Here’s the scene yesterday morning: Four clients, one co-worker and me, at the client’s offices, in a cold conference room (it’s 18F, -8C outside), beginning at 7:30
A four-hour working meeting categorizing and reconciling their entire product line.
White boards. Paper. Brochures.
Hot black coffee.
And a large box of Krispy Kreme glazed donuts 6 inches from my left hand.
You already know if you’ve been reading regularly that I’m not a big sugar hound, but if you combine sugar with fat, flour, and salt, you’ve pretty much got me. I now can resist most things, but there are a few that are too hard: My sister’s shortbread cookies, my mom’s sugar cookies, and Krispy Kreme donuts.
So the meeting. I was cold. So cold. I hunched over my coffee cup, warming my hands over it. I kept filling up my mug to stay warm, so the caffeine buzz kept building as the morning wore on.
Caffeine, of course, makes you hungry. I have to eat every three hours anyway to keep my hunger in check, and this was a four-hour meeting. I was getting more jumpy and irritable and wretched, and all I could smell was those donuts.
I thought of Bilbo Baggins and what that horrible ring did to his sweet nature. I thought of Newman as Kramer basted himself with butter. But mostly I thought. man, what kind of power does this little 200-calorie, 22-carb-gram, half-fat blob have over me?
And then I thought of Superman and Kryptonite. You remember what would happen to the poor Man of Steel when exposed to Kryptonite? Oh it was horrible to watch. Weakened and gnarled and foggy-brained, his little blue suit bagging over his emaciated frame. He became a creepy little shriveled, pathetic shadow of his former strong self.
Krispy Kremes are Kryptonite for me.
I finally made significant eyebrow gestures to guy I work with, an old friend of many years who’s been there during my weight gain and loss. He pulled the box to his side of the table. And that was a big help. But it’s 24 hours later, and I can still smell them.
The exposure made me weak for the whole day.
Some people say it would have been better to allow myself a half a donut so as not to let that moment build the way it did. These foods never taste as good as you imagine them. That may be true.
But for me at that moment, the better thing was to signal for help. My friends and family know that sometimes I need help. I am not shy about asking for it. The ones closest to me will know to ask first, “Do you need help right now?” (So much better a question than, “Should you be eating that?”)
Back at the office, I unloaded the scene on a girlfriend at work. She commiserated, we laughed about it. Last night I hopped on an online support site and whined. Got more support/help/commiseration/tips. And found more people addicted to KK’s.
So. It’s a new day. I’m feeling better. I’m wearing my blue t-shirt with the red-and-gold S today under everything. I’ll build my strength back up from my shirt and the help from my friends. Gonna go eat some protein now. And try to get the smell of frosting out of my nose.
There could be Kryptonite in your life, too. It might be food, but maybe it’s something else. At any rate, spend some time thinking about what your weak moments are and how you might ask whom for help when you face them. Tell your friends or family or co-workers that you might be asking for help from them while you work on building self-control. If they know in advance, they will be more ready to help when you’re at your weak point.
Tell them how to help you. Teach them what to say. Make strategies for dealing with difficult situations.
People love to help.