I’ll Take Easter Candy for $100, Alex!

Hi, my name is Joanna and I am an overeater! I eat my feelings, I eat my pain, hell, I even eat my happiness! My motto for so long was “Everything is better with a bean burrito”. I would wake up in the morning and wonder what I should have for breakfast, unch and dinner. Sometimes I would plan on eating all of them at the same time! It’s not easy to sort through extra psychological baggage to figure out why you overeat. I want to stop yo-yoing with my food and understand WHY I overeat. For instance…

There I was, minding my own business, walking through the local grocery store to pick up items for dinner (a good dinner too…not mashed potaoes with gravy and mac and cheese with a side of buttered bread) when I walked into aisle 3 and BAM (yes, just like Batman and Robin) there was the Easter candy right in front of me. I’m not talking one or two packs of jelly beans. I am talking about chocolate covered peeps, Easter snicker eggs, Hershey chocolate mini eggs, Reeses peanut butter bunnies and Hot Tamale peeps. YES HOT TAMALE PEEPS!

I spent the next two hours looking at every package, reading the back and trying to find a keto Easter peanut butter egg or a low carb peep…I would even settle for a Starburst jellybean…JUST ONE!

Alas, Easter candy is not conducive to healthy eating. Oh I know what people will say “Just eat one, everything in moderation”. Well, that is the problem Apparently I stayed home the say moderate eating was taught in 8th Grade Health. I can’t eat things like that in moderation, unless moderation means one in your mouth while 2 more candies sit on standbye in each chocolate stained fist.

I cannot eat in moderation so I refrain from eating it at all. That may seem ridiculous to you, but it is what I have to do. I once thought I had control of myself. I once thought I could eat one piece of chocolate, I could eat one pancake…fast forward 6 months and I had gained 60 pounds. So, yea, I can’t do that.It’s like being on Jeopardy and the catagory is “FOODS THAT MAKE YOU GAIN WEIGHT” but your damn buzzer doesn’t work! It is frustrating!

So, on Easter, on Christmas, on Thanksgiving and even on St. Patrick’s Day…I try to not make the holiday centered around food. It sounds easy, but when you raised that good food makes good times, it is hard to do. So I plan events, I plan games, I buy candy for the kid’s baskets/stockings BUT I only buy enough for them. No extras. Not happening. Not in this house.

Do you feel traumatized by the holidays? Reach out to me! Let’s battle this together. No successful dieter ever did it alone, I guarantee.

It’s FAST food not FAT food

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OK, I am not a cook. This may surprise some people (unless you’ve eaten at my house before) but I just do not like cooking. It used to always bother me when I would hear kids say “when I go to college, I am gonna miss my mom’s homemade meatloaf, or spinach souffle, or hand made strawberry shortcake made from hand-picked berries”. Now I had plenty of chances to learn – my mom is an excellent cook. She has the magical ability to look into a pantry and take out several items and turn them into a meal. I just never had any interest in cooking.

Fortunately, I married someone who loves to cook. Cooking to my husband is therapeutic. Cooking to him is what shopping online is to me. He comes home from a bad day and will spend and hour or two in the kitchen with Run DMC blaring on his phone and his frustration just melts away. And then, my kids and I get to eat an incredible meal.

I will not lie, if it wasn’t for him I do not think I could stay on this diet plan as long as I have and been successful. My problem is that he is an assistant principal at our local high school so he doesn’t always get home to cook dinner. Sometimes it’s a baseball game, some nights it’s the school band performance, and sometimes I think he hides under his desk until it’s dark and then he heads home.

My point is, I have to face the music on these days and get dinner for me and my kids. Now, I know I CAN cook but I do not want to…AT ALL. So one these days, we often find ourselves heading towards the nearest fast food restaurant. I am sure you are all reeling by the fact that a mother voluntarily takes her children to a fast food establishment. Mothers with children who are involved in everything under the sun, know this feeling. Some days you may not even be able to eat until 9 or 10 at night or you have to grab dinner between a dance recital and a basketball game. I know there are moms that know that feeling.

Well, just because we eat at fast food restaurants doesn’t mean that I abandon my new way of eating. Heck no! I am on a serious path here. But you can eat at these restaurants without sabotaging yourself or your eating. You just have to look at the menus with different eyes. Bojangles? Roasted chicken bites salad with no croutons and no dressing (I always carry my own). McDonalds or Burger King? Burger or grilled chicken with no bun (I have asked and they have wrapped it in lettuce at both places) and mustard on the side. Chick Fil A? Grilled nuggets or grilled sandwich with no bun (again ask for the lettuce). Subway? You can order anything you want and ask them to put it in a bowl rather than bread. It’s that simple!

So if you find yourself at a local fast food establishment, do not give up and do not get discouraged. But do keep your defenses up because we all know how good hot french fries smell (my trick? I imagine them covered in dog poop and sitting outside). Hey…whatever works.

So remember, look at the menu with different eyes and give yourself a break!

Love you guys immensely!