January 10, 2010

Secret Snacking a back story...

I'm going to share my soul a bit. Or, more honestly, share my belly.

In 2009 I changed my life. I had to. I was feeding my discontent with something fondly, guiltily refered to by this sillygirl as secret snacking. This habit began long before I arrived in Japan. I trace it back to the deliciousness of magnum bars consumed in carrides across West Cork. Have you ever had a magnum? They are delicious. In 2003 HB did a summer promotion of the 7 deadly sins. My favorite was one with champagne ice cream, white chocolate coating and little silver balls imbedded within the hard shell. It must have been for lust. Oh no, I checked it was Vanity. It changed my life, and my waistline. Nipping into the SPAR and grabbing one of these while on the road out of Kinsale for a Saturday drive brought me great pleasure. Over the course of the next couple of months it also brought me perilously close to crossing the divide to 200 pounds.

I returned to the US in a blaze of glory sometime around August 2004. {More truly it was in a puddle of my own tears.} The magnum habit transformed to meet the general realities of U.S. gas stations. It became a soda/salty snack/candy combination. My personal favorite was Dr. Pepper, Cape Cod Potato Chips and a sack of Skittles. When I was feeling particularly gluttonous I would forgo the rainbow and chow on pretzels instead.

In time I met ManInCharge and often shared drives with him. The hour up or down I-95 between Fayetteville and Raleigh only continued to encourage my perceived need for fuel for the road. While I would still insist on snack breaks he would react in two ways: he would 1) look at me strange because there was no way I could be hungry 2) insist that I SHARE my snacks and he would eat the majority of it. This was not on. I am not a natural sharer, however, the pattern continued unabated and often made worse by the prevalence of fast food restaurants at the on and off ramps of the highway. While my weight never spiked like it did in Ireland, I could not seem to drop below 185. Both ManInCharge and I thought I would be so lucky if I could ever drop down to under 170.

When we moved to Japan my habits adjusted a bit and with the increased exercise of my commute I noticed I had more energy and my pants were a bit loose. Then the cold came. I reverted. I pass many combinis as I commute to work. On the bike I flew by. On foot due to the snow and ice I would stop in for warmth and to feed my old habit.

This all stopped in January of 2009. I committed myself to "NO MORE SECRET SNACKING." This was a hard pill to swallow, but I did my best and introduced other changes as the weather warmed. If I snacked, I made choices. No more soda. In the land of tea it is much easier to pick up a bottle of green or black tea. In May I allowed myself Diet Coke as well. Boy have I developed a taste for diet soda. Also, I checked the portions, the calories and if I chose to eat a box of chocolate covered almonds, I had a salad for lunch.

By July I reached a health level that I had never imagined since high school. I crossed the threshold from overweight to "healthy" according to my BMI, for the first time in ten years. Then I went on vacation. My exercise dropped off precipitously and my enforcement of my new world order relaxed. I continued to play by the rules, but I just needed a break from the rigidity.
I am happy to report that I have maintained myself for these past seven months. No more secret snacking, but snacking in front of ManInCharge is sometimes embarrassing for me. He teases me, goads me and demands I hand it over sometimes. But, he keeps me accountable. If I snack alone, I tell him about it.

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