In office visits, we’re often discussing what’s known as the obesogenic (obesity-creating) environment around us. We can’t control it all. When you drive by a billboard with appealing food,please don’t close your eyes.
But we can control some of it. A couple of months ago, some young friends showed up at my house with one of those lovely pink cardboard boxes. My brain quickly said,
“DONUT ALERT: Highly appealing food with warm emotional history has invaded inner sanctum.”
My response was classic. With distain and dismay, I mustered an accusing tone of voice. I yelped,
“WHAT? You brought donuts?”
Then I responded with a practiced approach. I looked at the person sitting next to me, smiled graciously and said,
“Do you want to split one?”
He said yes and we split a donut. I was pretty proud of myself for not eating a whole one.
However, a few minutes later, I stood up, walked the three steps across the room to that pretty, pink box, tore a donut in half and consumed another half of a donut. So much for not giving in to the siren song of the sugar/fat combo that is my downfall.
“Oops,” I thought, “There you go again. And you do this for a living – trying to help people stay away from food that is appealing and unhealthy.”
My young friends didn’t seem to believe me at first when I commanded,
“When you leave, you will take the donuts with you.”
They argued a bit; then louder and more firmly.
“When you leave this house, you will take the donuts with you.”
They looked downright startled. Then I said,
“A donut in my house is a donut in my mouth.”
We visited for a while during which time I must have sat on my hands because I can proudly say that I did not eat another one. But that’s because they did take them with them.
So that’s my confession. Many of the challenges of trying to control weight are like this: It sounds simple, but it isn’t easy to say no to the foods we love. These are foods full of calories that our bodies crave because it was important in primitive times when food could be scarce.
So here’s one of the things you can control:
1. Get the junk out of the house.
2. Don’t bring the junk into the house.
3. Listen to yourself: You say you buy it for your___________(fill in the blank grandchildren, children, spouse). Say that in front of the mirror. Is it really true?
No one needs this stuff. It isn’t good for any of us. Sure, some people can “get away” with eating it in terms of their weight. But what is it doing to their arteries?. . .their mood swings? Is it helping them focus on a healthy lifestyle? And do you need it out of the house? Aren’t your needs important?
Think about it.