Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Past Deadline: The Snack Box

Ah, food. I love you but.... Read all about it in The Perth Courier, Sept. 29 issue.

The Snack Box

I think I might be a snackaholic.

Last week I wrote about how I’m progressing with my learn-to-run plan. Yes, I know most of us are born to run, but over the years some of us forget how to do it.

Anyway, this week I thought I’d write about Running’s sulky partner: Eating.

Ah, food. How I loves it.

It’s easy to say eating well and exercising are the paths to good health, but in this age of convenience temptation is everywhere. Why walk when driving is faster? Why clean fruit for a snack when you can pull a pre-washed store-bought cookie out of a bag?

So. You start a running program. You run like heck for weeks and weeks. Even though you’re building muscle and your shape is changing a little, you’re not getting a whole lot of satisfaction from the scale, which isn’t budging. (Pitching the scale is not helpful, although doing so repeatedly probably builds muscle.) It doesn’t help that running makes you hungry. Mmmm. Snacks.

You know it’s time to get serious. It’s time to deal with Eating.


I tend to eat as if the building is burning down around me and it is my very last meal. Part of this comes from the fact that when my kids were babies I wolfed down my meals between being called upon to provide some sort of necessity of life. Yes, those uninterrupted three-and-a-half-minute meals were so satisfying. Although this doesn’t happen so much now, the habit lingers.

Portion sizes have also been a bit of an issue for me. This has deep roots going back to the days when I was spit-through skinny and could eat anything I wanted anytime I wanted and could have seconds, thirds and fourths without it showing up anywhere on my frame. Those were good times.

Then I allegedly became a grown-up and got a job. Apparently I stopped moving around as much, too. Oh, and those babies. Heavy babies.

Imagine how this problem was amplified when I began working from home within easy access of a fully stocked kitchen. Egad!

I realize it is definitely possible to have snacks during the day that are good for you. For instance, if my big problem were that I ate too much celery, then I probably would be writing about my cats this week. It’s just that, until recently, my cupboards were stocked with lots of things we shouldn’t be eating: cookies, chocolate-covered snack foods, chips. The Cupboard of Junk.

My willpower needs a bit of an adjustment. When I’m shopping for groceries, I can walk by all that stuff no problem. I gravitate towards healthier snacks. If it’s not in the house, I won’t eat it. Trouble is Groom-boy does most of the shopping. As wonderful as that is, unfortunately the packages call out to him. “Grooooooom-boy!” they coo. “We’re yuuuuuummmy!” And into the cart they go.

In the summer I proclaimed we would change our ways. “When school starts it’s healthier snacks for all of us!” I even made a list of snack suggestions so I wouldn’t have to think too hard when pestered by the short people for food.

But what to do about the Cupboard of Junk?

One day everyone (unwisely) left me alone in the house. I grabbed a big bin, scooped out all the bags and boxes of naughty snacks and carted the bin down into the basement. It’s unfinished and cramped and no one spends time down there except spiders and an occasional wayward toad.

I attached a note to the “Snack Box” explaining it is “out of sight, out of mind” and added a litany of diseases and conditions that an unhealthy diet can cause to remind us why it has been removed.

I haven’t visited the snack box. Neither have the short people. They go to the basement so infrequently that I think they forget it even exists. Instead, we have been munching on fruit in our new fruit bowl and I have been stocking the freezer with homemade low-fat baked goods. Open the Cupboard of Junk and you’ll now find canned goods and fruit snacks.

And Groom-boy? Apparently he is not afraid of the scary basement.


Sparky said...

Love the zinger at the end! :)

momma's heart said...

funny! basements are scary. that would do it for me.