Tuesday, December 11, 2007

'Tis the Season for Holiday Treats (a.k.a Fancy Junk Food) . . .

In the five business days, we have had the following deliveries made to our office . . .

1 - Four dozen sugar cookies, 1/2" thick with another 1/2" of icing and a generous coat of sprinkles and those freaky, edible metallic balls on top of that.

2 - A five gallon tub of popcorn, divided in thirds so the buttery, cheddarish and caramel inspired (code for artificially flavored) goodness won't mix anywhere but in your mouth/stomach.

3 - A two-pound bag of nuts (stop giggling) that are coated in a sugary/salty "glaze"

4 - A basket full of dried fruits, nuts, snacks, baked goods and packaged cheese/meats.

5 - A Sweedish Pastry Ring (all caps to show respect) that looks, at first, like a cinnamon ring but it has poppy seeds AND cinnamon instead of just cinnamon under the glaze, the sprinkles, the marschino cherries and the m&ms on top.

6 - Three dozen Panera bagels, cookies and danish and a bucket (best word for it) of homemade sugar butter (yep - people make such a thing) to go with the baked goods.

. . . and, finally . . .

7 - A cheese log/roll in the shape of the state of Kansas (the rest of us call it a rectangle) with pita chips, tortilla chips and various crackers to go with the cheesy/nutty/spiced lump on the platter.

Now, mind you, it is only December 11th. My co-workers are all promising their own holiday treats and traditional dishes in the days to come before we close at noon on the 21st for the four-day Christmas weekend we are all living for.

Here's the rub . . . I have not been able to eat a SINGLE thing that has been brought in or sent to us. I can't partake in any of it (some of it I COULD eat (technically) - the crackers, pita chips, cheese log, dried fruit and the cheddar or butter popcorn, specifically but WHY take on the fat and the calories without the protein or the desire to eat the stuff to go with the bad stuff?).

My co-workers have taken every single morsel of the food out of here in their bellies (okay - full disclosure - there is a little bit of popcorn left) and many of them stand around the kitchen table each morning (my desk is next to the kitchen so I am privy to all the happenings of the "break room") and openly lament how they don't "need" the food or "shouldn't be doing this" (tee hee, tee hee) and the comments about the sizes of butts growing has already begun.

It occurred to me a few minutes ago (as I snacked on my Revival protein chips) that - a year ago - I could not have sat next to a kitchen full of junk food 45 hours a week. I could have never NOT partaken in (and eaten more than my share of) the junk food and the snacks that are being delivered daily and I could have NEVER looked at the spread on the table with disgust and disinterest just nine short months ago.

"They" say that when some patients have gastric bypass, their food urges (the mental component to morbid obesity) is somehow altered. Some lose those urgest altogether (I was warned by one peer that about a year after surgery those urges might return) and some just lose part of their food lust.

Knock on wood - I am almost nine months out and I have not had a single food urge. SURE - I might eat a Cheez-It every now and again and I don't always eat reduced fat cheese and I at a Chicken McNugget the other day when I was cleaning up Ava's lunch mess BUT I have not craved sweets or sugars and I have not binged with the out-of-control zeal I used to bring to my eating.

That, for me, is the best gift of the season for me and one of my deepest desires for 2008 - to go another year without food urges and to maintain my commitment to a lifetime of eating well, feeling great and improving myself - one passed up table of Holiday foods at a time.

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