Sunday, February 15, 2009

A New Food Ban, effective immediately

The single, biggest, most frequent, most damaging, and hardest to avoid slip up for me is chocolate. It is my dearest friend, and my kryptonite. I have a lot of food allergies, and a lot of brands don't work for me, thankfully, but I am a hard core Hershey's girl. That town in Pennsylvania, where I have never even visited, has become the bane of my existence. In the last few years it has become a bigger and bigger problem, and is a huge contributor to my excess weight. Kisses are the classic go-to, but a couple of years ago when they invented "Kissables" (the Hershey version of M&M's, which I can't have anymore but were a huge high school addiction,) things got even worse. And I have recently rediscovered the fact that Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies work for me, too. I must have purposely forgotten about that wonderful piece of deliciousness, but unfortunately I remembered a couple of weeks ago. I haven't talked here before about how much chocolate or how often I eat it, and I'm not sure I'd even be comfortable putting it out there until AFTER I had cured the problem. But I will touch on it a little.

In the meantime, I will tell you what I have done. This is another thing I don't think I've discussed here before, but food bans is something that I came up with when it got so far out of control it was scary. And yes, I mean this in the literal sense, foods that I ban myself from eating, which I have actually only done twice in my lifetime to date. My first ban was/is a permanent one, which may sound kind of weird, but I'm being honest here. About 5 years ago, I permanently banned myself, for the rest of my lifetime, from eating another Hostess chocolate cupcake. Why? Well, did you know that you can buy them by the boxes of 12 or so? It started as a pack-a-day habit, that got worse when they had a several month promotion where there was a third cupcake in the pack. Then I became brazen enough to buy more than one pack at a time. And finally, the 12 pack, which were purchased often and rarely lasted more than a day and a half. I equate it with the same thing as being an alcoholic, and know there is no way I could ever handle them again. I came kind of close to letting myself have a pass to eat a pack them in the hospital with my son after his birth, because I was under a crippling amount of stress and it was one of the only things that looked good in the vending machine, but I talked myself out of it. Other than that one time, I have never again considered it an option, nor would I imagine any excuse that would be good enough.

The second ban was a temporary one, and it was just last year. It started around August or September, I think, and was through the end of 2008, and that was the aforementioned Kissables. The only thing more compelling at the time then Hershey's chocolate was Hershey's chocolate wrapped in crunchy candy. That started to spiral a little too far out of control (eating the big bags in about a day in a half, often) and I banned myself to the end of the year. Which I stuck with and beyond, and it was only recently I gradually delved back into them.

So today, during the second in as many days of a fabulously long and awesome feeling walking and running workout, I did some thinking. I've been struggling so much with roller coaster motivation, and the one thing that most consistently and quickly derails me is the desire to eat chocolate. And people all give the advice "not to buy" stuff that you are trying to avoid, and to get rid of what you have, but when I want it, I am perfectly happy to go buy it, and will even go to great length do do so if it is not immediately convenient. So today, I decided to institute another longer, (but still temporary) ban, that will be wider reaching. (Obviously this is due to recent eating behavior that I'm pretty uncomfortable admitting to the details of...) Effective immediately, I have banned myself from eating any kind of chocolate, with exactly three minor and very manageable exceptions. Jello Pudding cups, which we have in chocolate and vanilla layered flavor and are 100 calories (2 Weight Watchers Points) that I am not addicted to, Healthy Choice fudge pops, which are very satisfying as a frozen dessert and are only one Point each, and brownies made with black beans. Yes, you read that right, long story but it's a healthier and less sweet version of a brownie, that ends up being 2 points because of the high fiber content and much less sweet too, and I kind of like them but am definitely not addicted to them. Other than that, I will not eat another piece, bite, or mouthful of anything chocolate while the calendar still says 2009. 2009 is my year to lose this weight for once and for all, and even though the first month and a half are used up, I refuse to give in and not have this be the year. I refuse to be heavy through another summer of bathing suits, during the first vacation back to Vegas that we will have had together in over 5 years, or show up this weight to my 20th HS reunion in Oct. Desperate times call for desperate measures, cliche but true...

Why on earth would that work, you ask? How is it different than just trying to limit what you eat? I don't know, to be honest, but it does. I think fear is a big part of it. I am not addicted to anything "bad" like alcohol or anything else of that nature, but I equate my behavior with chocolate as a substance that I am abusing. As such, I feel like when it gets to that point, the rule is simply not breakable, and I think very carefully before starting one. So, I did that today, and now I am locked out of that problem, with no turning back. Hopefully that should free me a little more to truly succeed, because now my struggles will be with things that are less out of control. Not saying it will be easy, because there are plenty of other foods I am prone to chronically overeat, but they are not in the Hershey ballpark!

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