I have a confession that’s a little embarrassing. I’m 45 years old and I can’t be trusted with a box of Girl Scout cookies.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m an emotional eater. As it happens, I’m also a little compulsive about some things – like finishing things. And by things, I mean boxes of cookies, containers of ice cream, bags of chips more than I mean household chores.
My son doesn’t have these food issues and for that, I am profoundly grateful. He can take a bite or two out of a candy bar and walk away from it. That amazes me. I am compelled to eat the whole thing, then look for more. I don’t know if that’s a compulsion or a sugar addiction. In any case, don’t ask to share my Lion bar. It’s not going to work out for you.
In my profile, I say that I’m a non-smoking smoker. I see myself that way because, although I quit smoking six or so years ago, I smoked for the better part of 20 years. On a really stressful day, I still feel like I could eat an entire pack – aluminum foil and all. However, I choose not to and I make that choice every day. If you’ve done it, you know that quitting smoking is no walk in the park. The thing is, though, you don’t have to smoke to live.
You do have to eat to live. Changing portion sizes, food selections and cooking methods are all well and good. But temptation is still EVERYwhere. I choose not to smoke; so, I can avoid smokey places, cigarette stores, situations where I once would have smoked. I can’t avoid food. And, c’mon, have you seen the snack aisle?! Plus, my dieting doesn’t mean that my son should never have treats. So, what to do?
In theory, I should be able to just NOT eat those cookies. Um, yeah. In reality, I swear they talk to me. “Eat me! I’m right on top of the refrigerator. Look up!” As long as the bag is open, I hear them. Ugh. I’m fairly certain that I’m not the only adult who cannot walk past an open bag of snack mix.
The obvious solution is to stay completely away from temptation. To do that, I’d never walk into a convenient store, Starbucks, or grocery store again. Clearly, that isn’t an option. I CAN just abstain from buying any treats. Ever. For the rest of my life. Again, um, yeah.
The best snack solution is to keep lots of fruit, string cheese, yogurt, nuts and other healthful choices around. And I do that. I also keep 85% dark chocolate in the freezer and unbuttered popcorn in the cabinet.
However, I want to be able to enjoy ice cream, chips, cookies and the rest from time to time. For those snacks, I’ve found a pretty workable solution. I buy single servings and I give away most of what I bake.
Skinny Cow, Edy’s, Ben & Jerry’s, and Haagen Dazs all make single serving containers (and, no, I’m not talking about pints). We’ve all seen single serving chip bags as well as cookies at the deli. Skinny Cow also makes low-calorie, single serve chocolate candies. The cost per serving for treats packaged this way is higher, sure. However, my largest concern with the snack issue isn’t my wallet as much as it is the size of the pants that wallet is in.