As I sit and reflect on how I got from where I was in 2001, to where I am today, I see behind me a trail littered with a lot of bad choices. Some of them even came on the heels of good choices, but most were just plain bad.
I have had a soft spot for Pringles chips since they became popular in the 1970s. Those perfectly shaped, nature-defying, stackable morsels have always made my mouth water. I like them a lot. So much so that some years back I adopted a bad habit with them. When I would get gas at one particular station on my way home from work, I would buy a can of Pringles. Sometimes I would accompany it with a diet pop (to wash them down). Then I would eat them in the car. Now, you might wonder why is that bad? If I had a few on each trip, and had them as a snack, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. Ha! A few at a time! You thin people make me laugh. I would eat the WHOLE DAMN CAN on one trip home. A trip that lasted no more than 20 minutes. And, it wasn’t like I was still munching when I got to the driveway. I had them polished off, and the can under the seat and out of view, with miles to spare.
Dairy Queen’s Peanut Buster Parfait.
This may be the tastiest treat ever produced by the good people at Dairy Queen. It is basically a Hot Fudge Sundae with lots of peanuts. Another path I take to drive home has a DQ located conveniently on my right. Right turn in, right turn out, drive through…who could ask for more? On a hot day, or a day in the 30s in winter, it is nice to pull in, buy a PB Parfait, and enjoy it while sitting in my car. Sometimes the lady who was giving it to me would ask if I wanted a lid. I would laugh and say, “no, I am good”.
King Sized Kit Kat bars
A standard Kit Kat bar has 4 of those long cookies. The King Size Kit Kat has 8. One day, recently, I was starving on my way home. I stopped at a Walgreens for something, anything to eat (after all, my house with a stocked refrigerator and overflowing pantry was sooo far away…at least 15 minutes). I spied the King Size Kit Kat, and noted it was on sale at 2 for $3.00. What a bargain! I got two. My plan was to have one that day, stash the other in my work bag and eat it on the way home the next day. Never mind that either of them was TWICE the size of a regular Kit Kat. But, my best laid plan was foiled. Within about a mile of leaving that Walgreens, I had the first one devoured and was rooting in my bag for the second. That night when my wife asked what I wanted for dinner, I said I wasn’t really hungry. She couldn’t figure out why, so I confessed. It still makes her shake her head.
One might think from reading these first three that my drive home is a particularly bad time for me and binge eating. And they’d be right! I can actually tell MORE stories about bad choices on the ride home. But, the fun doesn’t stop there.
Just over 2 years ago I made the decision to stop eating French fries. I didn’t announce it or anything, I just stopped eating them. That is a really healthy choice. On those (way too frequent) occasions that I get fast food, or when I have a burger in a restaurant, dropping the fries is a good way to save a lot of nasty calories. I even extended it to dropping the side of hash browns that is ubiquitous with Coney Island breakfasts around here. As I said, that is a good and healthy choice. UNLESS I substitute something else that is as bad or worse, like say…ANOTHER BURGER at lunch.
Yes, when I go get fast food at lunch and order up my sandwich, they will ask if I want fries with it. I say no, but damn if another burger wouldn’t be yummy. Or, at breakfast I will add something else, like say a side of bacon. “Yes, I will have the meat lovers, 4 egg omelet, and a side of crispy bacon.” I mean, after all, there has to be a lot of meat with my eggs, right?
No mystery here
What I am saying is that there are no mysteries of how I gained 127 pounds since September of 2001. I did it one bad decision at a time. The great thing about life, though, is that you always have the chance to make the NEXT decision the right one. On that I am resting my hopes.
Since launching this blog on Saturday I have had a lot of loving, supportive notes sent my way by family and friends. Some have posted comments on Facebook, others have sent me personal eMail, and some have posted their comments here on the blog itself. To all of you I say thank you!
My nephew put it well with his comment on Sunday morning. He said “putting it out there for all to see was a great idea. Instant accountability.” My sister followed with “You are a brave soul.” They are both absolutely right. I said in my first post on this that I may live to regret starting the blog. If a few months from now I weigh the same or more than I do today, then it will be very humiliating. I will probably be very upset, and will have at least one Peanut Buster Parfait and one pair of King Sized Kit Kats to bury the emotion.