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Sugar and Spice – Everything Not Nice

on October 5, 2012

The organization I work for planned a bridge cleanup and solicited the local supermarket for a donation of baked goods.  All we really wanted were some hot dog and hamburger rolls and cookies for dessert.  The supermarket was overly generous in their response.  Yesterday I walked into the kitchen of our office building and was immediately overwhelmed by the scents of sugar and cinnamon.

The room looked like someone had knocked over a bakery truck and hauled all the loot to us.  Boxes of doughnuts sprinkled with sugar or iced with sprinkles.  A dozen four packs of muffins.  Half a dozen loaves of Cuban bread.  Packages of mini-scones.  Bags of bagels.  There wasn’t an inch of available counter space and additional booty was packed in bags resting on the floor.

Temptation to the infinite power permeated the atmosphere, luring me to the dark side.  This on the week when I have been working so hard to stick to full liquids and mushies and getting myself more solidly on track.  I was doing great, too.

I wish I could say that I stood my ground, strong against the gravitational pull of carbs and calories.   I wish I’d fled the kitchen,  clutching my protein drink like a lifeline.  Unfortunately, it’s like my common sense and desire to stay on the wagon got obliterated by the sight and smell of all the junk.  Sad to say, I succumbed to a scone.

Not a full-sized one.  It was a mini-blueberry, but that doesn’t matter.  The point is that I ate it even while my brain was saying, “Don’t do it.”  The bitch of it all is that it wasn’t even that tasty.

I’m annoyed at my own lack of fortitude and the fact that I caved to an inferior product.  Honestly, I don’t even think I’m upset about the fact that *gasp* I ate carbs!  The occasional carb is not going to wreck the overall effort.  It’s the behavior, the action of giving in to the compulsion to eat just because I was surrounded by the stuff.

This is why I keep the food addict’s equivalent of a dry house.  I don’t pretend right now that I can keep these things in my own home.  If they are here, there’s too much likelihood that they will be consumed.  I have reached the recovery point where I won’t, under 99% of the circumstances, leave the house to hunt down this kind of snack.  (The 1% exception was that cupcake urge around the hurricane weekend.)  That’s progress.   Knowing my own limits and boundaries is also a sign of progress and improvement.  The occasional cookie or light snack when out for a meal?  Those I can handle.  Walking away from the equivalent of a bakery storefront in my own office building?  Not so much.

The good news is that I didn’t stuff my face with muffin after doughnut after cookie.  After the lapse, I got back on track.  It doesn’t feel like eating the scone triggered a binge-worthy craving for moremoremore carbs.   Hopefully I didn’t impede the rest of the progress that I made this week and all will be well with the numbers on the scale.  I took the pooches for a bridge walk last night.  I’m waiting for it to cool a little more tonight and then we’re going for another walk.  Tomorrow is my Saturday Zumba class.

After you tumble from the wagon, it’s important to climb back up as soon as possible.

11 responses to “Sugar and Spice – Everything Not Nice

  1. Hope says:

    Good for you for stopping at one scone! I find that, when I let myself have one treat, it opens up the floodgates for wanting moremoremore. I would have had a hard time keeping myself from going back to the kitchen for more.

  2. Pink Pelican says:

    Proud of you for only having the one item. And I know how much is sucks when you decide to indulge & then it’s not all that good. It’s like a double whammy of guilt, isn’t it? “I failed, & I failed for no good reason, damn it …”

    But it’s not a failure. It’s a stumble, but you didn’t fall flat on your face & skin your nose. ;=)

    And since I had my surgery, my cravings for baked goods have largely migrated to cinnamon based things … especially cinnamon rolls without the glaze. Being trapped in a space with the smells of cinnamon baked goods surrounding me would be sheer torment.

    I try to keep stuff at work that functions as healthy snacks, low calorie &/or high in protein – strawberries, hummus, pickles, pistachios, stuff like that. I also keep chocolate – it’s very good chocolate, & I’ve been able to limit myself to a single serving in the course of a day & be content. That helps me avoid indulging in random snacks at work, although it doesn’t totally prevent it.

    At home, like you, I don’t bring stuff into the house that I know I can’t control myself around. I know I like to have something to snack on, & usually a piece of cheese or a little peanut butter will take care of it. I’ll have something sweet available, something that I like but don’t love, which helps me control the portion size because I know I won’t go face first into it & lick the plate/bowl clean. ;=)

    It’s also helped me to keep track of food & exercise; it’s easier to control the desire for something like a donut if I know I’m going out to eat & will probably have higher calories in my intake, or if I’m not going to have the opportunity to burn off some calories in exercise. I can also adjust the rest of my meals around that — “okay, if I have the cupcake, I need to plan a salad with grilled chicken for dinner – plenty of veggies & protein in a relatively low calorie package. And no chocolate for the mid-afternoon snack …”

    Keep going! You are doing great!

    • Mary Stella says:

      Pink, are you still on a losing plan or have you transitioned to maintenance? I’m curious about how it might feel to make more changes to the basics of what I eat each day.


      • Pink Pelican says:

        I am generally still on a losing “plan”. My surgeon & dietitian didn’t really give me any set “plan”, just general parameters – protein first, then nutritious veggies, watch the white food/carbs & be careful of sugar, especially the ones in liquids, and “call us if you need advice/assistance”. This has worked fairly well for me, actually. Others might be more comfortable with something more structured, but I like the freedom of it. Interestingly, they seem to frown on the between meal snacks, but sometimes I can’t manage enough calories if I stick with just 3 meals. On the other hand, some of my snacks are a bit too high in calories, so it’s a constant series of adjustments.

        I use MyFitnessPal to determine net calories I need to consume to continue to lose weight (I’m set at 1200, but if I exercise & expend calories, I’m supposed to “eat those back”. the point is to get around a net of 1200, based on what I eat & what I expend in exercise). So far, this has worked pretty well.

        My weight loss has slowed, and I’m at 190.2 right now. I’m just under a BMI of 30, & our surgeon told my husband that they start seeing plateaus & substantially reduced weight loss in patients as they hit that 30 mark. My husband is generally stalled around this BMI, & I’m starting to lose less than a pound a week at this point (up .2, down .4, that kind of thing, over the last few weeks).

        I’d still like to get down into the 160s if I can, so I’m going to stay on a losing plan. As long as my body is content to lose, even if it’s slowly, I will keep going that route. Technically I won’t be in the “healthy” BMI range until somewhere in the lower 150s, and if my body is content to lose down to that level, then that would be awesome. But my suspicion is that somewhere along the line, maybe in the 160s, maybe higher, I’m going to plateau & naturally slide into a range of maintenance. If I start seeing minor fluctuations (a few ounces up, a few ounces down, but generally no major changes), I’ll start assessing how I’m eating & exercising & determine what works best for a maintenance plan.

        I’m thinking about incorporating more paleo/primal recipes into my daily diet. I don’t necessarily plan to go completely paleo (I don’t think I can ever give up cheese or carbs entirely). But for variety & for focusing on protein & veggies, I think that will be an excellent direction to explore.

        Does this help?

  3. robenagrant says:

    Yeah, don’t beat yourself up. Just do a few more laps in the pool. Or walk an extra mile. : )

  4. Skye says:

    Don’t beat yourself up for succumbing. You succumbed only a little and virtually anyone would be tempted by those smells; it’s like we are hard-wired to eat when we smell sugar and cinnamon. You did great eating only one small scone and nothing else! I think you did great! And then you got right back on the wagon and went for walks and everything. Good for you!

    • Mary Stella says:

      Thanks, Skye! No damage done on the scale today. Yay for that! Did a Zumba class today and am good with my food. Onward and upward – or downward with the scale!

  5. Mary says:

    David Kirchhoff, Weight Watchers CEO, recently wrote about succumbing to temptation on his blog. There’s plenty of research on how easy it is to eat foods against our better judgment when the food is right in our face. It’s a topic that comes up in his own weight loss journey frequently. Apparently we are faced with temptation many more times than we realize. Researchers on the subject count every glance at a food as a decision to eat or not. Studies have documented people making over 200 such decisions an hour. That’s a lot to resist.

    What are you going to do Monday if there are leftovers? (Fingers crossed for you.)


    • Mary Stella says:

      Interesting comments about temptation. Will need to check out the blog. Thank you!

      I made it through today without taking more baked goods. I reminded myself that none of them tasted good enough to warrant veering off track Remaining items were pretty much divvied up. By Monday they would be stale.

      I took care of myself today by getting an awesome massage and then taking Nat and Pyxi for another bridge walk.

      • Mary says:

        The data came from Kirchhoff’s book, Weight Loss Boss, and of course, I misremembered it, probably influenced by the time I sat with other parents as they ate a hot melting brie, placed right in front of me. That felt like 200 decisions an hour, but in fact the researchers documented 220 food decisions a day.

        [Dr. Brian Wansink, Cornell University] found that their test subjects made around 220 food decisions each day; yet these same test subjects estimated that they make just 15 food and beverage decisions per day. How can people make 205 separate decisions each day and not realize it? … Every time I look at the food display, I’m making a decision not to get up and grab another cheese Danish. …When food is in front of us, we react to it. It’s part of our animal nature… Can we be trusted to make good [judgments]? … [Research by Jonathan Levav and Shai Danziger:] After a while, our brain begins to tire of having to make choice after choice… If we are making too many, our brains start looking for shortcuts, which lead us to make impulsive choices.

        Oh, and btw, eating only one scone in that environment…awesome.

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