“Eat Me,” said the Snack Bag

“I’m small, I’m portion controlled. Only 70 calories and you can enjoy my wonderful sweet and salty tastes,” said the Skinny Pop Kettle Corn Single Serve bag in the drawer. The one with the other Skinny Pop and a few Pirate’s Booty bags. They all came together in a sack from the grocery store snack aisle which had no business leaving the store let alone get into the house.

Why, you ask? Because even though they are nicely portioned out, there just isn’t enough stuff inside to be satisfying. So I end up eating two and then three trying to get enough. They are empty calories that I can afford to squish into my day if I’m careful, but then there are other foods that are so much more satisfying and sustaining that I have to cut out if I am to stay within my daily calorie target.

Or I could just keep eating my planned healthy little clementines and baby carrots or even real food for dinner AS WELL AS the empty snacky foods. Seems I’ve been doing a good bit of that lately and it doesn’t make me happy. So why do I do it? There’s the question.

I don’t particularly feel deprived. I’ve been eating carefully for almost a full year and know that I can eat anything I want as long as I can figure out how to account for it within my limits. Mostly that’s calories – I’m eating 1540/day now, but aiming for less – but also a minimum of 70 gms protein, under 2300 gms sodium, and 35 gms or more of fiber, plus 80-125 oz of water.

So I spend time every morning planning out what I’m going to eat that day, all three meals and snacks. It usually reminds me that I have food scheduled and planned that I know is actually in the house and available. I arrange for my beloved slider basket from the club at least once a week because I love it. But I also read labels as I shop and even as I look at restaurant menus for possible takeout. Foods I used to eat regularly I just can’t justify eating anymore because of the calories. Oh, I can eat them, but to make it work, I need to not eat much else. I love Pad Thai but hey, I love not starving the rest of the day more.

Back to snack bags. The fact is, I don’t really like eating baby carrots and healthy things. I know I should, but I don’t. I still have the acquired love of salty things even more than sweets. I can pass on ice cream but crave tortilla chips – but know that I just can’t stop myself with a measured amount. So the snack bags of popcorn are replacements for the chips but inadequate ones, so I keep eating more.

Next project: find snack sizes of tortilla chips. Maybe that will be satisfying enough that I can stop with the measured, portioned amount. If not, I’m back to carrots even though I don’t want to be.

I Want to Eat Everything

Emotional eatingLast week I quietly strung together almost seven days of eating carefully and relatively easily within my food plan. This week it’s very different. I want to eat everything in sight unless it is a vegetable or fruit. So I guess it’s not everything I want, it’s specific tastes. My basic comfort food pyramid of salt, sugar, and carbs.

I want to crunch things but not baby carrots because they are healthy. Potato chips or soy crisps or popcorn work because they are salty and meltingly crunchy instead of crispy crunchy, the way an apple or those stupid little carrots taste.

I want chocolate, good chocolate or crummy chocolate as long as it’s sweet and rich and creamy tasting. Okay, really crummy chocolate isn’t going to do it for me right now. I want good stuff and since Valentine’s Day is just days away, there is and will be chocolate everywhere within hand’s reach – and later this week it will be on sale for 50-75% off. Uh oh, now that’s scary.

But then there is the lure of bread. Ahh, I love bread. It is my ultimate comfort food, which is why I can’t buy loaves of it to have in the house because I’ll sit and eat it mindlessly, slice after slice. Potato rolls I seem to be able to more or less manage – but a friend mentioned breadmakers the other day and my mind has gone off into scary tangents of justification. No, no, I can’t go there.

So I sit here with a stomach ache from eating too much of all the wrong things today. Fritos in the morning when I wasn’t even hungry, just wanting something with crunch and salt. Small meatball sub at lunch with extra marinara sauce. Little vanilla creme sandwich cookies – 2 packs of them, for no particular reason except they are addictive and were there when I was feeling squirrely. Mrs. Prindables chocolate covered caramels that were supposed to go to the office. Ha ha ha.

I managed to eat a balanced breakfast and a reasonable salad with layers and flavors and – blech – vegetables. I drank lots of water. But somehow that got overwhelmed by the other stuff. I knew what I was doing and did it anyway.

So what’s going on? I’m squirrely. I hate being cold with my toes turning into little ice cubes. I hate the gray and drear and sameness of the days. I’m tired of it being dark so early, even though it’s better than it was. I want long weekends when I can get out and explore and take pictures without taking off my insulated gloves and freezing my fingers.

I want to not have to worry that tomorrow is my weigh in day and it’s not going to be pretty. I’ll go anyway, but I don’t want to. I’m tired of doing a daily (private) inventory and have been blowing it off instead of doing it because it feels like work now and not a helpful tool.

I want a change. I want to be warm. I want to be planning a great vacation without having to worry about money. I want to be satisfied with healthy foods and not just the things that all the experts tell me will kill me. I want to not have the attitude that I’m going to die of something anyway so why not enjoy myself while I go. I want my tummy to stop hurting.

I want to feel better about myself. Maybe tomorrow I will.