One of my dearest friends, Francesco Clark, is a skincare guru. So when he says something, I tend to lean in close and lissen up. Recently, though, he said something kind of shocking, especially for a person who loves chocolate as much as I do: He said sugar is bad for the skin.

Shut. The. Heck. Up.

You can read more of his sacreligious statements here in this column. Initially, I thought, Blasphemer! How many pounds of sugar have you and I ingested together?! But I was a little hyper from eating about 12 macaroons at the time. (Macaroon recipe coming soon.) When I calmed down a bit and re-read the article, I thought, Well…

Hmm….

Maybe–MAYBE–there’s something to this. It wouldn’t hurt to try, would it?

Yes. Yes it would, I thought. Giving up sugar would hurt a lot. I love my sugar. But does it love me back? Not really, when I look closely at my skin, which looks okay but certainly doesn’t get the compliments it used to. Or when I look at my thighs. And let’s not drag my butt into this conversation, because it’s just too heavy to be dragged.

So Fran didn’t exactly lay down a challenge when he gently suggested cutting refined sugar intake down. Diane Chang, the author of the article, is going for two weeks without sugar. WOAH. That sounds like an awful lot of days without a reason to live.

But I do love a challenge. I don’t know why, because I often fail these challenges miserably–stay tuned for my wretched results at the More Magazine Half-Marathon. But I like to try. It’s that darn indomitable spirit of mine. Please remind me to have a doctor take a look at removing that at my next checkup.

So, here I am on Day 1 of not eating refined sugar. How far will I get? And will you join me? Stop laughing, I’m serious…

Many thanks to all of you who felt my “feh” last week. As I wrote about here, I was in a grand funk and had no real desire to get out of it. And I think that’s what helped me finally get out of it. I neither tried to kill the “feh” state, nor did I feed it.

Well, that’s a total lie–if I wasn’t feeding the “feh,” I was certainly feeding my face, self-medicating all the way. My drug of choice? SUGAR. Yep, the ol’ White Debbil was a constant visitor to our leaky home last week. The Hubbins, whose handsome head is loaded with not one sweet tooth but 36 of them, arrived home one night with a bag from Crumbs cupcakes. He’d scored not only the Squiggle (Crumbs’s version of a Hostess cupcake) but a S’Mores as well. And these weren’t the miniatures; we’re talking the full-sized, 520-calories-each versions. We’d had a rough week. The only thing I can say in our defense is that we spread the two sugar bombs out over two nights.

Then, as part of “I Heart” week, I made one of Naturally Nora’s chocolate cakes. Well, I had to, didn’t I? I mean, I asked Nora if we could do a cake giveaway here on cherriesinwinter.com, and a picture of a luscious chocolate cake is worth a thousand of my words, so I had to bake said cake to take photos of it for the blog. (Winners of the giveaway to be announced tomorrow!)

True, I didn’t have to eat most of the cake. And I for sure didn’t have to eat the rest of the frosting when having anxious moments. Straight out of the measuring cup. With my fingers. (Have I said too much? Oh dear.)

Additionally, we had enablers–excuse me, friends over for dinner on Saturday, and they came bearing brownies and Snickerdoodle cookies. It would have been incredibly rude of me not to eat their offerings. It was almost rude the way I ate them, and certainly the amount I ate was borderline gauche.

And I don’t care! That’s right, I’m not going to beat myself up about eating too much sugar. What’s the point? I’ll just whoop myself right back into “feh” territory, or worse. Beating myself up is one hobby I’m happy to give up. Besides, this isn’t frettin’ weather–the sun is out, the fog of “feh” has been lifted, and today’s a fine day to pick up the yoga mat and put down the sugar…

As soon as I’m done baking cookies for The Beach Babes, a book group in Ohio that I’ll be doing a Skype discussion with this week. And that’s not “feh”; that’s fabulous!

As I mentioned the other day, I’m in training to run/walk/shuffle or otherwise move through the More Magazine Half-Marathon this April 25 (just a few–shudder–months away; read about it here). And as I also mentioned, this was a great way to burn off some cookies. A better way for me to bring less weight along for my morning runs would be to ease off a little on the cookies. Hey, one Everest at a time, okay?

As I try valiantly to recover from my holiday overdose of sweets and get this sugar monkey off my back, Gourmet.com, the online version of the stellar food magazine (rest in peace, dear Gourmet), has chosen to feature a timeline of cookies.

With photos.

They open with cookies from the 1940s, which are very reminiscent of Nana’s recipe for butter cookies from Cherries in Winter. They’re full of the good ol’, non-marathon training foods like butter, sugar, and white flour. Oh dear…

If you’re trying to keep your hands out of the cookie jar as one of those despicable but necessary new year’s resolutions, stay away from this link.

If, though, you’ve started a fitness program and are modifying your sugar intake to weekends like yours truly, you’ll enjoy looking at these yumlicious photos…with recipes. Visitor, be warned.