Celebrating the NSVs: not buying chips

Monday, May 30, 2016

I've had a very stressful, emotional weekend laden with a bit of depression.

Okay, I spent the whole afternoon and evening in bed Saturday. That hadn't happened in a very long time. It came from NOWHERE. I think it's a combination of things. I've accumulated frustrations all week with both my personal and my professional life, and then the stress of the upcoming move piled up on top of it, and I had to start packing up...

So Saturday morning I went to Yorkton for some errands. I wanted to try jeans again at Value Village - I dropped one last bag after doing a bit more cleanup before starting my boxes. I've wanted a pair of denim capris for a month now, but could never find one that fit and that I liked. I also wanted a pair of sturdy jeans for working in the yard and on the farm.

So I entered the fitting room with 13 pairs; 6 pairs of jeans and 7 pairs of capris. I guess I could count it as a victory that 10 of those were too big. And I mean WAY TOO BIG. Usually at Value Village (I buy most of my clothes from thrift stores) I go with the sizes 9-10 and 11-12 racks. Most of my finds were in the 11-12, and they were all way too freaking big. Sizes vary a lot from brand to brand so that's why I always check two racks... well now I guess I should go with 9-10 and 7-8?

Anyway, the other three pairs were either too low-waisted for my taste, or one of them was too small, I couldn't even pull it up. So I left a little frustrated again. I've been there three times now (once in Regina and twice in Yorkton) without finding a single pair that fit. I guess I'll have to go to a "normal" store and buy new ones. The price of new Levi's just makes me cringe.

I then went grocery shopping and the blues hit me on my way home. When I got home, I put away my groceries and... I just crashed. I felt so heavy. My heart was sinking. And I felt numb.

It was like that for the rest of the day. I didn't get anything done, I barely ate. I just stayed in bed hiding under the covers, curtains closed.

I wasn't feeling too good the next day. I did clean up the whole apartment, more than usual since I'm moving out on Saturday and I wanted to make it a little cleaner before the final cleaning up when it's empty. There was a lot of dust and cat hair behind the furniture, lol. (I don't own a vacuum cleaner and only use a broom so that's not ideal...) it took me a little over an hour, and then I was exhausted... and the blues hit me again. Maybe it's because I started packing up my stuff - boxes scattered all over the place. I packed some pictures and frames, decor stuff, all my books and DVDs, and then... spent the afternoon in bed again.

I finally picked myself up around 6 and decided to have supper. I made oatmeal because I really didn't know what to make. But then I was still hungry after barely eating for two days. I decided to walk to the gas station and buy a bag of chips.

Now whenever I'm emotional I seek food. Good thing I didn't have any trigger food in the house - no dessert (only fruit), no bread, nothing really fat or salty... the only thing I had that could have done something was peanut butter but I didn't feel like having any since I already had a tablespoon in my oatmeal.

So I thought about it for a few minutes and decided to go. I hadn't been outside since the morning before and the weather was gorgeous. I figured a walk would be nice. But I also wanted chips. I took my debit card and went outside, started walking towards the gas station. It's about ten minutes of walking.

But after thirty seconds... listening to the birds, to the people talking... the sun on my tired face, I thought: hey, I don't want chips. I wanna walk.

So I took a walk. For about twenty minutes. I walked super slowly, and by the time I got home I was completely exhausted, but I walked, and I didn't buy chips because truly I didn't want to eat chips. I just wanted comfort. And my slow walk (I picked my favorite streets to walk in - lots of trees and usually no one or almost walking them) did just that for me - gave me comfort.

When I got home I made some kale chips instead because I was still hungry. Had kale chips dipped in ketchup. It was delicious. I didn't spend a cent. And my hunger was gone.

Chips is my number one comfort food. It's the one thing that I cannot stop eating when I start. I used every strategy I could ever find - portioning a bowl and putting the bag away, buying smaller bags... but the only one strategy that really works for me is not buying them at all. One thing that works too is sharing them - but usually when I wanna share, my sharer wants a bigger bag, so I end up eating way more than I wanted to every single time.

I know I'm not powerless, and I know one day I will be able to buy chips and leave them in the pantry for a few days without being obsessed with them every waking moment of my life before they're all gone. But that's not the case yet. I'm working towards it. But I think that resisting this bag of chips yesterday was a huge step in the right direction. Realizing that I didn't REALLY want those chips was awesome. They wouldn't fix my problem. They wouldn't make me happier. In fact, I probably would have felt worse after stuffing a whole bag into my mouth. Because I knew that's what I was going to do. And even if I had made the resolution to only buy a small size (which I'm not even sure they have at the gas station), I know myself - I would have gotten there and bought a big bag anyway.

I think the big difference with my attitude towards chips now is that I'm not ruling them out forever. Truth is, I absolutely adore them. I love the taste and the texture. I have my favorite brands and flavours and now if it's not those particular brands or flavours I will not have any because it's not worth it. I used to think I would have to rule them out of my life forever - never buying them, never sharing them, never having them at a party. Well now I know that this is not the case, that I can still have chips whenever I want. They're so easy to get anyway. So I keep them for when I truly, really want them. And yesterday, I didn't, so I didn't have any.

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