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Creative cravings

I placed a can of compressed air on the check-out lane counter at OfficeMax when the cashier asked me, “When’s your birthday?” I’ve gotten so used to the odd questions I am asked at cash registers that this hardly phased me at all. Fashion Bug always asks for my phone number and Radio Shack used to ask for so much personal information that I was surprised they didn’t take a blood sample before I bought my electronic thinga-ma-jiggies. Someday I will probably have to tell a teenage wage slave my favorite color and my pet’s name before I can buy the latest DVD.

I told the cashier my birthday as I pulled out my billfold to pay. I didn’t demand an explanation for being carded, but he offered one anyway. “It’s because of the compressed air.” This didn’t make any sense to me and I told him so. “Evidently, some people try to get high off of it.” Geez, wouldn’t it just be easier to find a pot dealer? Or to buy some lamps and set up an irrigation system in the basement to grow your own? It boggles my mind at what people will do for a buzz.

But then I thought about some of the stuff I’ve eaten in my life. You don’t need to snort Pixie Stix to abuse food. I’ve been known to eat so many bowls of vanilla yogurt with Go Lean Crunch as a topping that I’ve had to ban the stuff from my apartment. When I feel like going on a bender, I can eat entire bowls of sugar-free, fat-free pudding or suck on four no-sugar-added fudge pops in row. Whenever I buy boxes of the 100 calorie pack snack bars, I usually eat two or three or four at a time. And this week I tried a post-work out treat called Peanut Butter Balls which was essentially peanut butter, honey, and protein powder mixed into balls and frozen in the freezer. They were totally delicious and healthy in small portions, but I didn’t need to eat five of them after dinner.

So while I’ve never huffed compressed air in an effort to feed an addiction, I have gotten similarly creative in the kitchen when feeding my cravings. It might have been easier to just buy some ice cream than to go postal on the pudding mix. However, no one’s ever carded me for buying a bag of chocolate chips.

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27 Comments

Duane • September 12, 2007 at 8:20 am

Great post, I can so relate!

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john • September 12, 2007 at 8:35 am

I hadn’t been to a Radio Shack for years but last year I found myself needing a few supplies for my kids’ science fair project so we made a visit. First I was amazed out how different the stores are now – they used to highlight the fact that they were the prefered electronic component supplier for geeks of all kinds, but now they have all that stuff hidden away and their selection isn’t nearly as good.

Anyway, I bought about $12 worth of stuff that I tried to pay for with a $20 bill. I guess I was just in a bad mood that day but when they asked for my zip code I told them I was paying with cash so I didn’t need to provide that info and the cashier and I actually got into it enough that I had to call for a manager. Finally he shows up and has the guy take my money without the personal info, but not without making me feel like the bad guy.

So I won’t be going back.

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deanna • September 12, 2007 at 9:29 am

PQ – I hear ya loud and clear! Funny what we all do individually to get that feeling whether it’s peanut butter balls or in my case chips & dip! I guess like everything – moderation and being aware is the first step to putting the brakes on the abuse of whatever your thing is.

Anyhoo, the newest season of Biggest Loser has started and the show is so inspirational. I give the contestants so much respect and they have so much courage for weighing-in in front of 100 million viewers. I really think it’s fantastic that this show is on TV – it shows strength, courage and the ability to really take charge and change your life – yeah, in a drastic matter, but let’s face it being overweight is so detrimental to your health, sometimes it may have to be drastic.

I was wondering your thoughts on the show… do you enjoy watching it, do you think it’s over-the-top, do you get inspired by the trainers or the contestants???

PQ – Actually, I’ve never watched a complete episode of that show. It first aired before I started losing weight and I lived with some other people and I didn’t want to get caught watching it and have to talk about weight loss. Later, I don’t know, I just never watched it. I don’t watch much TV lately, except for maybe a dozen shows that get good reviews. I don’t even have cable. Which is weird because I was a total TV junkie as a child.

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Israel • September 12, 2007 at 10:32 am

deanna, the biggest loser is awesome. while i think its not realistic for everyday people to think or want to lose that much weight so fast, it is a great show that changes lives.

pasta queen, i hate it when i go to a mall and buy something and they ask my for a phone number or zip. i always either give them trouble or give them a wrong number.

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z. • September 12, 2007 at 11:23 am

I love your blog! And funny how chocolate chips, in their own way, can be just as mind-altering as, uh, compressed air?

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Dyan • September 12, 2007 at 11:31 am

You mean you’ve never done “whip-its?”? That’s the term for sucking on the very last of the spray “whipped cream” and getting a buzz from the propellant. Why do you think so many people want to work at Starbucks?

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Mia • September 12, 2007 at 11:39 am

I totally agree. Hello! Sugar is a drug. It’s just that eating sugar isn’t illegal; but I would argue that it does interfere with rational judgment. I know it causes me to get very hyper, like being high, and then come crashing down. Beware the sugar addict. Moody.

Being overly full is also a way of reacting to stress, just like drinking or snorting or smoking. Lifestyle choices add up, true, (ie the little stuff) but not enough to cause morbid obesity. And it is “A! Crisis!”

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JEM • September 12, 2007 at 11:59 am

Maybe one day we will have to be carded for buying junk food. I have food addictions for sure.

You should check the biggest loser out…it is inspirational if nothing else.

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Paige • September 12, 2007 at 12:03 pm

“Whip-its” are also the name of the buzz people get from sniffing CO2 cartridges. I’ve never done that, but it was REALLY popular in college (circa 2000).

Every time I fill a flat tire with the CO2 cartridges I have wierd flashbacks to how f***ed up some people would be on those things.

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Eve • September 12, 2007 at 12:13 pm

God yes! SF FF Pudding cups… I go crazy with them plus some cool whip. I think it’s a SBD thing.

PQ – I had to stop buying whipped cream for my pudding because I’d just start eating it right out of the tub.

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deanna • September 12, 2007 at 12:27 pm

PQ – thanks for answering my question, i appreciate it! better off not watching too much tv – it can be way too addicting! i wasn’t a tv junkie growing up, but can easily fall into being a TV junkie now.

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Jenny • September 12, 2007 at 1:58 pm

I tried to buy some spray paint over the weekend in a large city and practically had to go through a full body search just to get one can. I actually said to the guy “I passed 2 crack dealers on the way in, maybe they have the color I need?”

He didn’t think I was very funny.

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psychsarah • September 12, 2007 at 2:44 pm

To all who are tired of giving personal info, I have begun telling places of business that my phone number is 555-5555. They aren’t impressed, but I pay good money to have it unlisted, so why should I tell them?

About the spray paint-in my city there’s a by-law where kids under a certain age can’t buy more than 1 can at a time (in an attempt to curb graffiti).

To PQ-I must commend you on being able to take your day to day events, ponder them, and make them into insightful and entertaining thoughts about weight and food. It never ceases to amaze me that you come up with so many innovative posts!

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honi • September 12, 2007 at 5:29 pm

wow.. I can relate to that one… there are certain red light foods I can ont keep in my house…

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AJ • September 12, 2007 at 5:35 pm

Morning all. Not trying to pry (in case this is sensitive), but what do you buy a can of compressed air for?

PQ – Hee, it’s not sensitive. It’s for cleaning the inside of your computer or any electrical equipment. The compressed air doesn’t have any humidity in it like your breath might and it won’t cause static electricty to build up. It also squirts really fast and makes cleaning out dust fun.

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Linda • September 12, 2007 at 6:07 pm

I used to get annoyed at the checkout counter questions but someone recently told me that they use the zip code information when deciding where to put a new store so I’ll happily give my zip to the store (all of which are many neighborhoods away) in hopes that they’ll open some places closer to home.

Totally relate to the food addict thing.

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virg • September 12, 2007 at 7:06 pm

heehee! I can so relate to overeating the “diet” foods. I binged on unsalted unflavored organic popcorn, a Clif Builder’s protein bar, and sugarfree fudgsicles last night while watching Biggest Loser. How silly is that??

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Susan • September 12, 2007 at 7:09 pm

I absolutely cannot buy any of those 100-calorie packs. I’ve only tried the oreo and chips ahoy ones, and I simply can’t have a mature, adult relationship with them. Six 100-calorie packs quickly becomes a 600 calorie “snack.” Oy.

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Skippy • September 12, 2007 at 9:41 pm

Er…I don’t mean this in a bad way, but what’s with all these posts about bingeing that have a wistful echo to them? There was the pizza post, then the bad-habits post, and now this one. I would be truly interested to hear more of your thoughts on this, because it seems to be on your mind, consciously or no.

I definitely understand the “Cannot Have in House” issue. I found a place nearby that sells Green & Black organic chocolate bars at wholesale cost. After failing miserably to treat these in a reasonable manner, Skippy is now Not Allowed to buy the bargain Green & Black organic….

PQ – Hmmm, well the pizza thing happened because I read an article where someone mentioned going out for pizza to celebrate and I was suddenly hit with that memory of Mr. Gatti’s. The default habits thing was something I’ve meant to write about since I read that blog entry in July. And I actually bought the can of compressed air a month or two ago and finally got around to writing about it now. I did have to stop buying my favorite vanilla yogurt this week because I was eating too much of it, so that may have something to do with it. I dunno. Don’t worry, I’m not secretly eating boxes of donuts while writing these posts :)

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Manic Mom • September 13, 2007 at 1:24 am

How odd that I not only HAVE two cans of compressed air on my credenza, I also have a package of pixie stix in my kitchen cabinet!

Hmmmmm… I’m getting an idea…

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Kyle • September 13, 2007 at 2:26 am

I don’t know what it is about this blog…but something about the way you write and the way you view life makes me wish we were friends.

Alas, I live in Chile and our paths will probably never cross. Unless you decide to do a bike ride through the driest desert in the world down here or climb the Andes mountains. Neither of which would surprise me in the slightest.

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Marla • September 13, 2007 at 6:49 am

I have the same issue with the fudgesicles – they always say the low-fat food is useless because it’s not satisfying and so you eat more, and I think that must be true. No-sugar no-fat pudding pops are about like chewing gum: it tastes good, but it’s not FOOD.

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Urbn Chick • September 13, 2007 at 2:31 pm

What’s the recipe for the peanut butter balls?

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Lindsey • September 13, 2007 at 9:18 pm

I actually wanted to know the recipe for the peanut butter balls too, if you had it. And it would be uber great if you already had the nutritional info with it as well.

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akus • September 13, 2007 at 10:26 pm

LOL, so because You were of age, it is legal for You to get a buzz off the compressed air?

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PastaQueen • September 14, 2007 at 8:15 am

Urbn Chick & Lindsey – Heh, that’s kind of like asking what corner my crack dealer hangs out on, isn’t it? The recipe I found was at the bottom of a list of protein shake recipes, so I found it by accident. They said to mix together 1/2 cup peanut butter, 1/4 cup honey and 3 scoops of vanilla protein powder, though they didn’t say how big a scoop was so I guessed. Then you roll the batter into balls and freeze them for at least an hour. If you do a search for “peanut butter balls” you’ll find lots of variations on the recipe, sometimes with oatmeal, cranberries, chocolate chips – whatever. I don’t think it’s something I can make too often because I want to eat the whole batch.

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K • September 14, 2007 at 12:32 pm

Nobody ever asks for personal info at the checkouts in the UK (well, except if you’re buying knives or alcohol or whatever). The shops seem to get around this by asking for it in exchange for loyalty cards – you can’t order online at Tesco (supermarket) without a Clubcard these days, which strikes me as a little daft…

We get so many scare stories about identity theft that I don’t think many people would be willing to give up information out loud to a random checkout person.

As for binging on low-cal stuff… we buy 60-calorie ice lollies, and I sometimes find I’ve eaten two or three of those over the course of a day. I think it’s mostly lack of concentration, and although it’s not a very big deal, I’m rather wary of mindless eating…

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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.

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