I started 2021 with a Dry January as the drinking thing had gotten to be too much. A few weeks into that, I realised the snacking-instead-of-drinking thing was ridiculous. I started this blog to help me quit snacking. And that’s why my superhero name is The Quitter.
Two months along this snack free journey. Time for a recap.
1. I laugh at salt. I do not require it. I do not have “mouth hunger” any more, which used to be so difficult to resist. Even if a sneaky Italian restaurant slips in some gorgeous extra salty cheese into my take away lockdown meal, I’m just incredibly thirsty for one night then I’m back to feeling meh about a salty crunchity snack.
2. I can snack at a “party” and be over it by the next day. Two weeks ago was St. Patrick’s Day. As a family we had a blow-out. One of the Grown Up Kids came over, laid out her sleeping bag and we had a good ol’ knees up sesh. I drank stout! I ate Doritos! We watched a brilliant Irish film called Song Street! But it had to be an early night as there was still a school run and actual work responsibilities to look forward to early in the morning. Booooo! But it was fine.
3. I can feel the bad feelings and get over it. I can feel very angry or glum or anxious and not simultaneously think I’m the worst human to ever populate the planet. I got mad at the builders this week, but in a furious controlled kind of way which I think scared the bejeezus out of them, which is good. They should have been scared. Or maybe they sat in their vans and rolled their eyes around at each other, but who cares? They sorted the problem out double quick. And then Husband gave them some of our home brew stout to take home, so hopefully it’s all good.
4. I can feel when I am full during a meal, and then stop eating.
5. I can feel hungry, but distract myself with something else. I have a selection of things I can do if I am hungry and it isn’t quite meal time. I don’t get antsy and feel a snack is the only way I’ll survive between meals.
6. I’ve lost weight. Without trying, I’ve lost 10 pounds. More importantly, more of my old clothes fit, and that is the real victory.
7. I do not crave whatever other people are eating or drinking. This is just wild. I don’t know how this works. It just doesn’t affect me, whereas it used to be irresistible.
1. Addictions are hard work. I wrote a whole long post about how long it takes for our brains to shake off old neural networks (a really long time), and if you are recovering from some nasty chemical brain-damaging dependency, how that makes things even harder. The old AA saying “easy does it” is the only way to go. Keep things simple. Change just one thing at a time. Give yourself a break and lots of forgiveness.
2. Salty snacks (my fave) are two addictions in one. You got your salt, yum yum. And often you also got some simple carbs, like with popcorn or tortilla chips or pretzels. That’s what I was binging on and I may as well have been eating salt chocolate cake. I’ve only just now figured out that kicking salt only dealt with half of my problem. Now I’m working on cutting out new cravings for sweet things.
3. Expressing negative emotions in public is okay, within reason. I don’t get (too) sweary. I don’t ask other people to save me from my emotional junk. I don’t hide my grumpy self under the bed covers. People mostly let me own my emotional state and view it as a passing thing, because some days be like that. They don’t act like I’ve just been let out of the loony bin, or that we can’t ever speak to each other again because my rant was beyond all comprehension. In fact, more often than not, people can relate! And then assure me I’ll get over it. Which I do.
4. If you want change, you need a plan for the crunch days. Wow, I have really learned that those old habits do not want to die. They skulk around waiting for a bad day and then BLAMMO they are back in action, strutting around like the own the joint. But having a plan really helps. If I accept that those bad guys are just lurking behind a houseplant or all squeezed up skinny pretending to be a standard lamp, looking for an opportunity to show how useful they are, I can wave my Crisis Plan in their bad habit face and say “No thanks. I got this.”