Step Away From the Fritos™

Holy bags of greasy, sweet, fried, crunchy, salty, gassy, fattening, foods Batman! I am out of control and I’m not sure what the cure is. Self control? Nada. Exercise? Limited. Awareness? Enough to know I’m in trouble here. This is probably a text book case of emotional eating, but it hardly matters. Next week I’ll be regretting this. Ok, I may regret it already… but that doesn’t seem to be stopping me.

NaNoWriMo Headquarters 2012

It’s been two weeks of NaNoWriMo and I’ve been type, type, typing, and binge, binge, binging. Foods I don’t usually eat are sneaking into my house and I’m eating them. Worse, they are not actually sneaking, I’m going to the store and buying them. Did I feel guilty walking out of the grocery store with fried chicken, a loaf of bread and a big bag of Frito Scoop™ chips. I did. so I bought some bananas too. Fruit, right? I will eat… one, to balance things out. I’ll eat a salad too. Really I will. Eventually. For now, I am eating Frito Scoops™, with only my restlessness and anxiety to scoop.

As we head into the holidays, it’s nearly impossible not to reflect on last year at this time. We had two exchange students living with us (the bright spot in that mess of a few months). My mother was sliding downhill rapidly. Life was crazy. For NaNoWriMo, I’m writing about our year as the U.N., hosting the exchange students, and all that was happening at that time. There’s a lot of processing involved, though the emotions were close to the surface anyway. I didn’t need NaNo to bring them up. The fall brought it on: the smell of leaves dissolving in the rain, the cool air and change of color, reminds me of last year, when life was unraveling and raw, and happening at warp speed. The writing has brought it more in focus. Top that with a walloping dose of concern for my daughter, who is currently living in Jerusalem, Israel, and a drizzle of fidgety anxiety over writing and screen time, and you I have a serious eating issue.

“Scenes from a trash bin”

There are hints of balanced diet in there, it’s just a little buried under the packaging. Cheese and crackers for breakfast: it’s goat cheese, that’s good for you. Frito™ scoops: uh, corn. Dark Chocolate Nutty Bits™: my new weakness. Salty, sweet, and covered in dark chocolate, they are irresistible. Hey, they have nuts which are healthy, and they come from Trader Joes. That’s good, right? Trader Joes makes healthy stuff. Dark chocolate is good for you too; I read that somewhere. I slipped in a slice of apple, sometime in the last two days. I plan to eat some salad tonight. Healthy. I’ve baked some pumpkin seeds in tamari and I eat a few of those throughout the day. Fiber, and loaded with magnesium and vitamins, pumkin seeds are very healthy. Really.  Livestrong recommends pumpkin seeds. Bonus points for baking them myself, right? OK, so too much of a good thing makes a person sick, eventually, but it’s not like it’s all junk food. That’s the  rationalization point that I’m balancing precariously on.

In the end, it’s all about balance, n’est ce pas? (Please don’t answer in French. That’s just one of the few clever phrases I know). I don’t sit and write like this all year long. So one month seems somewhat reasonable. I don’t eat like this all year long either, so the same logic applies. For the record, Little Man and I went to the movies and I did not order popcorn. Gave me the shakes a little, just smelling the popcorn and not eating it, but my stomach hurt too much from binging all day to put one more buttery, salty carbohydrate in my mouth. Well, that and the fact that a cardiac surgeon I know was sitting right behind me. That, too. I’m not sure how long it takes to actually block your arteries, or gain a whole lot of weight, but I’m not that worried… yet. This will pass. I’ll go back to eating in the semi-dsyfunctional way I usually eat. I will stop watching CNN and Bravo, in between bouts of mass word production, and after this month, I will probably not eat another Frito™ for a very long time.

About Dawn Quyle Landau

Mother, Writer, treasure hunter, aging red head, and sushi lover. This is my view on life, "Straight up, with a twist––" because life is too short to be subtle! Featured blogger for Huffington Post, and followed on Twitter by LeBron James– for reasons beyond my comprehension.
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12 Responses to Step Away From the Fritos™

  1. I’m not sure I’d have accomplished NaNoMo without a ton of snack food– and you did it in record time. And add the extra stress.. don’t worry– that’s what January New Year’s resolutions are for!


  2. I think you have very healthy self-talk. Love the way that you rationalized your way through that. I think sometimes we have to have a good old fashioned binge in order to keep the balance, the ebb and flow, the yin and yang, opposition in all things… Oh, sorry, I got carried away! Like you said, after this stressful month you’ll probably stay a way from Fritos for a good long time. That’s as it should be. 🙂
    Great post, even though it made me seriously hungry.


  3. veronicad1 says:

    I was empathizing with you at the movies–feeling badly that you didn’t have the yeast sprinkles for your popcorn at that particular theatre. Now I know I didn’t need to worry! Hahaha I’m having homemade veggie soup (from the freezer) for dinner on this rainy day–wanna come over??


    • Would that I could. I’m signed up to write a chapter for another group novel today. I have to write that and my own material, and then get a pile of errands done. Or,uh, yeah, I’d love vegetable soup… if say, you could throw some Fritos on top! 😉 Besides, we’d just get laughing and goofing around, and nothing would get done!


  4. pampeekemd says:

    I don’t think there”s a person — and especially a woman alive — who wouldn’t recognize what you’re writing about here and sympathize from her own experience. We do hard emotional lifting and then look for motivation and reward where we can. Junk food highjacks just that part of the brain, the dopamine system that regulates self-control, pleasure, attention and behavior. It sort of makes sense that such foods can help us through stress. Good luck with coming off your Frito High!


    • Thank you so much! Yes, I think it’s not untypical for many people, but thank goodness it doesn’t last. All that junk definitely left me with a junk food hangover. Thankfully, our daughter has remained safe in Israel so far, and I reached the 50,000 goal for NaNoWriMo, for my non-fiction manuscript… 2 weeks early! Yay! I need to get back on track, with healthier choices, starting this week. Thank you for checking out my blog, and taking the time to comment. I hope you’ll read a few other posts, and let me know what you think. 🙂


  5. I think you deserve the snack food since you are tackling NaNoWriMo! I am not as brave as you are! Congrats on reaching the 50,000 goal! Hooray!!!!



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