Most of my favorite things in life involve a good snack binge. Do you feel the same way? Girls nights? Sunday football parties? Snow days?
Before I sat down to write this, I was currently immersed in a snack binge. It’s snowing, I’m still in my gym clothes from this morning, I’m not wearing a bra and I’m “working from home” with my husband next to me. Oh, and we made a fire. The sheer comfort and joy of this picture perfect surprise day of not having to trek into the office and get dressed would be lost, of course, without popcorn, chocolate and candy.
It’s made me really start to wonder, why do so many days, events and happy moments trigger the desire to snack? Better yet they trigger the desire to run to the nearest grocery store and plan the perfect snack combination that will serve as the backdrop of your event. Damn Pavlov, you win again.
See, what I am coming to realize is that we are conditioned to want comfort foods with any and everything that brings us comfort and happiness. DUH, right? But, it wasn’t until recently I realized that nostalgia might really be the trigger. Hear me out – snack foods are our long-time best friend that we want to relive moments with over and over again. We invite them to every party and, frankly, it’s just not as much fun when they’re not there. Our BFF, food is always the first to RSVP and no matter how the night goes, the food will make the event better. Our best friend, food, is always the life of the party and sometimes, it’s the only friend at the party.
Last weekend I was at a bachelorette party weekend at a resort for my sister. There were 22 girls, 22 spa appointments, a mandatory yoga pants dress code, four hotel rooms and 700 bags of Skinny Pop. As all the girls started arriving and settling into hotel rooms for a relaxing weekend, the rooms started piling up with luggage and 3/4 of the contents were from shop rite.
The snack array was colorful and inviting and felt like every one of my best friends were there for the weekend. As each girl unpacked the snacks stashed in their Vera Bradleys, it was like the room became full. All the guests had arrived. And it was exciting! A quick champagne toast to start the day and rip… the first bag of Skinny Pop was opened. The hand-to-mouth motion continued for the next 48 hours in between laughs, gossip and celebrating the bride-to-be.
I can’t tell you how many calories I consumed, simply in snacks.
As the weekend came to an end and we started to pack up the rooms, we started to pack up the snacks as well. Half eaten bags of licorice and animal crackers were buckled into my backseat as we made the one hour drive home.
I knew I should have left them in the hotel room, sent them home with the others, but I didn’t. I knew if they came home, they would be eaten by me. I know myself, I know my feelings and I know my weaknesses around these foods. But yet, each and every snack came home with me because deep down, I wasn’t ready to part with them and deep down I had hope. Hope that this time would be different. The same way you drunk dialed an ex in college knowing exactly where the call would go. The same place it always did.
So for the past five days I have been eating them. In excess. It hasn’t made me feel good about myself, the way a good friend should make me feel. It’s made me feel out of control and angry and second guess my self control and self worth.
We all have friends like this. We keep them in our lives because we have such a history with them. We have so many fond memories, but time after time they let us down. We leave get togethers with these friends feeling sad and wishing things could go back to the way they used to be.
So today I have decided It’s time to start looking for a new BFF.
We have to break up. We have to move on. We have to remember the way we feel every time we overeat, overindulge and forget the meaning of a true friendship.
Before I wrote this today, I walked around my house and picked up the remnants of my weekend – two half eaten bags of Skinny Pop, about 20 stray Hershey Kisses, a bag of licorice and a bag of BBQ chips. It was time to break up with my BFF binge for the time being. Even though it’s a friend that will always be there for me with no judgement, will never let me down, never leave me feeling lonely and it will always be the life of the party. She’s a toxic friend.