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    JOHNTJ1   73,514
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The No Fry Zone

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Everyone has them. They are trigger foods. Everyone around you can eat as much of it as they want and not gain a single solitary ounce. You and I, we put on five pounds just thinking about how good they taste. Worse yet, they lead us to other “less than positive behaviors.” Those who hold us dear find us hunched up in a corner at three am devouring a chocolate cake and hear a small voice crying “I can’t take it anymore!!!” Yeah I exaggerate and yeah this is often a topic we overweight folks shy away from. It’s the “A” word, addiction. We don’t like being thought of as addicts. It conjures up a picture in our minds that causes us to shake our heads really hard and utter that foolish mantra about moderation. We know that’s an excuse. There are some foods you or I can’t eat. It’s ok to be addicted to your favorite college basketball team, to live and breathe every step they take, every word they utter and every small action. We festoon ourselves in team colors buy books, magazines, apparel and paint our faces. Some of us sit in frigid temperatures at football games, shirtless, with our team colors slathered on our torso. We grin, and shrug our shoulders and say “we are addicted to…….”

When it comes to food, well there is a modicum of shame involved. As I prepared to write today it dawned on me that I wouldn’t suggest a drink every now and then to an alcoholic. Imagine telling someone with an addiction to prescription drugs that a little pain medication every now and then wouldn’t really hurt. It’s unthinkable. But when it comes to food and it comes to us, well we just would rather rationalize and stay in close touch with others who feel the same way. Some of us have that one food that pushes us over the edge. . Yours may be different than mine are but there is a food or foods we just shouldn’t eat if we want to stay healthy. We can’t have a “little bit.” They cause us to come unwound. We struggle to “Just Say No!!”

The food that triggers my massive addiction to a whole host of other foods is French fries. Yeah, you read that right, French fries. I can take or leave mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, even potato chips, but tempt me with a plate of fries and it’s all over. There are others. Diet soda deserves a really wide berth on my radar too. It triggers the proverbial vision of sugar plums. When I first joined Spark I lost close to 80 pounds. Sad to say I’ve put close to 70 pounds back on. I went back and reviewed my food journals and saw what I was eating when I was living healthy. There were no fries, no Cokes, no cookies. Lottsa fruit, lottsa veggies and meat three times per week. Then one day I was in a rush, Mc Donald’s beckoned I ordered some fries with a fish sandwich and the rest of my downhill slide came quickly as I made excuses for everything but the real issue. My appetite slowly evolved back to a lot of bad habits. I stopped listening to some of you. I regained my weight. It’s not rocket science.

So I sit here today a bit wiser. I’ve instituted my own personal “No Fry Zone.” I have a laminated list of foods in my wallet that will get me in trouble. When I get ready to eat I pull them out and review them and compare them against what’s in front of me. Part of my addiction comes from being unable to say “no.” I can create all sorts of excuses why I shouldn’t hurt someone else’s feelings.
In the end, it’s how much I value myself and my health and who I choose to hang around with. This blog may not be popular with some people. I’ve found that when you hit a nerve people recoil and defend. I know I do. As I walk away this morning, headed for work I know one thing

I am worth it
I deserve it
I am who I hang around with


Member Comments About This Blog Post:
BRADIA 12/25/2012 12:49PM

    You helped me realize what triger foods I should avoid, I already have marked them.

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SHARIPAM 7/1/2012 6:25AM

  My trigger food, believe it or not, is roasted garlic hummus. That stuff is fabulous on just about anything!

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SILLYHP1953 6/27/2012 1:08PM

    I've compared myself to an alcoholic or drug addict for years...I know I'm addicted to food, some foods, though I can overeat on the best of foods. If we can't be honest with ourselves and others, then what the heck are we doing here? I had some french fries last night, but they're not my "drug" of choice and I didn't finish them or my plate, though I was overfull. I'm doing better now, more aware, more ready to say that yes, I am worth it.

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FERFEY02 5/6/2012 10:39AM

    Thanks for this blog. I needed it.

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FIT2BETHIN 4/28/2012 5:43AM

    Thank you for saying what experts WON'T say: food addiction! When you look at your trigger foods like an alcoholic would alcohol, it takes on a whole new meaning. I love baked goodness in any shape or form. And eating anything sweet and baked will send me spiraling down the wrong path! Now that I've read your blog, I will have to re-think my relationship with trigger foods...and the "eating them in moderation" theory. Because that just doesn't work for me! Thank you!
emoticon emoticon

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NASFKAB 4/27/2012 12:17AM

  great thanks

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MARGOT814 4/26/2012 7:50AM

    That is so true.I was an addict,or maybe should I say, an addict of HOT CHEETOS.for many months all I had for dinner was a big bag of hot cheetos, while of course watching TV.then after six months,my craving stopped just simply I decided to go to sleep early n stopped watching TV at night.I was sober for good 5 months then I will crave and eat full bag for three consecutive nights n then will stop.I can't do moderation, its either I have it ALL or Don't have it become my comfort food , tired, bored, then I have it with no limit.don't tell me of weight loss,gain back, been there, done that.its like am on diet, weight obsessed from the day I was born, its a lifetime hot Cheetos will always be part of my life, being on heavy size or not.

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ANDYGIRL1219 4/26/2012 12:36AM

  Thanking you for sharing...........and for your honesty. emoticon

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LLINDY65 4/24/2012 11:48AM

    I enjoy reading your posts.... for me when my daughter leaves leftover bbq what was one of my most fav's..... I found them and devoured the rest of her sandwich....

Later I asked her to please put it down on the bottom shelf of the fridge and mark her name on the package ( I will stay out of it)... she had left it out on the counter for me to clean up after, being the irresponsible 13 year old that she is..... not her fault I ate it, but it would have helped me not to have it to deal with since it was her take out.


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HIKESHAPPY 4/23/2012 12:27PM

    Wow. Not only because what you say is true. I suppose I need to get real with myself (again!) and get away from Cokes - that's my addiction (she says as she has one sitting next to the computer right now).

Thank you, as well, for sharing your story of losing then gaining most of it back. That's where I am. I lost 40 pounds (of the 140 I needed to lose). I was so happy and proud of myself. Then I had a few things change in my life, and I lost sight of doing those things I was doing - I went back so quickly to all my old habits, and 30 of those pounds are back on. I now have gotten over my major anger at myself for it (that took several months). I just have to figure out how to fit in healthy habits with where I find myself now, which is a different set of circumstances around me when I lost the 40. Most days I just don't feel up to it, but I know that it's up to me.

Thanks again for sharing and inspiring!

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TOPFORM1 4/23/2012 10:11AM

  You're right on with this.

I tried for years to 'eat everything in moderation' as I was told by 'the experts' in nutrition. It doesn't work for me.

Sweets are my trigger food, as in processed foods with lots of added sugar (cookies, candy, ice cream, certain cereals, etc.) Once I eat one bite of that stuff, it can take me days, weeks, even months to get back on track.

Food addiction is real and has both psychological and physical components.

Thanks for a great post! Good luck!

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TAGSUIT2 4/23/2012 9:06AM

    It's a mind over matter, anything you eat it comes with moderation, no joke. Once you start eating fried foods the smell get addicted.

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IDAPACHINSKY 4/23/2012 7:57AM

  we cut out potato chips with our lunches. The bag would stay open and everyone would grab a handful.
now they are gone and have to say, weight loss is happening for all of us.
Had a party and went to costco, got a big bag for the super bowl. Just found it in the pantry. Still full. Threw it out.
It's like eating instant sugar and salt.
Now we get 10 grapes with our lunches. small changes, big results

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SPARKL3 4/23/2012 6:15AM

    I have been trying to incorporate my trigger foods into my food plan, but it always leads to a binge. After reading your blog, I will put those thoughts aside (and put those foods aside and "just say no!").

Great advice!! emoticon

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DURANGOREDDOG 4/23/2012 2:32AM

    Oh man. Girl Scout cookies are my trigger food of the day.

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THISTIMEMYWAY 4/23/2012 12:13AM

    I am going to the kitchen now and putting all chocolate in a give away bag and putting it at the door to take away tomorrow while I am still feeling sick from eating too much today. It's midnight and I have been eating chocolate all day, a little bit here, a little bit there. I just got up because I couldn't sleep from feeling nauseous. I was going to write that I will get of the chocolate tomorrow but tomorrow doesn't come, I would just end up getting rid of it by eating it!
So I have to admit that I may be addicted to chocolate- physically, psychologically, emotionally...whatever, I just know that a little is never enough. So I will make my house a
No chocolate zone!
Now, here I go! emoticon

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STREO2004 4/22/2012 12:03PM

  Great info & blog

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JIBBIE49 4/22/2012 7:14AM


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LINKYSD 4/22/2012 7:10AM

    Loved your blog. There is so much truth to it. I have more of a problem with salt. That's kind of hard to avoid, but I do it as much as possible. Hang in there and hope you are able to shed those regained pounds.

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HEALTHIERKEN 4/21/2012 9:14PM

    Gooey, sugary, creamy restaurant desserts. Eat one and there goes my eating plan for the next week at least. Can't say no to anything once I have that restaurant dessert : (

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INCH_BY_INCH 4/21/2012 3:36PM

  Those nasty trigger foods....although having a gallbadder attack last summer helped to put things in perceptive. One of the outcomes of that attack is fried foods, pastas, and breads still makes me pretty sick. Although last night when the family went out to our area fish frys are staple on Friday nights. I did pinch off two bites of bread and had to put aside. I pinched a french fry off my son's plate and that was enough. I took a fried cheese curd off my daughter's plate. I was satisfied with just my two bite minumim. So I ate my steamed baked salmon with tomatoes, pickles, and lettuce.
It was a painful process to deal with my addiction to fried foods and breads. I have given up soda for over a year now. That was a hard one too. I loved the bubbles in the soda or the carbonation water drinks.....they too were adding more to me than I needed to be.
For me maybe that was the wake up call I had to endure. It doesn't take much of trumpet horn to remind me now...don't go back down that road. So far the addiction is being waned just to sit and smell it or deal with the two bite blessing. Thank you for the great posts. I see I'm not the only one who deals with this....

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SHIRE33 4/21/2012 11:50AM

    French fries, locally-made potato chips, kettle-cooked potato chips, baked potatoes slathered in butter, thin sliced potatoes fried in oil . . . Ohhhh, yes. Potatoes are a huge temptation for me. I've lost 69 pounds, and I think I've had a baked potato about half a dozen times, fries about the same, and a couple of times I sliced and cooked ONE potato for breakfast. So, maybe once a month or so. So far, this is working for me, but if it didn't, I'd have to go "cold potato" and Just Say No. Once I even picked up a 10-pound bag of potatoes in the grocery store and thought long and hard about how that'd be to carry around again -- seven times 10. It helped. Thanks for sharing your experience. It's nice not to be alone in this.

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SUPERSYLPH 4/21/2012 11:36AM

    Great Blog!

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TEXASLYNN 4/21/2012 10:59AM

    Oh John, I love taters! Any kind of tater but you are so right that my favorite food in the world is homemade fried taters - with a thin, crispy seasoned flour coating and gobs of sea salt sprinkled on while they are still hot from the grease, served with A-1 Sauce for dipping. If I were on Death Row, that is what I would want for my last meal. Fortunately, I've made it to the point where I only break down for an indulgence once or twice a year.

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MARITIMER3 4/21/2012 10:50AM

    potato chips - once they're open I can't stay away from them. If it weren't for DH, I'd never buy them.

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IMEMINE1 4/21/2012 9:13AM

    Yes, french fries and cheese.
My husband and I are going from vegetarian to vegan but occasionally if we eat out it is usually pizza. That darn cheese.
French fries and pizza are definately mine.
Great blog.

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TREESA57 4/21/2012 7:33AM

    This is so true for me too. I have to limit all carbs including fruits like pears with a high carb count. They just pack the pounds on me. I love them so they are my no fry zone. Thanks for the idea of a laminated card, I need it in my car.

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GUNNSGIRL91303 4/21/2012 2:02AM

    I love your idea of the laminated card of forbidden foods! As Harry Potter would say, Brilliant!

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CHANGING4ME49 4/21/2012 12:24AM

    Great blog! Thanks for sharing. It definitely hit close to home with me lately. Need to laminate my own No Fly Zone list and fast!

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ASLANSCUB 4/20/2012 11:35PM

    I'll have to think about what my trigger foods are. Probably things with sugar.

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GRACEISENUF 4/20/2012 11:06PM

    emoticon ........................ does me in every time

"No cone zone for me".

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CARTOONB 4/20/2012 9:52PM

    Mmmmm.....French fries! Love 'Em! Trying to think what my trigger food is. Can't think of one that will cause me to eat too much or send me on a downward spiral. I'm sure it exists, but I'm pleasantly full right now, so nothing comes to mind. I'll go eat until I think of it. Tee hee. Good luck with your fry-free zone!

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CRYDEN321 4/20/2012 9:17PM

    Thank you for exposing the truth!! My gateway foods are ice cream and chocolate icing. If they are in the kitchen, I am constantly thinking about them and waiting for the opportunity to sneak a bite...and once I do, I can't resist another!! Thanks for sharing

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MKPRINCESS007 4/20/2012 9:03PM

    Thanks for sharing this, John. I can relate. Mine are chocolate and potato chips. I struggle with these items on probably a daily basis. I crave sweet after my healthy meal, and am working to make sure I eat fruit or chew gum or mints to replace wanting a piece of chocolate or candy.

Life is always going to be a challenge for me and my weigh. I am sure of it. But, I won't let that stop me. I will work at it every day, probably forever. Some days might be stellar but doing my best most days is what matters.

I know you are with me on this journey, and I couldn't be happier to have someone in my corner who truly understands.

Luv ya, John!

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SOLNISHKO777 4/20/2012 8:47PM

  I just wanted to say how in time your blog found me. I was sitting here board and hungry about to order pizza to reward myself for being good. Thank you so much for writing it! We are truly addicted to certain foods. Just try to stay away as much as possible! Thank you again!

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SABLENESS 4/20/2012 8:31PM

    Would you believe jalapeno almonds? Great blog!

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SAL2525 4/20/2012 7:15PM

    WOW Thanks for writing this! I hear the 3 am call often and sometimes I have the strength to ignore it but not always! Thanks for reminding me I am worth it!

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LULUTYM 4/20/2012 6:37PM

    I really identify with what you are saying. I too fool myself and lie to myself self when I want to indulge. The indulgence might be ok if it only happened once a week. Once I start on my forbidden food, I will be off the healthy lifestyle plan for at least a week. A lot of damage can be done in a week.

I really want off the hamster wheel. So every night before I go to sleep I recite this quote, "Courage does not always roar. Sometimes it is a soft voice that says, tomorrow I will try again".

I, like you, have trigger foods that I just can't, at this point, have in my life. Food addictions are not different than other addictions. Deciding to eat unhealthy for me is like the recovering alcoholic deciding whether to take that first drink after being sober for a while. Each day is a series of choices with consequences good or bad. Each one of us has to decide every day what choices we will make to stay healthy.


Comment edited on: 4/20/2012 6:43:38 PM

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EXERTIGER 4/20/2012 5:58PM

    I'm a sugar addict. I especially love pie. I also gave up diet pop almost a month ago. I've done really well, but the other day I wanted one like a drug addict wants a fix when things go a little wrong. I didn't get one, but I was surprised at how hard it was.

I especially liked what you said about how you wouldn't offer alcohol to an alcoholic and tell them just a little would be all right. That happens to me so much.

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THINNYGINNY 4/20/2012 5:48PM

    I think you are right - for some of us there are foods we cannot or will not control ourselves around - so duh - avoiding them is the best thing to do in order to live a healthy, happy life. I am that way with sugar and flour. It amazes me how many people want to argue with me about not giving any food groups up. But - um - sugar is not a food group!!! I am happier, lighter and more satisfied with my eating when i am not eating sugar/flour. If it works - stick with it. Like this blog a lot - I like honesty - even if others don't!

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CHERYLSBUTT 4/20/2012 5:10PM

    I love french fries; I have learned to enjoy them every once in a while and
my size is small. This is a splurge, so it is McDonald's or bust!

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WENDENANNIE 4/20/2012 4:43PM

    Amen John! You always hear the experts say "everything in moderation", but the sad truth is that for some of us, there are just some foods we have to learn to live without...period. These foods bring out the monsters in the closet! For me, french fries and popcorn reincarnate those monsters, so I avoid them at all costs. I am glad to hear that someone else has those same I won't feel so guilty when the experts say that we shouldn't avoid any one thing in our diets, just eat less and less often.....that simply doesn't work for some of us.

emoticon for sharing your insights, Spark Friend!

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SARS613 4/20/2012 3:19PM

    Amen. Having the courage to constantly remind yourself of what those problem foods are, and having that list to look at is incredible.

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GRENADAGIRL73 4/20/2012 2:05PM

    Thank you so much for having the courage to wrie this blog! I totally idenify and claim addiction to certain foods too. Now that I am not eating them and I know that I should never eat them, I am a lot more free and happier to focus on the foods that are within my food plan.

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QUIKSYLVER 4/20/2012 1:17PM


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HEALTHYSLIM2 4/20/2012 1:16PM

I am worth it
I deserve it
I am who I hang around with

Thanks you for inspiring me (and probably countless others) today!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KANOE10 4/20/2012 1:10PM

    You are totally right..Stay away from the trigger foods. You can start eating them oh so quickly and regain.

Good blog. You can do it! emoticon

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PETESKI24 4/20/2012 1:06PM


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AKIMA06 4/20/2012 11:59AM

  I have to say that sugar is my trigger food. There are some kinds of sugar or candy that I don't like but for the most part I do and I will partake if it is around.

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CHATERJOY 4/20/2012 11:39AM

    This blog came at the right time for me. I am really trying to re-think my "relationship" with food. I will go along doing great and then I will think I can bring back in my trigger foods and be able to control myself ....WRONG!!! It just doesn't work for me. I cannot handle some foods. Period. Great blog.

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