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Eat the banana!

Monday, March 04, 2013

Isn't it odd what stays left over in our mind from childhood? I can remember when I was growing up, even though money was always tight, we had a certain number of bananas in our house. And, we loved them because they were very sweet,and quite easy to peel and eat - much less chewing than, say, an apple. The poor apples always lingered around until the next grocery trip, while the bananas went fast - usually in the first day or two!

And, that was my problem. I loved bananas, but I felt very greedy if I had more than one, so I avoided them. I ate the apples. Then I ate the leftover meatballs, or the cheese Grandma got from President Reagan (that's what they told us) or whatever else was available. I was bored, eating made me feel good, and I had avoided overeating the precious bananas!

Later on, I joined a very popular weight loss group, and the leader reinforced my banana guilt when she told me, "You're eating a banana? They're the worst for weight loss! If you eat a small apple you have less calories, more fiber - don't eat those bananas!"

The guilt kept me away from bananas. Sure, I can afford to keep bananas in the house these days. Sure, I eat a variety of other fruit, too - I think a banana a day is a nice treat, but I don't want to eat six of them. So, why the banana problem?

Sugar guilt was another big problem. I loved my cup of tea with a teaspoon of sugar in the afternoon, but then I read that sugar was the devil. I shouldn't have any sugar - try tea without. Avoid milk, too. So, I drank the bitter tea, then decided I'd substitute TAB (remember that one?) and have my no-calorie sweetness. It didn't do the trick, but I could drink a lot more of it... After years of relying on diet soda for my "sweetness substitute," and then binging on it, I now have such bad heartburn every day that I consume Tums like M&Ms.

Now, there's two bad behaviors here that don't work for me. One is denying myself what I really want, instead of eating it in moderation. The other is the binge behavior. So, here's my plan.

Today, I am not going to binge eat, because I have great, healthy food that I truly like planned out for healthy intervals, and I have exercised this morning. Because of this, when I go home after work today, before I go about preparing dinner for my family, I am sitting down to my favorite detective show with a hot cup of tea, English style, with milk and sugar. And for dessert tonight, I'm eating my banana. I earned it.
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