Do you try to keep the foods you love at arms’ distance in an attempt to avoid temptation? How is it working for you?

I lived for years in fear of food, swearing on a stack of bibles that I couldn’t be trusted around food. Do you ever feel that way? Can you relate?

IStock_000010336523XSmall_1 Do you try to keep the foods you love at arms’ distance in an attempt to avoid temptation? How is it working for you?

I lived for years in fear of food, swearing on a stack of bibles that I couldn’t be trusted around food. Do you ever feel that way?

I’ve struggled with my own disordered eating and this horrible black and white thinking diet mentality for over thirty-four years. As of today, I’ve been in recovery from my food addictions for seven years. I made the decision to stop dieting in August of 2006. Through this process, I’ve discovered my freedom.

I have moved way beyond knowing I can trust myself around an open bag of M&Ms or a bag of chips, or even a fresh baked batch of chocolate chip cookies, brownies, or cake. I now know my favorite ice cream can actually develop freezer fuzz while standing for weeks uneaten in the freezer in my home.

In the early part of this process, I ate chips compulsively. At one time, I had nine bags of chips in my cabinet: Doritos, Fritos, Lays potato chips, taco chips, Baked Cheetos, Fried Cheetos, cheese twists, Garden of Eatin’ blue corn chips, and pita chips. I ate all of them constantly. Each time I passed the kitchen, I grabbed another handful, completely disregarding my hunger. As time passed, I began to just eat them occasionally with a sandwich.

Eventually, I discriminated even more. A single taste would tell me it was too salty, or too cheesy, stale, the wrong size or shape, too thin or too thick, too twisted or too flat, too greasy, too, too, too. For months afterwards I would know I no longer liked them. I kept them in the cabinet and did a quick mental count each time I opened the door.

Nine. I had nine bags of chips in the house that I could eat anytime I wanted to. I looked at them all arranged like soldiers on my bottom shelf. Nine. Andrea had nine bags of chips.

Those nine bags of chips helped me thumb my nose at the well-meaning but ignorant things my dad and stepmother, Rosie, had me do. They told me they counted all the potato chips in the house. They made me eat broccoli with lemon for lunch and cut the fat off my steak because they wanted to help me lose weight. Those nine bags of chips were a shout out against them.

They were my cry for independence.

In 1973, when I moved in with Dad and Rosie, it was only about three months after my mother and stepfather, Jorge, had gotten married and moved to Florida. Over those three months I had gained thirty pounds. Nobody knew that I was trying to build a wall of fat to protect myself.
Once I started dieting, chips were among the first things to go, yet because Rosie was slim and Dad loved junk food, the foods I loved were always in the house, but I couldn’t have them. Ah…so close and yet so far. Boy did I want them, so I did whatever I could to get them.

Being the resourceful gal I am, I wangled my way around every obstacle and planned my food attacks. Whenever Rosie would go downstairs to do laundry and leave me in the house alone, I raided the cabinets and refrigerator and shoved handfuls of tempting goodies, M&Ms, cookies, donuts, bagels, cold leftovers in my mouth, just waiting to hear the outside elevator door close and listening for the key in the lock.

One day, Rosie came back from the basement after folding the clothes and called me into the kitchen. She had a strange look on her face. It was the serious one that intimidated me.

I searched Rosie’s eyes for clues as to what she was thinking. Her big brown, warm loveable cow eyes told me something was brewing but I couldn’t tell what it was. I knew I was in some kind of trouble.

Breaking the tense silence, she said, “Andrea, did you eat any of the potato chips?”

“No, I said. I would never.”

Then she asked me again with her voice a little firmer this time. “Andrea, did you eat any of the potato chips?”

“No,” I said, my voice cracking a bit.

Then she asked again, “Andrea, tell me the truth. Did you eat any of the potato chips?”

I swore up and down that I hadn’t.

Then she said, “Andrea, I counted them.”

I broke into sobs and confessed my guilty sin. At which point, she laughed and told me, “Silly — how am I going to count potato chips?”
Stung by my own innocence, and heaped on top of buckets of shame, I now felt stupid. This is the reason those nine bags stayed in my house even after I knew I didn’t like them anymore. Now, knowing that I’m not a human garbage can indiscriminately devouring everything in my path, I am finally finding out for the first time who this Andrea really is.

What’s Your Weakness?

For me, it was chips, for you it may be cookies, Grandma’s blueberry pie, Mom’s Sunday lasagna or some other food you feel you’ll never get enough of. If you’re depriving yourself and trying to avoid that food, it’s holding your happiness hostage. As long as you feel you have to keep your distance, you’ll never know who’s really in control.

Let me show you another way to handle your emotional eating. There is a much gentler and more effective alternative to dieting.

On January 8, I’m going to be doing a free introductory teleclass entitled, “Tap into Self Acceptance” to promote my next Lovin’ the Skin You’re In Program starting on January 15. To register, click on the link below:

Tap Into Self-Acceptance


Andrea Amador, The Juicy Woman, potato chips, cravings,

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