← Back to all articles

In Search of a Sweet…Experience

By Naomi Cutner | March 1, 2014

Oh, those cravings for something sweet!

Is there really anyone who hasn’t known what it’s like to face the siren call of sweets? This is an enchantment compelling and almost impossible to ignore—one that often is met with alarm once you are drawn into its spell.

Is it possible to have that pleasure without feeling as though one has been slammed into a wall after heeding desire? I believe it is.

My mother had a ferocious sweet tooth. She went to one of the finest bakeries in town and brought home perfectly made cakes with butter cream frosting. I am sure all those lovely cakes sweetened my palate and inspired my passion for baking. But Mom—did you do me in here? How can I take on your pleasures without regret?

My patients crave sweets—and so do I. But maybe we all are looking for something that doesn’t really have to do with sugar. What else is sweet that can fill me up when I hear that siren call?

It’s sometimes hard to know what sweet it is we are searching for. Is it a moment of tenderness, listening to a piece of music (how about the voices in 20 Feet from Stardom??), a moment with a close friend, noticing the first crocus to push through the floor of this ice-ridden winter (yes, do look—the crocuses really are now pushing their way to freedom—that is indeed sweet)? What else do you think is sweet?

Our minds are wired from childhood to associate sweet with cookies, that beloved ice cream cone, butter cream frosted cake. You will have to work to think about what else could be sweet in your life.

At the moment the cravings are most intense, assume you are needing something—and likely something sweet. Do the hard work, don’t go to sugar at that moment. Make space for a sweet place in yourself, in a relationship, in your life. One less cookie, one more sweet moment.

When you find that you can have just a little bit of something sweet other than food, how truly sweet it is.