My greatest love of all might just be Old Dutch Dutch Cruncher Potato Chips. I love them. I love how they crunch, how they taste, how they smell. I even love the greasy fingers I am left with after pounding a bag as it makes my hands feel so soft. They are the perfect thickness of chip with the perfect amount of fake flavor coating. They do not cheat on me, lie to me or make me cry and they are always there whenever I need them. My last meal needs to be a bag of Mesquite Bar-B-Que chips and a piece of chocolate cake. Mmmmmm.
But, with Operation Suck Less 2014 ™ I have had to forgo these tasty morsels as part of my attempt to kick my triangle of death addiction that is salt, sugar and grease.
When I first gave them up in February, it was easy but about a month later I could hear them calling to me from the grocery store begging me to eat them. I had to plan my shopping visits very carefully so I would not succumb to their taunts. I even dreamt about them one night which is rather creepy. The junk food addiction is strong in this one and my body did not know what to do without its familiar fuel. My will power held fast and eventually I forgot about my love and moved on to other less satisfying but better for me snacks.
My will power held strong, until last night.
I was at a graduation party, hanging with friends when I noticed out of the corner of my eye a basket full of dark orange bags that could only be one thing. I tried not to look, not to notice. I ate some of the other yummy food that involved wholeness and veggieness and no artificialness but that display of crunchy chips was never far from my thoughts. I think I held coherent conversations but I cannot be sure as I just wanted chips.
I began the justifying, congratulating myself on the healthy food I had eaten all day that would not be undone by just one tiny chip bag; one has to live after all. A small voice argued that the first chip would only lead to more and more and eventually return me to my addict ways. I went back and forth for quite some time then suddenly I grabbed a bag and popped it open. Screw it! Ahhhh, that familiar smell I have missed so much.
I see a lot of motivational posters about how feeling healthy, being strong, great sex is better than food but when I tasted that first chip in my mouth and heard that crunch I knew that was all a lie; chips are the best of everything that ever was and will be. I savored several more, slowly, making sure I got the most out of each chip and that my body did not go into salt shock.
After a few chips, the oddest thing happened. I was done. I knew I could easily finish the bag, finish a few more bags even, but I could also stop. I chose to stop. It was a strange sensation, this stopping. Could this be the “enjoy in moderation” myth I have heard about from annoying healthy people? Is moderation a reality? Is this a trap? Is hell freezing over and that is why I was so cold all winter? Are birds really the evolved ancestors of dinosaurs and do they purposely wake me up at dawn each morning? I may never know.
It was so tasty rekindling my chip love affair but I am not foolish enough to think this feat of moderation is repeatable any time soon; I am satisfied having accomplished a miracle last night. Today, I had bok choy for the first time and did not hate it…or love it…but I had it and Operation Suck Less 2014™ continues.