I l-o-v-e, love peanut butter—and right now, my relationship with the creamy stuff is in a very good place. I had a tablespoon of peanut butter in my oatmeal this morning for breakfast—and I had a swipe of p.b. on a piece of whole-wheat bread last night as a before-bed snack. But peanut butter and me haven’t always gotten along. Here’s the perfect example of that: My husband literally just looked over my shoulder and said, “Why’re you talkin’ about peanut butter on the blog? Do we need to get rid of it again?” Ha!
See, there was a while there—a few years, actually—when I didn’t want p.b. in the house at all…It was just too much of a trigger for me. Late at night, if I was antsy or even just bored, it would call to me and all I could think about was pouring maple syrup into the jar and eating it by the tablespoonful. So when John and I moved in together three years ago, I had to introduce him to my p.b.-free existence. If he really wanted it, he’d buy a small jar and keep it in his office (he works from home), tucked away.
Keeping a super powerful trigger food out of my face for a while was incredibly helpful for me. I didn’t have crackers or even regular butter around for a long time, either. I did whatever it took to give myself a fighting chance to slowly but surely break the habit of bingeing and allow my brain and body to relax and heal.
I‘m happy to say that peanut butter is back in our house, and in my diet. But I still don’t like having sugary cereals around—it’s like just seeing a box of Cocoa Puffs in the cupboard sort of triggers that muscle memory of me putting my hand in and grabbing handfuls. (And, as I found out a couple of months ago, half-gallons of ice cream are still not the best idea either. Come midnight one night, I had a spoon out and was enjoying a mini-emotional eating episode straight from the carton.)
I don’t feel deprived by not being able to keep these two “iffy” items around the house—it actually feels freeing and like I’m taking the best care of myself that I can. (And luckily, John’s on board and understands; we just do single-serve ice cream treats if we’re craving it, and I’ve actually won him over to Optimum Blueberry Cinnamon cereal from Cocoa Puffs!!)
Do you guys find that you need to keep certain foods out of your cupboards or fridge in order to help yourself feel saner about food? Does it make you feel deprived or…free? How do you negotiate that with your partners, roommates (or parents, my teen readers!) if you’ve got them?