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Attack of the Gummi Bears

In lieu of seeing the horsies at the Derby this weekend, I decided to see a spider at the movie theatre, or Tobey Maguire dressed up as one in Spider-man 3. But I was almost mauled by bears on the way to the stadium seating, gummi bears that is.

At the entrance to the theatre, the ticket-taker ripped my ticket in half and then handed me not only the stub, but a small plastic bag of gummi bears. That’s right, people are now literally shoving junk food into my hands. Maybe I need to start wearing a T-Shirt that says, “Please don’t feed the dieter.” As a kid we used to buy Snickers bars at the convenience store around the corner and smuggle the sugary contraband inside at the bottom of my mother’s purse, and now they’re giving the stuff away for free. They’re trying to take all the fun out of it, aren’t they? At least I still got a thrill by sneaking a can of generic Diet Cola inside by tucking it between my billfold and cell phone. Maybe next time I can attempt to smuggle in an entire stalk of celery in an umbrella case.

There were people in line behind me, so I just started wandering to the right theatre as I flipped the bag of candy over to inspect it. Then I rolled my eyes, caught site of a trash can and tossed the baggie into the hole at the top in an excellent free throw. That would have been inconceivable behavior two years ago, or even a year ago. Hell, I probably wouldn’t even have done it six months ago. But I’d eaten before I came to the complex and I wasn’t going to eat a bag of candy I didn’t ask for just because someone pushed it under my face. Gummi bears aren’t all that bad for you as far as candy is concerned, but it seemed pointless to eat something I knew I would regret just because it was free. It was better to let the gummi bears go hibernate in the trash can among the empty popcorn bags.

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BrightAngel • May 7, 2007 at 9:46 am

Good Job !!!

Trashing food OUTSIDE my body is a skill I also have had to acquire, and am still working to perfect.


deanna • May 7, 2007 at 10:19 am

that’s what I call a successful day, and a huge accomplishment on some many levels – mental, physical, etc… Kudos to You!!


Jester • May 7, 2007 at 10:26 am

I’m trying to follow a new rule: “Never eat free food.” This applies to food left in the break room at work, candy from the jars on the desks of my co-workers, and free-bees at the grocery store. Now I can add “spider-bears” as another one to avoid!

Good job, PastaQueen!


Debbi • May 7, 2007 at 11:16 am

It’s really, really hard for me to pass up free food. You make it sound so sensible and you handled it in such a matter-of-fact way. Someday …


PastaQueen • May 7, 2007 at 11:25 am

Debbi – It helped that I happened to be passing a trash can. I just tossed them in before I could think too hard about it, more like a reflex than a distinct judgement. And once they were in the trash there was no way I was going to root around amongst the dried Cherry Coke and greasy popcorn kernels to retrieve them.


Pam • May 7, 2007 at 11:44 am

And now you get to be all smug about it, “Oh, yeah, I throw this stuff away all the time.”

You go girl!


Fatslayer • May 7, 2007 at 11:57 am

I remember the first time I turned down free food (and not just any old free food but cherries dipped in bitter-sweet chocolate which I would ordinarily have scarfed down in seconds like a starving dog) and it gave me a real sense of achievement, and of having made a real breakthrough. That first time was hard, but it gets easier, because even free food has a hidden health cost!

Well done, PQ! So how was the movie?


bitchwhoblogs • May 7, 2007 at 1:29 pm

Way to go… its a victory of the willful over the primordial brain… My skinny friends rarely feel obligated to eat free food… I feel like an antropologist tracking the habits and cultural norms of the normal and thin people around me… Its almost as alien as being dropped into remote central nigeria to engage in a yam-based economy – this culture of the thin and normal… I realize that if I want to keep this fifty or so pounds off I need not only a lifestyle change, but a cultural re-calibration. One step is not feeling obliged to eat food when its given to me for whatever reason.


Patty • May 7, 2007 at 2:50 pm

Way to go PQ on throwing out those bears! I don’t know if I would. Something about wasting food but you didn’t ask for it so wow, I aspire to that.

I was preusing the book ‘mindless eating’ and it talks about similar situations and how we just eat w/out thinking if we are hungry, just eat on auto pilot. It’s inpirational to hear you don’t do that, you really think, yeah, I’ve just eaten, I don’t need this candy.


jae • May 7, 2007 at 3:34 pm

Good for you! That reminds me of Friday–I was busy taking Dominic to class, running errands and we hit a drive thru really quick for lunch. I ordered a meal for him and a cheeseburger and tea for me and guess what I found in my bag? Yup, a jumbo sized container of fries. I tried to give them back but they didn’t want them. I ate one before I decided that I DIDN”T need to eat food just because it’s given to me. So go me too! Throwing away food is so hard for me to do. But really, do I need to eat everything I come in contact with? ~j


Deb • May 7, 2007 at 3:53 pm


I can’t eat the red ones but I bet, I would still open the bag for the rest of them. WTG! That is a place that seems unreachable at time.


Lose Weight With Me • May 7, 2007 at 5:24 pm

Way to go! Free or not, the sugar wouldn’t have done you any good.




JEM • May 7, 2007 at 5:49 pm

You inspired me, a co-worker was handing out cake. I took a bite and then I thought of you and trashed it. Thanks.


the veggie paparazzo • May 7, 2007 at 8:10 pm

Yay! What a great moment.


Laura Bora from Bufadora • May 7, 2007 at 8:41 pm

YOU ARE A ROCK!! And a rock star.

I am SO CHEAP it’s SO HARD for me to eschew free food. It also seems that since I’ve recommitted to a food plan, MORE free food has been shoved in my face — they had a Cinco De Mayo party at my office and all the office-ladies brought in their 7 layer dips and chili and other sour cream laden offerings and then shrieked, “HAVE YOU TRIED MY _________ YET?” I just started telling everybody, “Oh my GOD that was YOURS?? That was AWESOME!” Even though I only ate things that I really truly wanted and stopped when I was comfortably full.

I will remember this post the next time the vendor comes in with all those Starbuck’s pastries.


Erin • May 7, 2007 at 10:48 pm

Aren’t you glad it was just something kind of “meh”, like Gummi Bears instead of free Reese’s Pieces or something else divine? But still, remarkable willpower in not even giving it a second thought. You’re fantastic at every challenge you encounter.


mo • May 7, 2007 at 11:09 pm

That is great- its the cumulative sum of all those things.


Monica • May 8, 2007 at 1:40 am

This is where I get preachy: I would’ve kept them and given them to someone else, or some homeless guy.

/end preach


bazu • May 8, 2007 at 8:41 am

In response to Monica’s comment above, I’m usually obsessive about not wasting food, about seeing that some in our society have too much while some have too little, etc. BUT, this post made me go, YEAH PASTAQUEEN! A homeless guy would not have benefited from a small bag of candy- noone would. It’s just a bag of non-nutritious processed crap. PQ’s small gesture of chucking it made a larger statement in my mind- we have to stand up to a culture where food, really really bad food, gets shoved in our faces for free all the time. It’s easier to find free or cheap crap food than realistically priced good for you food. ENOUGH already!


NicoleW • May 8, 2007 at 1:03 pm

If that happened to me now, I’d immediately start looking around to see if Brian Wansink was lurking behind the big cardboard Spiderman cutout with a clipboard.

Anyhow, well done, PQ. Gummi bears are one of my weaknesses and it still feels like ingrained behavior for me to eat something when I’m in a movie theater, and I’m not sure I’d have been able to do what you did.


honi • May 8, 2007 at 5:14 pm

ROCK ON great great about trashing the candy… I love that feeling.. and I love saying no to food.. and realizing how liberating that is..



whatiweigh • May 9, 2007 at 6:38 am

Someday I am going to get the level you are at. I can’t wait for that day because I have just started out on my journey.

I also went to see Spiderman on Saturday. There were no free gummies but I did manage to scarf a jumbo popcorn (the largest size) all by myself.

I feel so ashamed now :-(


TheMorbidMe • May 9, 2007 at 10:22 am

What would have happen if that was chocolate not gummy bears ????


Sarah • May 9, 2007 at 10:46 am

I quit making myself feel guilty over “wasting food”. The fact of the matter is I wouldn’t have tracked down some poor less fortunate soul to give them to (or any leftovers really)and to shove it in my pie hole because somebody else is suffering isn’t logical. Well done Pasta Queen!!


erin • May 9, 2007 at 4:28 pm

“This is where I get preachy: I would’ve kept them and given them to someone else, or some homeless guy.”

Not to pick on anyone (really), but gummy bears aren’t exactly “food.” They’re just junk. I wouldn’t seek out a homeless person something that was bad for them. This is just an incident where it can go to waste in your body or outside it.


swinglifeaway • June 8, 2011 at 11:00 am

We had an office baby shower yesterday. I was of “those” people and brought a fruit and veggie tray. Everyone else brought chips, dips, cakes, cookies, etc. As hard as it was to say, “no thanks” over and over again, I have never felt such a sense of accomplishment by sticking to my fruits and veggies. For once, I didn’t feel like I was being deprived. I felt impowered.


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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 JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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