These enormous, delicious cookies allegedly contain 150 calories, but I just don’t believe that.
Several weeks ago, I decided I would never eat one of these cookies again. A couple friends said to me, “Why give them up? You have a healthy diet, what’s the harm in a little indulgence? Enjoy yourself!”
But I was eating one, two, even three cookies a day. Not good.
Was this needless severity, or am I happier, now that I’ve given them up?
Well—I’m a lot happier. Now that I’m not eating these cookies anymore, I realize they were a bad influence for several reasons:
I’m sure I was eating far more calories than I realized.
The cookies crowded out healthy food. I’d think, “I could stop for Ten Vegetable soup at Hale and Hearty Soups—or even better, I could get a cookie instead!”
The cookies filled me up, which I liked, but an hour or so later, I’d be starving again—usually about ten minutes after I’d gotten settled down to work in the library. So then I’d dart out for more fake food to stop my stomach from grumbling.
Once I gave up the cookies, I was astonished to realize how much I’d organized my day around my tea-and-cookie-in-a-coffee-shop-with-laptop routine (oh, how much I loved that routine!). I knew all the stores where I could buy the cookie, and I really went out of my day to walk by them. Now I can go wherever I like instead of circling around certain delis.
I’m still eating some fake food, but I’ve decided that I’m not going to worry about that too much—as long as I don’t backslide on the chocolate-chip cookies.
My sister said, “Why give up the cookies altogether? Just limit yourself to a few each week.”
But I tried that in June, and I spent far too much time each day debating with myself about whether I could have a cookie, and I ate just as many cookies, anyway. It was more of a strain to try to limit myself than it is to deny myself the cookies altogether. As Samuel Johnson said, “Abstinence is as easy to me as temperance would be difficult.”
One strategy about going cold turkey made it easier. I gave the cookies up when we went away for Christmas vacation. So I had a week without the cookies, obviously, and when we came back home, my habit of eating them had been weakened somewhat by the break.
If you love reading about the latest fascinating studies that cast light on human nature, two good resources are Psych Daily and Cognitive Daily. Once you start poking around, it can be hard to stop reading, so beware.