I buy them because my daughter loves them. Cherry PopTarts. But when she’s gone, they are hard to resist. Resist I will, however, because I need to get a bit more fit (okay a lot) and eating a PopTart is never the way to go. Today, I’m learning to navigate the junk food aisle.
In our family house, my ex and I shared the shopping. I tended to make the runs to the local grocery store, on the way home from work, “Can I pick something up for dinner.” I was that kind of husband.
She used to make the Costco runs on the weekends. And, God bless her, she’d take the kids. I’d no more want into that movie than… Well, I’d rather stay home. Probably to nap. Staying up really late does take its toll on your energy and daytime running lights.
And the kids would come back all excited and happy. They usually got a treat of some sort. And there were these HUGE boxes of food in the Prius. And I’d unload with my ex and often it was all I could do to hold my tongue. Not every time, but at least every other time, she came home with about 40% crap/junk food.
Sure the kids loved Sweettarts but we didn’t need a 5-lb bag. And fruit roll-ups, and sugary sodas, and all kinds of popsicles and… Well, you get the idea. And you can’t (I can) blame her, going to Costco with kids in tow was a crazy hard task. Maybe if I’d a gotten up and played football with them or something… But a trip to Costco was an EVENT and they always wanted to go. Because they could pick out their own crap.
I recall several times, the very next day, when I had dinner duty, looking in the pantry and refrigerator and saying to myself, “There’s not one fkin staple in the house.” And I’d go to the local store for some tilapia or chicken. GRRRR.
And it wasn’t just the crap that the kids ate, it was the crap that was staring me in the face 24/7. You turn down a coconut popsicle at midnight when you’re sad, tired, and alone. That part was my fault. I cannot blame my growing girth on my ex, but GD do we have to fill the house with all this junk food?
Halloween, Easter, Christmas, Valentine’s… wasn’t that enough? Did our house have to junk shelves year round?
A funny thing happened as I moved out and had to fend for myself, both in the grocery store and at home. I didn’t buy any junk food. Sure I’d get stuff when the kids were going to be with me for the weekend, and I still do (see the picture of Cherry PopTarts) but I don’t fill the house with it. My son asks me to cut him an apple almost every night. Sure it’s a few more steps than grabbing a fruit roll-up, but damn, one of them is actually good for him.
Dropping the extra pounds is my deal and my challenge. And staring at the pile of Cherry PopTarts in my pantry, I am tempted, BUT I have a strategy when shopping with my kids. If they want a treat of junk food (ONE!) I make sure it’s something I don’t really crave. PopTarts are a hit, but I don’t like Cherry. It’s great that it’s her favorite flavor.
Last night, late, I had a hard time not ripping into one of the shiny tempting packages of goodness. And every day until they are gone, I will have the same temptation from time to time. And that’s another part I needed to learn: Listening to what MY body needs. And what it needs right now is a walk, not another cup of coffee.
I love PopTarts, but PopTarts don’t love me back.
John McElhenney – life coach austin texas
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- The 3 Immutable Laws of Positive Co-Parenting
- The Transcendent Single Father
- The Positive Divorce is Up To You: The Two Levels of Healing
image: my daughter wrote a list of the things she likes about me last weekend