Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Hot Dog Dreams, and Eating Yourself to Death

Today, all I could think about was hot dogs. Slow roasted, glistening Nathan's hot dogs on toasted buns with spicy brown mustard. And Cheetos. And Coke. I wasn't *trying* to think about hot dogs; it's almost like I have flashbacks that involve not only my mind but my taste buds. My mouth starts watering. I can *feel* the hot dogs in my mouth. The salt... the fat. It seems so real I wonder if hot dogs trigger some kind of weird neuron chain in my head that causes me to relive the whole hot dog experience.

I've written before about how I crave salt (and certain high sodium foods) when I have PMS. When I weighed 278 pounds, it was nothing for me to eat a whole can of Pringles in one sitting, washed down with Coke. And my go-to meal for PMS cravings was hot dogs on buns with Cheetos and Coke. I'd eat 5 or 6 dogs in a meal. Sometimes with sauerkraut. When I changed my eating habits, I still craved salt, but I made crispy baked kale with sea salt, or roasted spicy chickpeas to get some nutrition in with my (much lower) dose of sodium.

Today I took my daughter to the mall to shop. Whenever we go to the mall, she asks for a pretzel or Sbarro's pizza. I have to say one of my favorite unhealthy foods in the world is Sbarro's pizza. It's also a huge trigger for me. As we shopped, I could smell the pizza. She asked. I declined, and we got outta there. On the way home, that's when the hot dog obsession started. I had to have a hot dog. Now. I would buy a pack and only eat one. Or I would buy low fat hot dogs. Or I would eat the whole pack and pretend it never happened.

Instead, I got a small nonfat coffee, got my child a slice of pumpkin bread, and ate 2 bites of it myself. We went home and had a healthy lunch. And although hot dogs were dancing in my head for hours, and I live within (almost) walking distance of hot dogs, I stayed home and controlled myself.

Last year I was talking to an acquaintance who's about my age. He told me that his mother died when he was nine years old and it deeply affected him all his life. I asked what she died from, and he said, "She ate herself to death." I assumed that he meant she died from some obesity-related complication: diabetes, heart disease perhaps. I asked further, and he said, "No. Really. She literally ate herself to death. They found her dead on the sofa, surrounded by Heath bar wrappers." He continued to explain that she knew she had blood sugar problems (I think she was diabetic) and understood the consequences, but as he put it, "she just loved Heath bars." Is this not tragic? A young mother in her 30's, gone all too soon and leaving a child with unimaginable sadness and pain, why? Why. That's why I can't eat the hot dogs. I won't eat myself to death; I can't do it to my children.

My meals today:
Breakfast: homemade breakfast burrito made form a whole grain, low carb tortilla, egg beaters, light cheese, spinach, and turkey sausage, with a cup of green tea and half a Clementine.
Snack: nonfat latte and 2 bites of pumpkin loaf
Lunch: dried apricots and bananas, low fat berry yogurt with fresh cherries and flax granola
Snack: pomegranate white tea
Dinner: lean buffalo chili with beans and tomatoes, dollop of light sour cream, and a slice of low fat cornbread, with a small glass of skim milk.
Total calories: 1720

I biked for 30 minutes. Another good day tomorrow.

35 comments:

Hanlie said...

I have learned that pre-menstrual salt cravings are actually the body's signal that it needs Essential Fats. Considering that Omega 3, 6, and 9 are vital for the proper functioning of the hormonal system, this makes a lot of sense to me. So when the craving hits, increase your consumption of ground flax seeds or drizzle some flax oil or cold-pressed olive oil on your food, eat an avocado, fresh corn on the cob or a handful of olives in brine. This should not only take care of the cravings, but support your body through this time.

Eating yourself to death... Yeah, I get that! But I'm not that woman anymore. And I will never be that woman again.

Andrea said...

Good job resisting temptation! I feel ya on the hot dog cravings.. yum. So good, but so bad!

Kristin in Korea said...

Hello--

I'm really enjoying reading your posts--based on your before picture, we could be sisters. Anyhow, could you post your lowfat cornbread recipe? I often make taco soup or chili, and that would be a great addition. Keep writing--you're an inspiration!

Laurens_Closet said...

It's so hard to pass up some things. I'll admit- I drove all the way to WalMart JUST to buy some ice cream I HAD to have tonight.

I failed the test. You passed. It's all about the small tests.

Way to go, Lyn~

Amy
www.rebuildingamy.blogspot.com

moonduster said...

I second Kristin's low fat corn bread recipe request!

And good job on resisting your craving for a hot dog!

Anonymous said...

i crave salt a lot too. Eating edamame(soybeans) that you find in sushi restuarants sprinkled on top with salt helps!! They're really yummy and nutritious.

MizFit said...

three cheers for the bike!!

**cue confetti shaped like our girls who conspire to keep us off :)**

Rebecca said...

Way to go...your little girl is learning so much from you. Just by saying no to the pizza and yes to a nonfat coffee, you are teaching her principles that will last a life time.

Ron said...

Great job of not caving in for those hot dogs, and you go in some exercise too!! Way to go!

Andra said...

Bless your heart, Lyn. White knuckle moments can be such a trial.

I used to have food cravings but a yeast killing supplement routine for two months had put a stop to them. Cutting back on sugar and processed foods along with a few supplements has worked wonders. I didn't think it was possible but they are gone.

http://lovetoeathatetoexercise.blogspot.com/2008/10/candidiasis_26.html

The details are in the above post with links to the original article. I highly recommend them to anyone who is struggling with food cravings. It's not overly spendy, but definitely worth the time and money.

Have a wonderful day!

Teale said...

That looks like a really great day, meal-wise! I'm really proud of you for avoiding the hot dogs & turning what could have been a disaster into nothing at all! I'm thinking about posting my food daily, but then I worry that people might start saying "you need more of this, you don't get enough this, you shouldn't have eaten this..."

Ria said...

Congrats on dodging the hot dog craving, Lyn!

I love hot dogs too . . . in the bad old days, I'd make pigs in blankets and eat way too many. Now, when I've just gotta have a hot dog, I get Applegate Farms organic (70/80 cal and no nitrates or other weird ingredients) and wrap it in a small whole wheat tortilla from La Tortilla Factory (50 cal). I've also tried the HN 97% fast-free . . . I like that they're even lower-cal than Applegate, but they do have nitrates.

Totally sad story about your friend's mom . . . and an image to remember when we get tempted to start eating ourselves to death again.

J.B.G. said...

Can you tell us how you roast chickpeas to make them crunchy? Mine always come out mushy and get even mushier if I try to keep them overnight.

HopeFool said...

Great job on the hot dog resistance.

I'm shocked though. I had no idea a person could eat themselves to death. I feel SO lucky to be alive right now.

~TMcGee~ said...

The eating herself to death story reminded me of a scene from that Brad Pitt movie "Seven"...I don't ever want to do that to my family!
You are strong for resisting the hotdog, stay strong.

Jen, a priorfatgirl said...

I love salt! Sometimes I have a secret dream of licking a salt block; probably too much and I would hate it but I still dream of it. Anyways, you mentioned roasted spicy chickpeas - do you have a recipe for this? They sound YUMMY and I do love me some chickpeas!

Linda said...

Great job on resisting all those temptations and going healthy instead! Baby steps...

bbubblyb said...

Way to go on passing up the pizza and the hotdog. I know how tough it is but it really is "each" battle we conquer that will get us there.

Archer said...

Sweetie, if you crave salt, why not eat salt? Back when I was doing A/C repair for a living I would suck on rock salt all day as if it was candy. If you haven't heard from a doctor that you need to avoid salt, why not give your body what it's asking for instead of offering it foods with some salt?

Hide those cookies said...

Great job resisting that temptation. It sounds like you have powerful motivation!

You'd be so pretty if... said...

Wow, eating yourself to death. That's an eye opener isn't it?

mmm...hot dogs...drool. :)

fatfighter said...

Good for you for not giving in to your hot dog temptation. I am the opposite - I always crave sweets!

sonia said...

My PMS cravings for trigger foods for sodium filled carbs(usually pizza!) can last for a few days.

I've learned to ride it out, and let them pass, as difficult as they may be.

Sometimes just imagining eating trigger foods can be interesting enough of a thought to entertain until the craving passes.

Food additions can be a nightmare!

Ginger and Brent said...

Another take on this, I, too, sometimes get an irresistable craving for hot dogs. Usually in conjunction with a terrific migraine headache. I have been told the MSG in the hotdogs has some sort of effect on the headache. I don't put much stock in that, but it is rather coincidental that they seem to come along hand n hand.

Heather said...

I definitely have days like that too where I can just completely visualize a certain food and think about the way it tastes. its hard but it WILL pass (and hopefully doesnt come back). the reality is, sometimes the imagining is better than the real thing is anyways.

Tina said...

You are doing so well! I know what you mean about the hot dogs. The place next to my work has been cooking corn dogs today and I can smell them through the walls! I've been making chili dogs at home every once in a while with a turkey dog, a whole wheat bun and homemade chili. They really satisfy my cravings.

justjuliebean said...

I admire your resolve, but I know in my case, white knuckling something that strongly means that eventually I'm going to give and overdo it. That doesn't work for me, so to avoid the binge, I would have just eaten a damn hotdog.

Mmmm, hot dogs! I too crave these on occasion, and I really like the big Niman Ranch beef hot dogs, which Trader Joe's didn't have last time I tried. Neither did the two or three other places I looked for them. Must be a supply problem, hopefully they'll come back. Instead I bought some other no-nitrate brand, I hope those are just as yummy. This is about the least healthy food that I eat, but at one or two a month, it probably won't do too much damage

muttonfish said...

Have you tried Smart Dogs? They are soy and actually quite good. 50 calories a pop. I love them.

Kelly said...

I really enjoy your blog.

I eat low-carb but I know about the "white knuckle" moments and it's better for me to go ahead and eat foods on my plan now instead of just saying NO! because in the past, I'd just run to the pizza, pop, chips and dip and say I'd start tomorrow, which ended up being never.

Lyn said...

What a GREAT bunch of comments! I wanted to answer a few things...

Archer~
You have a point about the salt, and in fact there was one time I wanted salt SO BADLY that I picked it out of my hand. But in general, I avoid it. I had a blood pressure problem in the past (on medications) and don't want to cause myself any problems. But I will salt some veggies or eat a pickle if I am dying for salt.

Jen, apriorfatgirl & J.B.G.~
I will get that recipe for spicy crunchy chickpeas posted, probably this weekend. They're really good and you can flavor them with any spices you like. YUM.

Teale~
Oh yeah. Whenever you post menus, you open yourself up to lots of "input." I think if you absolutely do not want input, you have to state that... and maybe even disable comments on your menus. People will still email you, though. You could make your blog private but only if you invite me :)

Kristin in korea~
Sure! I'd be glad to post the low fat cornbread recipe this weekend. I made a lot of recipes before I messed around and got one I really love and the kids love.

Hanlie~
Wow! I didn't know that about the essential fats. I'll be sure and eat more salmon during pms. Lots of salmon here!

Tracey said...

HAVE YOU SEEN HOW HOTDOGS ARE MADE? THAT SHOULD DIMINISH YOUR CRAVINGS FOR IT.

Anonymous said...

Lyn, if you do post on how to make the corn bread could you make it "Australian Friendly" so that your followers from Australia can attempt it too? Check your blog every day, thanks. Carol

Juice said...

Lyn, you did such a great job modeling smart choices for your daughter! Way to go.

Tony said...

That sad story about the man's mother strangely reminded me of the gluttony scene from the movie Se7en. Good job passing on the pizza.

Billie said...

I have been reading your blog for about a month, it is so good. I want to say thank you for sharing.

I had an art instructor, she is still a good friend of mine, who once did a painting where she was eating a bowl of soup, but if you looked closer, her face and body were in the bowl of soup. That was the theme of her painting, she was eating herself to death.