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If you’re bored and you know it…um, don’t pig out like I did

Uh-oh. This weekend I experienced one of the unanticipated side-effects of my move to single apartment living – boredom eating. Dun-duh-dun! While these new South Beach chocolate breakfast bars are quite tasty and only 140 calories, I’m pretty sure they were not intended to be eaten four at a time. Oops!

After having such a hectic month and rejoicing that June was finally, effing over, I’ve been enjoying not having any big plans this past week. However, I hit a patch of boredom this weekend and there was no one around to talk to, so I was stricken with an urge to eat whatever was in my cabinets. I’d tell myself “PastaQueen, you’re not really hungry. Do you really need to eat that leftover chicken even though you already ate dinner?” Then I’d answer myself “Yes, yes I really do. Otherwise that chicken will have died in vain. Must devour now. Bawk!”

It was a strange dichotomy because I knew that I was only hungry because I was bored, but that didn’t do anything to stop the urge to stuff my face. It’s like when you know it’s only PMS that is causing you to leave a nasty voice mail on your brother’s phone at eight o’clock in the morning for eating your last Lean Cuisine (guilty), but this knowledge doesn’t make you any less pissed off.

I suppose this incident also goes to show why it’s good not to have any junk food in your house, because if there had been some Oreos in my cupboard I can’t guarantee you I would have said no. I suppose in the future I’ll just need to find some way to distract myself from the hunger, like exercising or reading a book or peeling my fingernails off. Maybe dress my garden gnome up in women’s clothing. I think my Barbie clothes are in the closet somewhere. Harold (the gnome) might be a bit chubby for that Malibu Barbie bikini though.

Chocolate & Vicodin: My Quest for Relief from the Headache that Wouldn't Go Away
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11 Comments

Mymsie • July 3, 2006 at 2:02 pm

Hi, I stumbled upon your blog last week and was psyched to have found a fellow female Web developer in Indy-wooots! Congrats on all your weight loss success. It really is an incredible accomplishment. :)

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Mary • July 3, 2006 at 2:44 pm

I made the mistake of buying the South Beach Chocolate Bars….Had two yesterday morning…in a row…then threw the rest out to save myself. Those are just way too dangerous for me!

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Annie • July 3, 2006 at 3:13 pm

I think we all have those days. Today I am having the hungry madness…can’t seem to fill this bottomless pit. I find that radishs or celery work well for me in those kind of times (of course they are at home in the fridge right now).

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Stephanie • July 3, 2006 at 9:07 pm

Oh my. Those South Beach bars are soooooo good!! I know what you mean about having junk food in the house. It’s the Devil. LOL

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Josie • July 3, 2006 at 11:22 pm

Are we the same person?!!! My god. Not only have I found the South Beach 140 calorie bars to be the MOST DELICIOUS things on earth (I fall victim to the peanut butter and maple nuts ones)-but I also rejoiced (initially anyway) in being able to enjoy some solo down time this weekend- only to GORGE, and I do mean GORGE myself on one ‘low cal’ snack after the other. A cup of yogurt, a cup of fruit, a South Beach bar, a cup of cottage cheese, etc. You name it, I ate it. All day long for two days straight. I think I gained 2 pounds just eating ‘healthy food’ because I was bored! It’s good to know I’m not alone sometimes, you know?

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Marla • July 4, 2006 at 6:26 am

Boredom eating is definitely my weak spot. If I’m busy all day I hardly notice mealtimes; if I’m not all I think about is food. Was it Mia who started keeping a “job jar” sort of thing for those moments? I think I’d better start that too.

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Mark • July 4, 2006 at 7:54 am

The secret of all these diets is that you can’t eat what you normally would gorge on. Once the diets hit critical mass and the food industry engineers all your old junk food into approved form, it’s game over.

You need to switch to a newer diet that hasn’t reached enough market penetration yet for the food industry to catch up. I suggest the Christina Aguilera diet: something crunchy, something soft, something hot, something cold — in contrasting colors. That should keep you busy for a while. At least until the Christina Aguilera-branded packaged food comes out. Then on to another diet.

But seriously, what happened to the “shop at the periphery of the the market” strategy? Why not do South Beach without packaged food? If you want chocolate bars, make ’em.

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Greta • July 4, 2006 at 2:27 pm

I am with Mark. The manufactured junk foods with a diet name on them are just junk food in a different package. A recent Nutrition Action newsletter analyzed Weight Watchers bars and said they they are no healthier for you than a candy bar. A South Beach “bar” that’s 140 calories is just a smaller version of a non-diet bar packaged so you will think you are being good on your diet. I find that junk food leads me to eat more junk food. If I ate one South Beach bar I would do exactly what you did and I’d eat 3 more if they were in the house. That’s why I stick with fresh fruit for my snacks. It’s healthier and doesn’t lead to overeating.

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Michelle • July 4, 2006 at 4:04 pm

I disagree, if you don’t ever have decadent snacks (well proportioned or not), you are more likely to fall off the wagon and stay there.

The key is to keep busy. Call a friend. Have a book to read where you will lose track of the time. If you don’t think you should read it at home for fear of over-eating, go outside. Since it’s been too muggy for outside, you could go to a coffee shop or someplace with A/C that you’re not likely to buy much. Just don’t go to a place that has something irresistable. I find it much easier to avoid buying snacks that are bad for me if I know I have something just as good at home that I’ve already spent money on.

Another option is to pack your purse with what you’re willing to splurge on and go to a movie. I’m on WW, and just yesterday, I went to a movie (I took BBQ baked chips and 8 Nestle Pretzel Flips, 6 points total). I don’t feel guilty for it, as movie theaters don’t sell healthy snacks, if they did, I would buy them there.

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Hilly • July 4, 2006 at 4:23 pm

We’ve all had those days.

Ok I have been losing weight for what…like 2 years now and I JUST recently learned not to have binge foods in the house. Pshhht, individual snack packs of Snackwells Sandwich Cookies don’t mean a damned thing…I am capable of tearing open more than one package ;)

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Debbi • July 5, 2006 at 8:15 am

Um, all I can add is amen. And amen again.

I don’t buy packaged snack foods, as a rule, but this weekend we had a houseful of company including two teen-aged girls. They are both thin, lovely, nice and eat like boys. Incredible! Every activity – fishing, playing soccer, taking a drive in the country, visiting – ended in a food fest.

Boredom eating is a Big Deal for me. I wasn’t bored this weekend, but was definitely off-kilter, even though I prepared and served plenty of healthful food. Healthful or not, I can still eat too much of it.

The job jar idea is good … hell, even just making a to-do list would be a start for me!

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Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog at JennetteFulda.com.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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