emotional eating · The Past is the Past

How I Triumphed Over Potato Chips

Wait... they sell these by the BOX?! Thank goodness I was unaware.

Any kind of chips really, but my absolute favorite was Grandma UTZ kettle chips.  The UTZ factory was the next town over from where I grew up, in Hanover, PA.  I never visited, but I imagined the inside of that factory was like some kind of Willy Wonka potato chip laden heaven where the chips were always warm and extra crispy.  There would be fountains of sour cream and onion dip, that horribly salty kind that comes in a tin you don’t need to refrigerate.  Forests of Salt & Vinegar, fields of Sour Cream & Cheddar, rolling hills of Jalapeno. Drool.

Have I ever mentioned I used to weigh almost 300 lb?

I trace this chip issue back to childhood.  My single mother would take my brother and I grocery shopping.  We would be horrible.  My mother would give in to us to quiet us almost every time.  We insisted she purchase separate bags of chips for each of us because if not, we’d fight over the 1 bag.  She obliged.  Then it would be a race to finish your bag first, because if not your sibling would start eating your chips.  That was no good, obviously.  I preferred potato chips, my brother preferred Doritos.  But I wasn’t really picky.

What tastes better than a potato chip?  Salt, fat AND starchy crunch?  Nothing comes close.  French fries are pretty good, but the crunch of the chip is what sends it over the edge.

I could easily eat an entire bag of chips by myself, and did so on so many occasions I couldn’t even attempt to count.

Oh thank goodness I have written enough that I can scroll my screen past that picture of the chips I added at the top!

A bag of chips is at least 1000 calories.  Then there’s Family Size.  And apparently there’s that box in the photo…

When I lived alone, some nights I would go to the convenience store around the corner, buy a family size bag of chips, and sit down to watch movies and eat chips. I’d get pretty close to, if not finishing the bag.  If I got close, I’d finish the bag as soon as possible because I didn’t want them around the house, so I could start over and not eat chips tomorrow. Yep, it always made me feel awful physically and guilty.  I never felt that guilty over any drinking binge and I had my share of those too.

Well, enough about that.  I don’t have this issue anymore.  Here’s why:

When I started counting calories, I decided I would eat whatever I wanted, just as long as I stayed in my calorie range.  Then I looked at what a serving of chips was.  I had never really thought about this, believe it or not.  Seriously?  A serving is about TEN chips.  For some reason, I felt that if I could only have one serving, I didn’t want any at all.  It wasn’t chips I wanted, it was the experience of eating the entire bag.  So I stopped buying them and I haven’t bought a bag of potato chips in over 3 years.

I’ve eaten a few chips here or there.  If I want them, I will certainly have them in an appropriate amount.  I’ve had them at a barbecue or as a side to my sandwich at a restaurant.  If I suddenly really wanted some chips as a snack, I’d get a single serving bag from 7-11.  But I will not be in possession of a large bag of chips.

Why would I?  The thing about chips is if you don’t eat them, they will go stale.  And I don’t want to eat that many chips in the amount of time you’d have to do it to beat the staleness.  Chips, cookies, candies, cakes… these are sometimes foods.  These should not be a large portion of anyone’s diet.  They are completely void of anything remotely useful to your body, empty calories. If you have a really hard time not eating the whole bag of Oreos, why did you buy a whole bag of Oreos?

If someone else in the house buys them, like my boyfriend does fast food, you have to understand that person is not making a choice for you, he is making a choice for himself.  Make your own choice!  You can do it.  If you really can’t do it, it may be time to have a talk with him and try to set up some boundaries.  When my boyfriend goes to get fast food, he does not ask me if I want any.  If I do want a small order of fries (very occasionally) I will speak up.

You know I’m a big proponent of moderation.  But moderation doesn’t mean keeping a family size bag of chips in the house, at least not for me.  I keep good dark chocolate and it can easily last me a month.  I keep wonderful cheese and can use it sparingly so it lasts a long time.  I can even buy tortilla chips, which I enjoy 1 serving at a time crunched up in my chili.  If I had potato chips in the house right now, I am sure I could resist them.  But I would be thinking about them.

So I just don’t put myself in that situation.  This has worked brilliantly for me.  I don’t even go down the chip aisle at the store.

9 thoughts on “How I Triumphed Over Potato Chips

  1. The issue of non-moderation (is that even a word) is where I live. I eat healthy food as a vegan, with the occasional slip of cheese or sugar, but it is the amount I eat. Sigh. I have lost 100 pounds and need to continue awhile yet, but also need the gym to begin firming ($$). I am in a very wishy-washy state right now, so love to be encouraged by your posts!

  2. I too have been plaqued by the potato chip demon. The only way I can deal with those wonderful nasty things is to avoid them. I only wish you could avoid all food and still be healthy.

  3. Thanks for this! I always said that my favorite vegetable was a “potato chip”. Aaaah yes see where that got me!? It’s true what Lays claimed…”bet ya can’t eat just one”. We no longer have real chips in our household anymore either : )

  4. I could hardly even stand to read this post without dying for a salty, crunchy chip. lol! It amazes me how emotionally attached we get to food.

    Chocolate is my demon food!

    I refuse to go down the “snack” or soda aisle at the grocery store now also. Why bother? I know it will end badly, so I just don’t put myself in that position.

  5. I’m so glad that I found this post! I don’t know how I missed it originally.

    I have a chips addiction, and I agree that one serving just isn’t enough, that I crave the experience of sitting in front of the TV and eating the entire bag, no matter how miserable I always am right after.

    I’m going to try this no-big-bags-of-chips-in-the-house approach. Thanks.

  6. I got over it when I started counting calories. Family bag is about 1400 cals–no way anyone tracking calories will live with that.. i persisted with one oz bags with lunch and dinner, but even that is 450 calories–again doing the math each day just lead me to choose no chips. I have still have a one oz bag from time to time–but the thrill is gone. Counting calories sounds oppressive, but its not so bad. You have to find a daily rhythm to your allotment, then its pretty much second nature.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s