Just a (Potato) Chip off the Old Block

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I don’t have a picture of me gorging on Potato Chips, so this Bouchon Bakery Butter Nutter giant cookie will suffice.

My name is Christina & I am a Potato Chip Addict.

My mom loves eating potato chips. Therefore, it is in my genetic makeup to eat potato chips. Ok, so I don’t have a chip loving gene, but when my bro & I were little, we’d eat a bag every Sunday with my mom. That’s how we bonded. We did this for many years, which started my love affair with chips.

I munched my way through grade school, JHS, HS & college. When I started working after college, I would buy a large bag of chips & finish it within a day or 2 & I would do this every week, for 4-5 years, maybe longer.

I stopped buying them to stop my bad habit. Keeping it out of the house meant I could keep the temptation away. At the supermarket, I would still wander into the chip aisle just to “browse.” If my favorite brand was on sale, I’d buy a bag or 2 bag, & I’d run home to indulge. 2 days later, I’d resurface from a pile of crumbs & feel the total gluttony of my own doing. I would do this every month or 2. It was a bad habit which was hard to shake.

When hubby met me, I was still shoveling chips into my mouth at speeds not recognizable by radar detection. He would have to physically take the bag away from me in order to stop.

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Mangoes – Looks delectable, tastes scrumptious & healthy too.

In October ’11, my CF box offered a diet challenge. I’ve never dieted a day in my life before. (Except, that time when I was enamored by those Weight Watchers commercials when I was 13 & I ran to the store to buy myself a container of their delicious looking powdered shakes. One sip & I threw that thing out). I’m not overweight, hefty, obese, or fluffy (well, sometimes). I just wanted to challenge myself to try to eat healthier. To be honest, it was a big mistake. It was 44 days of hell.

I was pumped at first. I started making my own foods, cooking new recipes. I was doing well. Then, week 2 was starting to drag, week 3 was worse, I became a monster in week 4, by week 5, I couldn’t recognize myself anymore (nor can my hubby or my friends/family), & week 6 went by so slowly because it was almost over but I needed will-power to get through to the end.

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I started craving Cheesecakes & sweets after my 44-day Challenge. This Martha’s Country Bakery Apple Crumb cheesecake was calling my name!

The Good & The Bad from the 44 days of dieting:
The Good
1) I read my ingredient list much more thoroughly & I’m more selective with my foods choices now.
2) Meats, poultry, fish, eggs & bacon are all my friends. Eat a little of everything to be more well-rounded.
3) Chocolate is pretty tasty (I didn’t use to like chocolate, but I’m finding myself wanting it more now).
4) I’ve cured my potato chip addiction. I no longer crave or eat bagged chips. I’ve been potato chip free since 10/10/11! Yes, it has an anniversary date. 😀

The Bad
1) Depriving myself of certain foods made me crave them more. This included foods that I normally didn’t even like (i.e. chocolate & cheesecake).
2) Removing dairy products out of my diet caused my system to go out of whack. I started getting PMS when I never had it before. This could be due to the hormones in most milk, which have always kept PMS at bay. The PMS stopped after 2 months. *shrug*
3) I felt weak, tired & sluggish. My performance at CF suffered. I had a near break-down doing front squats one day. I told the coach I couldn’t do 95# & he told me to lower it. I nearly burst out crying. I felt defeated. See item #2 above.
4) I think I may have become slightly lactose intolerant due to the diet.
5) I was hungry. I was angry. I was Incredible Hulk on steroids HANGRY (hungry+angry). It was not pleasant being around me during this time. I was irritable & frustrated. It was a very dark time in my life.
6) When dining out, I couldn’t eat 98% of the menu items. Munching on a salad while your friends are eating pizza was VERY, VERY hard to do. I resented them a little during this time. Going out was not an option.
7) Once the 44 days was up, I gorged & gorged until January 2012. I ate anything & everything. The 3lbs I lost was quickly gained back.

What I’ve learned:
Challenges are another term people use to make you think you are not dieting. Challenges are a competition to see who can do it better & get better results. Anyone can do a challenge & see quick results. But, the real challenge begins when it is over. Do you have the motivation to continue this for the rest of your life? That’s the reason why so many people go on yo-yo diets.

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You best bet I ended up eating this cookie. I needed a sugar fix after biking 6.5 miles & walking 3 miles.

This 44-day challenge messed me up mentally. I would personally discourage anyone from doing them. I think it is much better to instill a life-long change by eating more sensibly & looking for a well-balanced meal. Survey your options & pick healthy ones, but don’t restrict yourself so much that all you can think about is junk food. That is the key. Give yourself a small treat from time to time, eat that ice cream, chocolate or potato chips, but don’t indulge. Eat just enough to soothe your sweet or salty tooth. Don’t say “NEVER AGAIN” to anything because you’ll most likely want to reach for it right at this minute. It’s not about willpower; it’s about changing your habits. Once you’ve replaced a bad habit with a good one, it’s engrained in you to continue & it’ll come naturally.

A day may come when I eat potato chips again, but I no longer let my past habits define me today. As much as I loved bonding with my mom over potato chips, we can now reach for something healthier to bond over, like chocolate dipped bacon instead. Hehee Just kidding about that one, mom doesn’t like chocolate. ;-D Wish me luck on my journey into healthier eating.

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