There are very few things I love more than a salty and crunchy potato chip — and I’m talking about the old-school potato chip, none of this artisanal or kettle-cooked nonsense.
Old reliable — Lays.
I confess that a part of me loved having parties for the sole purpose of being able to freely purchase potato chips because let’s be honest, you can’t buy potato chips on a weekly basis, heavens no.
People like us don’t do that — or when we do we make sure they’re buried underneath everything in the cart just in case we run into someone we know at the grocery store — we don’t need them finding out about our dirty little obsession!
(And don’t tell me you’ve never done that before. I’ve had people look in my cart — I’m a trainer, they’re curious, I get it. Word to the wise — do as I say, not as I do!)
Ok, back to having parties so I could buy potato chips… within the last year that little potato chip loophole vanished along with my restraint. I’ve now far surpassed my yearly quota and I need to get a handle on things.
Because I do. I know I do, and when you know you do and you still don’t do it… you’re swirling around in a cesspool of your own making and it reeks of denial.
So here’s my plan — and feel free to use it if you have a potato chip problem or any other food-related problem because we all know, it’s been a long year, it’s ok, you can come clean, no judgy-eyes here.
1. Stop fooling myself.
It’s time to stop fooling myself by thinking that a small handful is not a big deal.
BECAUSE IT FRIGGIN’ IS!
This is the same line I’ve fed myself over and over, especially when it came to the bits of food my kids would leave on their plates. I’ve consumed copious amounts of various types of crust in the last nine years. Pizza, peanut butter and jelly, grilled cheese… I mean, c’mon, it’s the crust, and who doesn’t love the crust of anything because this girl does.
And a little can go a long way, especially when you have that “little” thing every day.
We really don’t give credence to the little things, do we? We think they’re so little and cute and they’ll never add up to much. Let me offer you this:
Little = big. Put that mantra on repeat. Little things can make a big difference.
Think about it, what are the five things you do on repeat every day? You brush your teeth — thank god! You may be a coffee drinker — which over time stains the teeth. You scroll on social media and are well aware that a quick glance can turn into a 20-minute time-suck. You take a shower, hopefully, every day and that keeps you smelling not so bad. And you probably tell yourself you’re not good enough which slowly eats away at your self-esteem.
You can’t tell me that when all these little things, when done consistently, add up to nothing. You can’t because they do add up because imagine not doing any of them. How different would life be? It’d be kinda gross, but you’d be ok since your self-esteem would be at its highest ever.
2. Stop buying them on repeat.
Because here’s a simple, straightforward fact: if they’re not within arms reach, I’m not going to eat them.
But when they’re always popping out and saying hello when I open the pantry door, they don’t stand a chance. I eat them while I think about what I should be eating.
Out of sight is a powerful tactic. Case in point: when I’m feeling especially guilty about a recent mom-fail, I’ll compensate for it in the form of a treat. (I know, that’s a big parenting no-no but we can talk about that another day because it happens… but I have found a workaround.)
Once my guilt resides and the children have enjoyed their very effective therapy treat, I’ll hide whatever is leftover and I’m telling you, when they don’t see it, they completely forget about it. I’ve done it so often that I can confidently say this tactic has been tested and proven in a real-life kitchen research lab.
When you don’t see it, you won’t eat it!
3. Drink more water.
Did you know that dehydration causes the brain to slow down and malfunction?
This is true science y’all. And it makes so much sense as to why I get moody and brain foggy sets — it’s because my brain isn’t plump, juicy, and sitting pretty in a fishbowl of water. Instead, it’s banging around, shrinking, and seizing to function properly as it's losing water while I chow down on handfuls of salty chips. It’s like I keep flushing out the toilet water in my brain.
My poor salty brain, no wonder.
Dehydration is a powerful side effect that can cause you to have all sorts of cravings, mood swings, a foggy brain, tiredness, and lightheadedness.
And when you feel all those things, you’re more likely to make bad decisions (i.e. grab a bag of potato chips and hide in the basement while you eat them… not that I’ve ever done that before)!
What these three rules imply is that there is hope in the simple things and that little equaling big works in both negative and positive ways.
All it takes to get out of the habit of eating something you know you shouldn’t be eating is to stop fooling yourself, stop buying the thing, and try your best to make sure you’re in the proper state of mind before binging on anything.
AM Costanzo is a wellness coach, a motivational junkie, loves a-ha moments, and loves to help people feel strong, powerful, and downright fabulous in body and mind!