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23 March 2003

I could see them in my mind. I could smell them in my mind. I could taste them in my mind. I had a strong craving for the brownies that they sell at the market next door to the office--thick, chewey, with big chunks of chocolate imbedded in them. The old-fashioned kind with rich flavor, the kind my mother used to make. I wanted a brownie. Heck, I wanted the whole package of brownies.

What was even worse, I had to go to the store to get lunch.

I had to walk past, around, by, near, in front of the big display of brownies.

What the heck. It won't kill me. I deserve it. I can make it up. All the old excuses. I would buy a box and bring them back to the office and hide them in the fridge. Then I'd sneak in when Dr. G had a patient and get snacks throughout the day. If there were any left at the end of the day, I'd take them home. Walt is on a business trip and will be gone all week. I could finish them off and get the container into the garbage before he came home and he'd be none the wiser.

Yes, I'm ashamed to admit that was my thought process.

Bozoette has a wonderful entry about food cravings, about the helplessness when confronted with temptations like killer brownies. Like me, she's lost a chunk of weight (we've lost about the same amount) and is looking pretty good right now. She wants to lose more and she's having a difficult time sticking with it.

I start out pretty well, a simple toasted bagel for breakfast, salad and protein for lunch. Then all hell breaks loose. There's simply some sort of switch in my brain that flips, and then it's all over but the crumb cleanup. Marriott hard candy, Lindt white chocolate truffle bars, afternoon cookies, dinner dessert.


I kidded myself, when I started this plan, that if I could stick with it--really stick with it--that over time I'd develop better eating habits. I'd come to prefer good food over--well--killer brownies. I'd learn how to stop with one bite of something really yummy and gnosh a carrot instead.

Funny how we play mind games on ourselves, isn't it?

They say "nothing tastes as good as thin feels." Bzzzttt. Wrong. It's a nice cliché, but it's just not true. Thin doesn't feel as good as those brownies would taste. And's only a one day slip, right?

So I headed off to the supermarket, full of cravings and guilt. I had sorta kinda made up my mind. The heck with it. I know I said I was going to be more disciplined, but dammit...I want a brownie...or ten.

When I got to the store, I first bought a new box of Splenda so I can have oatmeal again. Then I bought some cooked chicken so I can have a big salad with chicken for dinner, since I don't have to actually cook dinner with Walt gone. Then I picked up some tomatoes for snacking on...nice zero point food.

And then I approached the danger zone: the deli, the Chinese food counter, the cheese sample place, the bakery which bakes hot French bread just before lunchtime, ...and the brownies.

I chose soup and a salad for lunch and put them in my basket. Then the moment of truth was here. The hell with it. I was buying the brownies, dammit.

But I didn't. I brought the soup and salad back to the office and ate that for lunch and to calm my sweet tooth, I ate a mini Luna bar.

Now that the "honeymoon phase" (as my friend Diane calls it) is over, it's time to look at "eating" realistically. To accept that I'm never going to be rid of the cravings. There will always be killer brownies to deal with. I'm never going to find broccoli a "treat." I'm never eagerly going to choose salad over something deep fried. Even my leader, 12 years down the road, still struggles with food cravings.

I am envious of people who eat to live. It's not necessarily an "admirable" trait, because I suspect it comes of conditioning, not discipline. (I could be wrong on that.) When you are raised in an environment where food is the center of all pleasant activities, where treats are food, where special events call for food, where fun centers around food, it become very deeply engrained. I suspect the majority of people in this country (based on the severe obesity problem) were raised that way. It was nobody's fault. It was just what was the norm.

I'd love to be the kind of person who doesn't think about food until my stomach tells me it's hungry. But I can't help being affected by food, struggling with the temptations on a daily basis. Occasionally giving in...but that makes the times when I don't give in, when I pass by the killer brownies, that much more sweet. It ain't chocolate, but it's a decent second choice.

Quote of the Day

As with most fine things, chocolate has its season. There is a simple memory aid that you can use to determine whether it is the correct time to order chocolate dishes: any month whose name contains the letter A, E, or U is the proper time for chocolate."

~ Sandra Boynton, Chocolate: The Consuming Passion

Yesterday's Photo

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David--age 1



One Year Ago
Out of the Closet
(Wearing my old thinner clothes again)

Two Years Ago
Love Story
(The story of Sam and Coco)

Three Years Ago
(there was no 3/23 entry...)

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Pounds Lost:  70
(this figure is updated on Tuesdays)

On the Odometer

I'm loaning URL to my friend Joan indefinitely, so I'm retiring this spot.
Blue Angel Total 796.4
2003 YTD Cumulative:  319.7

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