What’s in 400 calories?

This morning I packed myself a good, healthy lunch.  I made my usual two-egg breakfast, each wrapped in a corn tortilla.  I put some cherries in a container.  And for lunch I had the meat off of two chicken thighs and 1/4 of a potato.  I ate each container of food at their regularly scheduled time, because the only way to keep from eating them all up at once is to be anal about when I am supposed to eat them.  And by 1 pm, all of the food was gone.

And at 2pm, Pop Tarts were calling my name.

I don’t even like Pop Tarts.  They’re 400 empty calories of garbage that do nothing but make me feel guilty while eating them and gross when the deed is done.  They don’t taste as good as they should, making them a huge disappointment when I realize I just wasted all those calories on something that isn’t worth it.  I mean, a Sift cupcake runs around 400 calories.  So does two pieces of sourdough toast with a smidgen of butter on each one.  A huge bowl of ice cream, 1/2 of a California Kitchen Pizza, 4 bananas, almost 3 sodas, a Venti Frappuccino with a piece of chocolate on the side, an 8 oz sirloin steak….all worth 400 calories or less each.  So a yucky untoasted strawberry Pop Tart that has been sitting in the vending machine for God knows how long?  Hardly worth it.

And yet, its siren call was clinging to me and reeling me in.

So I fought hard against the craving.  I was determined not to let it seduce me into its trap.  I filled my water bottle and drank a sip every time I wanted to make the trek up those stairs towards those dry little pastries.  I put a cinnamon Altoid in my mouth to help me forget about the taste.  I averted my thoughts by diving headfirst into work.  And then I grabbed my wallet with $1.25 in change and headed upstairs to buy the damn Pop Tarts and be done with it.

The first bite hit my taste buds and slid down my throat, allowing me to finally exhale the breath I’d been holding all this time.  The Pop Tart fix flowed through my veins as I took bite after bite to appease my craving.  Slowly, my belly expanded over my legs, my thighs suddenly drooping over the sides of the chair like playdough being squished into too small of a container.  My belt strained against the sudden implosion of belly fat that grabbed on to the sneak carb attack of the cardboard-esque snack.  And each bite suddenly seemed less satisfying than the last.  By the time I finished the first one, I knew I shouldn’t eat the second.  I already felt so huge, so gross, so sleepy and lethargic from eating all that white flour.  So I did the only thing I could do.

I devoured the second one.

By the time I was waddling back down the stairs, I was inwardly beating myself up for breaking so easily.  I had lectured myself that very morning to get through today eating only what I had packed, and to leave the snacks in the vending machine and the chocolate in my co-workers desk alone.  And by just giving myself such an order, I rebelled just to show myself I couldn’t be told what to do.

Great job Crissi, you’re a rebel.  You’ve also just gained back the few pounds you worked so hard to lose.

At any rate, tomorrow’s a new day with a new plan.  Pack a healthy lunch, drink lots of water, and when that carving hits hardcore, head outside for some fresh air and a walk around the office building.

Let’s do this thing.

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4 thoughts on “What’s in 400 calories?”

  1. Or bring a small piece of dark chocolate and some fresh pineapple or fat fresh blueberries for that afternoon craving. Sometimes you just have to appease the craving god. Don’t beat yourself up my dear. We all struggle with that backslide. My last one was eating two chocolate covered peanutbutter granola bars. The 150 calorie kind. The first one tasted soooooo good I couldn’t resist the second. I felt horrible, horrible, horrible. But thank goodness tomorrow is always a new day and the wagon is waiting for us to jump back on.

    1. Caren – This is a good idea, to allow myself small cheats instead of saying I can’t eat them only to eat them anyway and overflow my calorie allotment. I think it’s the notion that I’m “not allowed” to eat them that makes them so appealing. And it’s highly frustrating when I spend weeks to lose 5 pounds, and then gain it all back in the matter of one weekend.

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