Sunday, September 6, 2009

My Peculiar Food Obsessions: Foods I Must Give up If I Am to Regain My Health and Physique

My wife suggests that I might just have a touch of OCD because I am given to ritual, and I purchase the same products over and over again. I have a ritual for everything, and if I do not perform that ritual, I just don’t feel right. Plus, she offers my closet as further evidence. I have worn the same brand of clothes and shoes for years. I don’t deviate. I don’t branch out and try new brands, new styles, but I stick with the familiar.

But she offers as the strongest evidence my peculiar food obsessions. If I like something, most of which is absolute junk, I eat it day end and day out until I finally grow tired of it then I move on to a new obsession. However, my metabolism has changed tremendously in the last two or three years or so. At one time, I could eat as much junk as I wanted and though I worked out only sporadically, maintain a relatively nice physique and good health. But new health concerns mark the end of this era.

Suddenly, I am facing the specter of high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Suddenly, it is necessary to work out and eat right to maintain my weight and good health. And as my wife is apt to do, she was quick to insert reality into the whole situation. She made a list of my food obsessions that I must give up immediately if I am to reclaim my physique and good health.

1. Fruity Pebbles

My wife gets up early each morning to insure that we have a good breakfast before leaving the house. She fixes a hot cereal, usually oatmeal, and slices fresh fruit and various melons. But much to her chagrin, I then get up and break out the Fruity Pebbles. My children look on in envy, and she looks on in seething anger as I forego her healthy breakfast for an artificially flavored, sugar fortified cereal.

2. Coffee

My wife often points out that even before I have left the house, I have already consumed a pot of coffee. Then I prepare a to-go cup to take coffee with me on my drive to work. And then I spend much of the morning soaking up coffee in the faculty lounge. All this coffee, she points out, cannot be good for me, but I don’t know how I’ll do without it.

3. Pork rind strips and Fanta cola

Around mid afternoon, I begin to get a craving for something salty and something sweet. So I go for the pork rind strips and Fanta cola. Again, my wife questions the sanity of introducing a daily dose of fried out salted pork rinds into my system and then washing it down with soda. And my kids point out that the Fanta fruit flavors bear no resemblance to the flavor of the actual fruit. But so what. They are so wickedly refreshing.

4. Slurpees and hot sausages

During my drive home in the evening, I always stop by the local convenience store to pick up a Slurpee and a hot sausage to hold me over until I get home.

5. Lemonheads

This is perhaps my biggest food obsession. Even I can’t explain it. It started small. My wife would buy a bag of lemonheads to get her through long meetings, and I would eat whatever was left over. But then she quit buying them all together. Something about the sugar content. So, then I began to buy them myself. At first a bag would last me about a week. Then a bag would only last me two or three days. Then the next thing you know, I’m up to a bag or two a day. Not the tiny little box, mind you, but the bags they sell in grocery stores.

It’s gotten so bad that my students and colleagues present me with bags of lemonheads whenever they attempt to get in my good graces. Each lemonhead is like a sweet, tangy piece of crack. They just keep calling me and calling me.

But in case the health argument didn’t work, my wife presented me with the approximate cost of my food obsessions. She estimated that I spent approximately ten dollars a day on my food obsessions. And if you multiply that by the twenty or so days a month that I go to work, not counting the numerous snack runs on weekends, it comes to about two hundred dollars a month.

I might not be health conscious, but I am money conscious, so I know it’s time for me to quit. Not only am I setting myself up for a early death, I am setting myself up to die broke.

What peculiar food obsessions do you have?


Unknown said...

Dang, you've got it BAADDD!!! (LOL)

Chips...any type of chip, and fried food (doesn't matter what it is as long as it's fried). I have an obsession for anything crispy and salty. Crunch all day, crunch all night! But like you, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes has me thinking twice about my food habits and inactivity. But unlike you, the cost won't get me to stop. I've told my family when I die that they are to put this on my tombstone: "May She Rest In Grease." (LOL)

Anonymous said...

You have managed to shed light on a serious topic with just the right amount of levity. I have had weight issues my entire life. I joke that I have always have a love affair with food and would be okay if it would stop loving me back. I gave up red meat & pork over 15 years ago, managed to cut down on starches (i.e. rice, pasta, etc) in the last three years and increase the vegetables. Yet I can't seem to abandon my comfort food, sugar. Latest vice of choice is Haagen Daz ice cream. I even found a local video store that sells it for a dollar cheaper than the bodega or supermarket. My husband fuels himself with chocolate and doesn't seem to gain a pound (grrr). I am not very athletic, actually loathe physical exertion, but do like swimming, dance & tennis (difficult to incorporate into my daily regimen). Perhaps we should join the 50 million pound challenge. There is strength in numbers.

Ann Brock said...

Brother you hit the nail on the head with this one.... My drug of choice is anything that has sugar in it... I am so addicted to sweets that I am ashamed of it.

Yesterday I ate chocolate chip cookies for breakfast lunch and dinner... I used to run 6 miles every day except Sundays that way I could keep my weight under control and my pressure also...Every since I moved to your city I cant get back in the swing of...Hey I no what you mean about that coffee I cant start a day without 3 big cups.

curlykidz said...

Nibs. I love nibs. For the longest time none of the gas stations in Phoenix sold nibs. Hot Tamales. Love those too. Dark chocolate. Not particularly fond of coffee, but I don't mind it in a cup of chocolate, which is where those deadly bottled mocha drinks come in. Lime Slushes. I love Sonic Happy Days. Dammit. Now I have to go to Sonic again. Damn you Max Reddick... damn you.

uglyblackjohn said...

For me it's Blue Bell Nutty Chocolate ice cream.
I was eating a half gallon a day until I gained five pounds.
When I was a kid I could eat pints of Haagen Daaz Chocolate Chocolate Chip and not feel a thing.
I guess those days are gone.

KST said...

Wow Max! A pot of coffee, before you leave the house?

I confess, I'm a Starbucks junkie, and not the frou-frou drinks. I love their Sumatra blend.

And chocolate. Always chocolate.

Unknown said...

You are going to have to do better....shame...shame. But dang those pork rinds sure did look good!!

Max Reddick said...

@ rainwriter jones

I don't do fried much, but crispy and salty--that's my biggest downfall. And I love it--May She Rest in Grease.

@ ggSpirit

My wife has managed change her diet, but she still can't stay away from the Haagen Daz. Haagen Daz must contain some secret formula that hooks people, like nicotine in tobacco.

@ jjbrock

I do have those days when I eat nothing but sweets all day. A couple of Sundays ago, I managed to eat a whole cheesecake. Once I started, I just couldn't stop.

@ Cyndi

You appear to be almost as bad as me. I would look those nib things up on the internet, but I'm afraid I might just become obsessed with another food just when I am trying to quit.

@ ublyblackjohn

A half a gallon a day? You had it bad.


Yes, a whole pot. Even now as I type this, I'm at a half a pot. Thank you for reminding me to stop.

@ Blog Queen

Yes, those pork rinds are good. They are the hard kind. I love'em. But alas, I'll have to give them up. Maybe I'll reserve them for special ocassions.

md20737 said...

Each lemonhead is like a sweet, tangy piece of crack. They just keep calling me and calling me.

Those few sentences had me laughing out loud at work. I understand your struggle. I have to have a SODA. I have friend of mine that tries to persuade me not to drink them by calling them "Raunchy" but I love my raunchy sodas and will scrape up pennies to drink them. I have tried to stop but during that time period I was a mad woman, I found myself just upset for no reason. When I drink them I am much more pleasant.

My second obsession is cake. I can eat cake with any meal, but I used to eat it for breakfast. Until my friend pointed out each day she talked to me that I was telling her about the best cake I ever had lol I did gave that one up. But soda is liquid crack in a bottle. I cant seem to put this bottle down and I dont want to either. Although I know I will drop 5-10 just by not drinking it. I have even figured it into my budget. One day I will beat the habit but not right now :)


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