My Year Without Snacks.
I know it’s crazy, this coming on the heels of a post about cake (of which, let’s be honest, I had
2 3 slices), but please indulge me with a little suspension of disbelief while I tell you my proposal for a year without snacks.
As the clock ticked over into 2012, I didn’t make any new years resolutions, but on my return to work I did quietly resolve not to reach for The Snacks. My office is a particularly snacktastic place. We have a tuckshop with an honesty jar, well-stocked with freddo frogs, fantales, gummi snakes and more. There’s a jar of ‘crack nuts’, a mixture of cashews, peanuts, rice crackers and pretzels of which I am particularly fond. And when we work late there are ‘heroin chips’, plain salted crisps we scoff by the handful, along with maybe some doritos and a glass or two of wine.
I’m cutting other snacky rewards back too, cause they certainly haven’t been ending at the office door. Late night treats of chocolate, crisps and wine have become a fixture, a signal that the day is done; it’s time to relax and unwind. I started in on that years ago, whenever mum was in hospital, then in palliative care – dad and I would get home late from visiting, exhausted but unable to wind down without a glass or two and a snack. Then, it was a necessary comfort; now it’s just a bad habit.
Now, I’m not cutting snacks out completely – that might work for a couple of weeks but long term I would be Doomed to failure. DOOMED. But I want to get the treats back to an occasional – not daily – thing. When I was little my mum would buy a chocolate bar maybe once a month, and cut it into quarters to share with me and my brothers. And it was so great, a proper treat. That’s the kind of routine I want to get back to.
The inevitable 3.30pm hunger pangs are now being met with a piece of fruit, which I’m actually not hating. I’ve stopped having sugar in my tea, which probably adds up to a tablespoon less per day. If I’m hungry after dinner, there’s low-fat yoghurt and if I’m seriously craving something savoury late at night I’ll have a le snak.
Le snaks, if you’re not familiar, are 3 crackers and some cheese – a perfectly portioned savoury something. No, it’s not gourmet, but if it was, let’s say, some heavenly triple cream brie and crackers – there’s no chance I’d be able to stop after just a couple. I’d probably demolish the lot, along with half a bottle of wine. I’ve stopped the wine on school nights too, unless I’m out with friends. That’s probably the hardest one, as it’s taking me longer to fall asleep, longer for my brain to stop chattering, but that’ll settle down eventually, right? It’s ok if it takes a little while. I’m playing the long game. And apparently using sports metaphors. This whole no snacks thing could have all sorts of consequences, but I never thought a sports metaphor would be one of them. I’ll try not to let it happen again – don’t want to replace one bad habit with another.