Sunday, December 23, 2012

Medusa and my ticket off the crazy train- avoiding trigger foods

NOTE: if food descriptions are a trigger, don't read this post. You are welcome! (no food photos)

Medusa showed up in the form of a red-velvet bunt cake for a pot luck.  With Medusa style cream cheese frosting forming big snake shaped appendages coming out of the center of the cake. 

This bunt cake was huge, and had a wicked frosting ( an old trigger of mine) with smells that filled the immediate area. No, I did not have any.

Even when it showed up in the break room the next day, where the smells were even stronger. I did not have any. Not one bite. Because one bite would lead to many, especially the frosting. And, it would not stop with a few bites. The taking little 2-3 point bites and tastes would have continued to the New Year ( note: I no longer count points). Where my clothes would not fit.  That was the crazy train I used to ride. 

Conventional mantra Busting- My reality: I finished my meal and went outside for a walk. Contrary to what some people experience: It's 3 days later.  I am not binging because I "deprived myself".  That mantra kept me stuck for years. If you can eat a few bites/points and maintain your weight long term,  then good for you. I cannot. Some of my best friends can. I do what I have to do for me. 

My opinion only:
 I suspect there would be more people in long term weight maintenance without exposure to trigger foods. My opinion only. 

I'm not overeating today, because I steered clear of my trigger. So much easier.  

I've done myself a huge favor and the best gifts I've given myself to get off and stay off that crazy train. The day I put my trigger foods down, is the day I hopped down of that crazy train and onto the safe, warm, sandy beach. Life is better on safe shores. Life is not better with Medusa trigger foods and any other forms that food used to take. 

What works for me:
  1. Identifying trigger foods and stop eating them. For good. 
  2. Identifying foods that may take the form of trigger foods.
  3. Walking away from the place where the trigger foods are. 
What did not work for me...
  1. Trigger foods in moderation, especially in 2-3 point WW bites, and 100 calorie packages
  2. Not recognizing that trigger foods could be fruits or nuts or paleo-fied deserts.
  3. Keeping trigger foods around- to look, see and smell. 

I invite you to stay on track and join me on the warm, sandy, and safe shores. Leave the food triggers on the train and join me on that beach.  Don't wait until Jan 1. Hop off now.  Identify your triggers. Be boss like that. I find it powerful. 


  1. I agree with you 100% - I too have "trigger foods" at our beach house over the Christmas break but there were bought by my son-in-law. I have a plan and intend to stick to it though - they can have the Christmas pudding, the meringue, the chocolate and the chocolate cake for my daughter's birthday. I know what I'll be eating and know that I'll feel so much better for my choices.

    I know exactly what you mean about the 2-3 point WW foods!!! They always led to me overeating!!

    Have a great Christmas.

  2. Great post, Karen. Like you, I had to identify trigger foods and pretty much completely avoid them.

    By 'pretty much,' I mean it's kind of weird. For example, ice cream. When I have my birthday ice cream cone every July, it's fine. I have it, I love it, it's fun, it's over; I don't come home and dream about ice cream or get up the next morning craving it or overeating other foods in pursuit of "that ice cream feeling." BUT were I to bring home a half-gallon of ice cream from the supermarket and put it in the freezer, I am 99% certain I'd find myself standing there with the door open, spoon in hand, shoveling it uncontrollably into my mouth.

    I may very well never eat another slice of pizza again myself, but I am just find sitting at a table with the rest of my family when they eat long as I don't have that first bite. I never take even 'just one' potato chip at a party, because while I may be able to bench press 100 pounds for eight reps, I do not have the inner strength to stop at 'just one.' That kind of thing.

    There are some 'bad foods' that I like that don't trigger me, of which I *can* have that little taste and say 'yum!' and walk away, but those are still rarely eaten because I understand that every bite counts, every bite of a food (good or bad) has an immediate and a long-term effect on me...and therefore the bites have to be really 'worth it' and really rare...or things will start going 'off the proverbial rails.' ;)

    On Monday and Tuesday I am going to be surrounded by dozens of 'bad,' 'special occasion' foods made by loving family and friends (none of whom has ever been overweight, but, thankfully, none of whom are 'food pushers') and it's my responsibility to behave correctly in the face of those foods and control my hand-to-mouth.

    Wishing you a Merry Christmas and all good things in the new year!

  3. Excellent post, Karen and as always, very timely and useful!

    1. Thanks, Sharon. Last year I was on Medifast, pretty much no choice. This year, I had to make that commitment to clean eating. I promised myself I would. Feels good making good on that promise to myself.

  4. I totally agree! It's taken my years to get my mind around the fact that there are certain foods that I simply cannot have. How do I know?? Because every time I've tried even just a bit I've ended up binge eating them. No more!

    1. I hear you, Suzi!!! It took me a long, long time to get to that place. It's worth the freeing space in my mind. I went walking after the medusa head bunt cake and found painted lady butterflies! I might have been belly-aching at my desk had I indulged. Butterflies are more rewarding. Love your photos on your blog. Merry Christmas.

    2. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you too!

  5. Thanks for the insight Karen! I know I just can't have a much easier to avoid all together. And am I really missing anything? It's just food which equals food in my mind. I never thought I would get here!!!! Best of the holiday season to you and yours:)

  6. I agree with everything you said. And I would add that you have really looked at what does and does not actually work. I have respect for people who really look at their reality.