Weight Watchers likes to say that nothing tastes as good as skinny feels. Which I guess means they’ve never tasted Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Or strawberry cheesecake. Or Chinese food. Oh my god, Chinese food! Those pork dumplings that come with the dipping sauce that I think is just ginger and soy sauce but tastes like melted heaven and you want to take a bath in it?! God I love that stuff. I mean, I’ve only truly felt skinny a few times in my life, and honestly, it didn’t hold a candle to pork dumplings with dipping sauce. Or, you know, six Kit Kats. Frozen. Followed by a Twix. Come to think of it, there are at least 30 foods that taste better than skinny feels, most of them containing the words “peanut,” “butter,” or “fried chicken.” As a child who grew up overweight however, I wasn’t allowed to eat any of them.
As a robust little kiddie, my parents outlawed pretty much everything that tasted good. It was decidedly unfun, but the few times they brought treats in the house I consumed them so mercilessly that my folks really didn’t have a choice. My mom would buy a box of Twinkies for my sister and holy crap would I eat the hell out of those Twinkies. Same with cookies, granola bars, and pretty much anything covered in cheese. Some people can’t have Percocet, well I can’t have peach cobbler. So my parents began a technique that I have continued in my later years: if it tastes good, don’t buy it. A bit demented, I know, but drastic times call for drastic grocery store measures. And honestly, I know my limits. I’m like a hungrier version of Field of Dreams: If I buy it, it will get eaten. I imagine a lot of you know how I feel.
So here now is a list of foods that cannot be allowed to pass the front door.
Nutella: Every morning at my sister’s house, she takes a jar of Nutella out of the cupboard, thinly spreads it on two pieces of toast, then returns it to the cupboard where it remains, unmolested, FOR THE NEXT 24 HOURS. Insanity. If there was a jar of Nutella in my house, first I would eat the spread, then the jar, then the cupboard it lived in, just in case a little hazelnutty goodness had spilled during the rampage. I am Winnie The Pooh and Nutella is my honey. Actually, come to think of it, honey is my honey too. That stuff is also pretty damn delicious. Sigh. Life is hard…
Anything Falling Vaguely in the Category of “Snack Cake:” Some people go to the museum to find inspiration, others go to church, but for me and the other pudgy youngsters, our mecca was the snack cake aisle at any grocery store, bodega, or – yeah, I’ll say it – gas station within walking distance. Hostess Cupcakes. Ring Dings. Drake’s Cakes. And Little Debbies. God bless you, Little Debbie. If you were a girl in Junior High, I so would’ve slow danced with you to Stairway to Heaven. And then eaten you in front of everyone’s terrified eyes. My snack cake addiction lives on today. Everytime I see someone with a box of 12 snack cakes in their grocery store cart, I wonder how they’ll make it to the next day alive. What’s that you say? They have willpower? What’s that?
Chocolate Chips for Baking: “No biggie. I’ll just buy a bag for chocolate chip cookies, then store the extras in the cabinet for the next time I feel like baking.” Cut to 20 minutes later. “Screw next time. Time to chug some chocolate!” (And don’t even get me started on Peanut Butter Chips. Holy Moses.)
Peanut Butter and Chocolate Haagen Dazs Ice Cream: It’s so insanely good, it’s like the Charlie Manson of ice creams. I wish it only came in the gallon sizes, because pints make you think, somewhere in the back of your mind, that they’re sort of one serving. They’re not. They’re so so not. “This almost fits in my hand, that means I can eat it all at once, right?” Wrong. We’re looking at you too here, Mr. Ben and Mr. Jerry. Knock it off with the chocolate potato chip ice cream! You’re pushing us too far!
Cookies: Can’t be near cookies, or the evil peddlers that push them. I’ve started a petition to keep Girl Scouts out of the neighborhood altogether. No idea why I don’t have more signatures.
Doughnuts: I’m gonna be honest and say that just typing the word “Dunkin Donuts Boston Kreme” makes me a little excited,
Any Breakfast Cereal That a Person Under 80 Would Eat By Choice: Remember in college when they had the giant bins of every cereal imaginable and you could just eat it non-stop? Captain Crunch, Apple Jacks, Fruit Loops, Raisin Bran. So good. I think when God welcomes you into heaven he says, “Hello, Friend. The cereal is over there.” As a result, the only kind I have in my house is made from weird puffed brown rice, and it tastes worse than the box it comes in.
How about you? What do you ban from the kitchen? Is it Pop Tarts? God, I love Pop Tarts…