually, the residual candy lasts for weeks, and even if I remove it from my house, it's all over the office or clients' offices. Then, moving into Thanksgiving and desserts, I can't help myself. Once December starts, all the holiday gifts start arriving, and many are sugar-based. Come New Year's, I've been on a two-month junk food binge.
I am active and exercise regularly. The balance of my diet is healthy. And generally between January and October, I'm able to control my intake of sweets. I believe I'm healthy, and I do get annual physicals, so nothing indicates any health concerns from my annual junk food binges. But I'd like to figure out a way to get better control of my impulses during this time of year. Any advice? -- Seasonal Sugar Addict
Dear Sugar: There's always tomorrow to start a diet when that fresh apple pie comes out of the oven. Whether it's with candy or baked treats, the key is to enjoy in moderation. Sugar can be addictive, and as with all addictions, there are plenty of professionals and support groups to help. A nutritionist could help you understand your body and plot a healthy eating regimen with you. Focus on addressing your sugar intake day by day. Keep an active record of your daily food consumption, and make yourself accountable for every sweet you consume. Try not to completely deprive yourself, and learn to appreciate the moment on the lips.
Dear Annie: This thought has been bothering me for some time. My longtime good friend "Alice" slurps her soup and some other foods. She is a lady who has always otherwise had great table manners. She is a highly educated and elegant person. She is not at all aware that she is slurping. I know that she would be devastated if she knew it. So my question is: As one of her best friends, do I tell her or not? -- Somewhere on This Planet
Dear Somewhere on This Planet: I wouldn't recommend this if you two weren't good friends or if she didn't care so much about table manners, but given both of those facts, I think you could gently point out the slurping to her. If our best friends don't tell us when we've got egg on our faces, who will?
Dear Annie: Just a comment on an answer you gave to "Why?!" -- who wrote to you concerning her retired husband, who insists on using the "wrong" plastic bags for leftovers. Why not suggest that they discontinue use of those bags altogether and utilize reusable containers, such as Pyrex or Tupperware? That could help cut down on the amount of plastic waste heading into the ocean. -- Lori W.
Dear Lori: Excellent point. Over 267 species have been harmed by plastic pollution in the ocean, and about 100,000 marine animals are killed by plastic bags every year. We should all be taking every opportunity we can to avoid contributing to this massive problem. Thanks for writing.
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