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“Smart” food

24 Aug

You know how, whenever you’re receiving weight-loss advice in any form, across any medium, there will always be talk of trigger foods?  These mythical, magical foods that vary from person to person, but are inevitably terrible for you – especially in large quantities.  And if you have just a bite – just the teensiest, tiniest little nibble – it’s like the parts of your brain that are responsible for situational awareness, abd connecting knowledge to action, and actions to consequences all simultaneously shut down.  The next thing you know you’re so full you want to puke and the wrappers/bottles/cans that used to contain your trigger food are laying on the floor all around you, inexplicably empty – a silent testament to a mindless binge.

I have a few trigger foods.  Some of them are typical – chocolate, French fries, cake – and some of them, less so – processed cheese slices.

But there’s one in particular that goes above and beyond all the others – if trigger food it is, it’s the trigger of a rocket launcher:

Contributing Factor #387

Don’t be fooled by its benign, popcorny appearance!  It started out as popcorn; the low-calorie, low-fat, snack of chocie for dieters across the continent and beyond.  And then one brilliant food technician or another in a secret lab decided to smother the damn stuff in white cheddar.  This is what it did to the nutritional value:

It’s basically identical to your average bag of chips, just with more fibre.  Not so benign now, is it?  :(

Especially not when you basically chain-eat the whole bag…

The first time I “fell off the wagon”, will-power and personal motivation aside, this was the main culprit.  I discovered it for the first time about a year after I started weight watchers and friends – can I call you friends? – I practically threw myself under the damn wagon’s wheels for it.  I would eat an entire bag a day – sometimes two.  I would go out in the morning and buy one from the pharmacy and eat it all day at work, covertly, like I was stealing corporate secrets or somethign.  No one could know I was doing it.  Then I would get home and go straight down to the convenience store in the basement of the apartment building I lived in and buy another bag, which I would suck back like a vaccuum cleaner on a late night paid advertisement before my roommate could get home and catch me eating it.  I would even go so far as to throw the bag straight down the trash chute, so she wouldn’t see them in the garbage can.

How does this behaviour make any sense?  It’s cheese-covered popcorn for God’s sake.  But there you have it.  I actually googled “Smartfood addiction” because I was starting to worry myself.  The back of the bag is meant to be tongue-in-cheek:

but for me, that just about summed it up – everything but the “be smart about it”.

I finally gave it up cold turkey, like some people quit smoking.  I refused to buy it, I refused to look at it.  I wouldn’t let myself eat it if it was made available at someone else’s house.  I just stopped acknowledging its existence.  I pulled my broken, bruised ass back up on that wagon, brushed the delicious white cheddar off my fingers, and got back on track.

The second time I fell off the wagon is a different story, for another time, but that was a year and a half ago now.  Since then I’ve been hobbling along behind the wagon, huffing and puffing, trying to catch up, and what should I trip over along the way?

They have 100 calorie snack packs of this stuff now.  I discovered them a couple months ago, and I thought to myself…it’s been almost two whole years…surely, surely I’ve learned my lesson and regained my sanity.  I’ve come a long way since then, whether I’m up on the damn wagon or not.  I’ll just buy the snack packs and see.

The entire box was gone before the morning was up.  And now here we are, two months later, and I just polished off an entire bag of it, while attempting to set up a weight-loss blog in the hopes of using it to motivate me to jog just a bit faster to catch that wagon again.  I was eating Smartfood the entire time I was writing this post.

It’s going to be a long haul…

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