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Pull back the curtain and see how a suspense writer puts the thrills and chills together.

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Welcome back Dear Readers,

Sometimes inspiration can strike in the strangest places. I found it in a bag of cheesy poofs.

Let me explain. I have an odd relationship with chips and other snack food…or maybe it’s not so odd. Perhaps some of you can relate.

When I was a kid, a bag of chips was a once-a-week treat. My mother would get me one treat from the grocery store, but the rest of the time, I ate fairly healthy, home cooked meals. As an adult, I got into fitness and muay thai training, so I continued to eat well, but I still felt guilty whenever I indulged my love for synthetic cheese goodness. Eating plans like Body-for-Life, which required me to eat very clean for six days and then “cheat” with whatever junk food I wanted on the seventh, were the worst. I was so embarrassed when I walked up to the cashier with my haul! I was all I could do not to defend myself: “you see, it’s my cheat day.”

Slowly, and I’m not sure how or when…I suspect it was when I went off plans like Body-for-Life and Making The Cut…I decided I could eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I have a high metabolism, I don’t gain weight easily, and I train hard–why not? I would still attempt to eat healthy most of the time, but if I wanted a treat, I would just have one, guilt-free.

Well, the guilt-free part never worked, and neither did the “eating healthy most of the time”. You know why? The more junk food you eat, the more you tend to crave. The movie Supersize Me proved that, but even after watching it twice, I still didn’t get it. If you eat healthy food on a regular basis, you start to enjoy it, and love how it makes you feel. But on the flip side, if you eat a lot of junk, you get used to that, too.

The Boy and I have committed to healthy eating plans, with a weekly cheat day to keep cravings under control. I was doing well until I went to a friend’s house for dinner. There were a variety of tempting treats available, including a bowl of party snack mix. I managed to steer clear of most of the temptations, but I did succumb to a few handfuls of the snack mix late in the evening…which left me wanting more.

Unable to find a bag of snack mix at the grocery store, I bought a bag of synthetic cheese-flavored goodness. The first thing I noticed was how salty it tasted. Way too salty. I scarfed a few handfuls, feeling incredibly guilty, when I realized…I wasn’t enjoying them at all. I’m tired as hell of putting that kind of crap in my body.

So I actually got up and threw the bag in the garbage. I’ve never done that before.

I may still enjoy my cheat days, but I’m finished with cheating on myself. I deserve better, and so does my body.

How about you, Dear Readers? Have you ever had something similar happen? How do you defeat temptation?

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8 Comments

  1. Chris

    Great post! I’ve had the same experience. After I’ve eaten healthy for a while, I don’t crave junk any more. When I then eat junk, I don’t enjoy it, physically or mentally.

    Reply
  2. Story Teller

    Thanks, Chris. I would love for this feeling to continue to the point where I don’t even want chips anymore, but that might be too much to hope for!

    Reply
  3. Lisa

    I do admit my guilty pleasure is chips…Most of the time I can self-moderate…but yes, I have been known to binge to the point of feeling queasy…For some reason it has never completely discouraged me from going back in the future…and those binge days usually result in a more-active-than-usual week because then I feel the need to work off those added calories…*sigh

    Reply
  4. Story Teller

    I feel your pain, Lisa! At least you get a lot of exercise. 🙂

    Reply
  5. Elspeth Cross

    So true! I think you are able to defeat temptation once you have the realization that what you truly want isn’t necessarily what you think you want. It’s only tempting if real desire is there. Believe it or not, I have – on rare occasion – felt this way about chocolate. But it always goes away 🙂

    Reply
  6. Story Teller

    The craving, or the determination to refuse it? 🙂

    Reply
  7. Crazy Ali

    Your body is a Ferrari. You wouldn’t put a low grade gasoline in a sports car like that, so why do we put junk into our bodies and then expect optimal performance?

    Oh, and if you liked Supersize me, check out FatHead. What you think you learned from that documentary is debated in that “mockumentary.” I found the concept of carbohydrate resistance really interesting, especially as it pertains to training for optimal performance.

    Knowing the rules and sticking to them is good in theory but only if you don’t have an emotional relationship with food; otherwise you are depending on willpower which only gets us so far for so long.

    Knowing the rules doesn’t make you follow them, believing in them does. Then you don’t need willpower.

    Sounds to me like you are a believer.

    Reply
  8. Story Teller

    Thanks for your comment, Ali. You don’t sound “crazy” at all – very insightful, actually.

    My relationship with food is complicated. While I don’t believe I’m an emotional eater, and I know I need to eat well to fuel my training, I also think life’s too short never to enjoy good cheese again, or to treat a piece of freshly-baked baquette or a nice dish of pasta as if it’s the anti-Christ. I have difficulty with meal plans that eliminate a food group, no matter what their rationale, and I’m probably never going to get to the point where I avoid potato chips forever. So, for me, the key is balance. It’s a struggle to find it, so that’s where I feel cheat days can be helpful…as long as that one day doesn’t bleed into the rest of the week!

    Reply

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