An uncommon cure for the common binge

Whenever I’m working at my computer, I reach for the junk food.

Oh sure, I try to stem this mindless urge, but it’s not easy.  Every time I fire up my computer, a rumbling murmur somewhere in my head says Feeeed meeee.

Since apparently I’m most creative while shoveling things into my mouth, I figured I should at least try shoveling healthy foods instead of empty calories. One week I tried munching carrots, ice chips and even tofu. But always by mid-afternoon, the Froot Loops were not only calling my name, they’d convinced the Twinkies, cheese puffs and baking chocolate to join the chorus.

Recently I came up with a new strategy, and I think it might be working. I put a beautiful crystal candy bowl next to my computer and filled it with snacks. Not just any snacks, mind you. These are very special snacks—crunchy and flavored like chicken.

The first time I did this, it took me less than an hour to absent-mindedly empty the dish.

Before long, however, the same bowl began taking longer to empty. These days, it lasts almost a week, sometimes longer. What this means is that I’m starting to think about what I’m doing before stuffing things in my mouth. It means my autopilot eating is slowing down. 

I figure if I keep this up, one day my mindless nibbling will be completely under control.

This’ll make a lot of people happy. Like my kids, who are tired of hearing me complain about my weight. And my therapist, who supports all (okay, some) of my zany self-improvement schemes. And definitely my dog, Buddy, who looks really confused every time I refill my candy bowl from his box of doggie treats.

–From the book Only Nuns Change Habits Overnight by Karen Linamen

Looking for change and settling for milkweed and MacDonalds?

Do you ever feel like a caterpillar?

Caterpillars eat pretty much nonstop. The caterpillar of the polyphemus moth is the hungriest, eating up to 86,000 times its own weight. This can be compared to a baby eating 273 tons of food. Or a grown woman pigging out on—don’t roll your eyes, I did the math—60 million, 200 thousand Quarter Pounders.

I’ve yet to stumble across research linking the voracious appetite of the polyphemus caterpillar to emotional eating, but what else could it be? I mean, there she is, stuck in a rut, inching along when what she’d really love to do is shed her baggage and learn to fly. Is it any wonder she drowns her sorrows in Norway Maple leaves and milkweed?

You can thank Ron for the coffee

Making friends with your body and your emotions about your body“Every January, Sports Illustrated releases its swimsuit issue, completely ignoring the fact that ‘swimsuit’ is not a recognized sport in any nation on earth. It’s impossible to win an Olympic medal in ‘swimsuit.'”

I wish I’d written these words, but they are the brainchildren of Ron Lee, my editor at Waterbrook. Ron suggested adding these words to a chapter in my upcoming Spring release, A Waist is a Terrible Thing to Mind, and I love it! In fact, I lol-ed. Which is a nice thing to get to do when you’re up at one in the morning, pumped up on coffee and racing to finish final revisions to your manuscript.

In caffeine-driven moments such as this, laughter is welcome. So are crazy ideas. So here’s the deal: Make a mental note. Remember Ron’s words. As soon as my book releases in March, I’m going to post a contest. I’m going to announce that the first person to email me with the page number where “Ron’s paragraph” appears will get a $25 Starbuck’s gift card from me.

But here’s the small print: I’m not going to remind anyone what “Ron’s paragraph” says. So you’re going to have to remember on your own. So write it down: According to Ron, “swimsuit” is not a recognized sport in any nation on earth. And while you can’t win an Olympic medal in “swimsuit,” you just might win a little coffee. And if you happen to be a midnight-caffeine-jocky like me, that might be as good as gold.

Weight Loss: Not Exactly a Piece of Cake

Even Hollywood hotties do the yo-yo weight thing and, believe me, I feel their pain. It can really unnerve a girl not knowing what size she’s going to be in the morning. 

Take Alice for example.  She took ONE measly bite of cake and blew up three times her normal size. This made her so upset she cried a river of tears, which naturally makes me wonder how huge and hysterical she would get if, like me, she were in the habit of consuming entire boxes of Twinkies in a single sitting.

On Plastic Surgery

For years I thought, “What’s the big deal with diet and exercise?”

I always figured if I got unhappy enough with my body, I could always hire someone to fix it, right? Kinda like when you’re living in a house and the floor starts to sag and you just call a handyman.  And if the house is REALLY falling apart and a handyman can’t do the job, you go to the next level and call a tradesman like a plumber or something.  And if the job ends up being too big for a tradesman, you call a general contractor.  Simple, right?

So a couple months ago I had a consultation with a plastic surgeon.  He declined the job and said, with the amount of remodeling I’d need, I’d have to call an architect and maybe even apply for a rezoning permit.

Dressing Room Mirrors: TMI?

I bought a swimsuit today and I have one question for the idiots who design department store dressing rooms:

What’s with the bright lights and real mirrors?

I have a better idea.  How about a little candlelight? Or a few of those concave fun-house mirrors that take 40 pounds off a person right from the start? We don’t CARE if you resort to optical illusions or even trickery. In fact, we’ll thank you for it.

And if you’re worried about being sued, relax. I spoke with a lawyer who said it’s easy to protect yourself. All you have to do is post a disclaimer. It can say, “Objects in mirror are larger than they appear.”

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