If I Lived Alone

Sometimes I imagine how much easier it would be to diet if I didn’t share my house with men.  There would not be even one food item that tempted me to overeat.  Out, out damn food!

Some might suggest I just get rid of it all and force my poor sons and husband into my healthy way of eating.  But that would so not fly.  Mutiny on the home front.

Ironically, I have gotten very good at ignoring the worst of the foods.  The very sugary junk foods.  The very fatty and white carb laden frozen foods.  Things like Pizza Rolls and Poptarts and iced sugar cookies with sprinkles on top and chocolate chip granola bars and potato chips.  BUT, I am instead still struggling with the healthy foods.  My husband’s bread thins, for example.  One day I can resist.  The next day I succumb.  I hear them beckoning me from the other end of the house.  And each time I go into the pantry, open the bag, take out a piece, all the while telling myself I will regret it, I wish my husband didn’t eat them with his meals every day so I could just banish them for a short time.  Just long enough to get them good and well out of my system once and for all.  Like the long gone Triscuits.

If I lived alone I could exert my willpower at the store, where it seems stronger.  If I don’t bring the stuff into the house I won’t eat it.  But I don’t live alone.  I live with a skinny teen and a husband who is not on my diet plan.  It’s their pantry too.  They have rights to the refrigerator.  But sometimes I really just need them to hide something from me so I can stop thinking about it!  Like the leftover Halloween candy that I moved to my son’s trunk.  Or the ice cream bars that my husband tries to sneak by me.  On a good dieting day, I can see all that stuff and not even be tempted.  On a bad day… well, let’s just say I can do a lot of damage on a bad day.

What do you do?  Is there food in your house that you don’t want to eat but is there for others?  How do you resist it?  Or have you banished all the “bad” stuff?

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53 Comments

Filed under cheating/overeating, influence of others

53 responses to “If I Lived Alone

  1. I also fantasize about what it would be like if I lived alone. I would not be cooking big fancy meals 5 nights out of 7 that’s for sure! I would definitely eat less. My husband does bring home treats, and I do my best to stay away from them, but it’s not always easy! If I have my dark chocolate on hand I can usually ignore the other goodies. But, I have told my husband not to buy anymore the junk food that I really can’t resist, such as ice cream sandwiches and oreo cookies. He can buy whatever he wants that he and the kids like as long as it’s not one of my binge foods. You have to put your foot down!!! 🙂

  2. I actually do banish a lot of it..but definitely not all. My husband is 6’3″ and thin..and eats like crap. My 18 year old daughter always has a little something yummy hidden in her room. However, if you look at my pantry, it’s way better looking than a year ago.

    The things that I’ll reach for now to overeat are not the same things as I would eat before. For instance, I would go buy a cake. Now I’ll eat pita chips and hummus.

    I just buy my own food and I don’t need to label it…no one else will eat it! LOL

    For the little ones, well, I just am not tempted by the snacks they like either.

    I’m not sure for me that things would be that much different if I lived alone because I really don’t think I’d be any more disciplined.

    • Karen

      So this makes me realize that I have only lived alone, truly alone, for less than one of my 47 years! During that time frame I did not keep junk in my apartment and if I wanted ice cream bars I went and bought them and ate them for dinner. Same with M&Ms. I weighed less then!

  3. If I lived alone I would be a vegetarian! But the man and two teenage boys would never go for that…my daughter would definitely be easier to sway. LOL

  4. Genie@dietof51

    If I lived alone instead of with a chubby hubby and a lean teen eating machine, my pantry would definitely be stocked with less junk food, such as the aforementioned Pop Tarts, plus no Doritos, Little Debbies, or case packs of candy bars.

    To be fair, my husband does not (usually) eat that stuff. He thinks he’s fooling me by being “good” at home, but I know he’s stuffing donuts and french fries at work. A 52-inch waist keeps no food secrets.

    My son does eat that stuff, but he also eats fruits, veggies, and lots of yogurt. Last night, for a late-night snack, he had grapes, string cheese, and (pre-packaged) peanut-butter crackers. Can’t argue too much with that.

    I, too, banished boxes of crackers from my pantry. I could write a book, “How I Got Fat On Wheat Thins”. A mostly cracker-free pantry has helped some in these past four or five years.

    Overall, I’ve learned that if I’ve got the will, I can turn almost any non-vegetable item into a snack, so no food is really safe for me. My fight is against the will, not the individual foods.

    • Karen

      Cute. And your ending is very wise. I should know that – I have written about willpower in this very blog. Sigh. But knowing and doing are not the same for me, unfortunately. The darn bread and crackers!

  5. I can be naughty with just about anything. I’m kinky like that. 😉

    • Karen

      While I can too, I certainly have some foods that are stronger at beckoning me to the pantry. But when I manage to resist for a while, I no longer hear the voices.

  6. I would only have to cook one meal. Right now, I usually cook 3. One for me, one for my husband and one for my son. At least they are keeping my cooking skills sharp!

    • Karen

      Fortunately my husband would eat just about anything I cook. My sons are super picky though. My fault – too much catering to them when they were young.

  7. Wow, this is such perfect timing for this post. I’ve been thinking a lot about this. And I just posted on my blog a vent about a recent with my husband where I was wanting to get rid of tempting brownies and he wanted to keep them. I feel like I’ve had some experience both ways. I started my latest “journey” two years ago and I was single, living by myself. I got rid of ALL junk food and had ONLY healthy food in the house. I did really well for several weeks, but as always started reintroducing the junk food and couldn’t really handle. Plus I still couldn’t actually avoid all junk food. I gave in to the cookies at work meetings or the vending machine or a drive thru hot fudge sundae on occasion. But I saved a lot of calories by at least not having it all readily available. (This included not even having baking ingredients since I LOVE to bake.) Seven months ago I got married and my husband eats all sorts of junk and never gains an ounce. But I do agree with you. I can’t just get rid of all his junk food. It’s his house too. Plus, it really wouldn’t solve all my food problems anyway. Again, when I was living alone and had no junk food in the house, I still found plenty of ways to acquire it. That said, I recently decided to stop making my #1 trigger food that I’ve been consuming way too much of – homemade, hot out of the oven, sourdough bread. Just way too much temptation and I was eating far more of it than my husband was, even though I was making it for him. He hasn’t noticed yet.

    • Karen

      I am gaining weight just reading about that bread! I would LOVE IT! I have been married almost 23 years and was thinner when I met my hubby than I am now. I gained when we started eating together because of the types of foods we’d have. He was super skinny back then. He is a bit of a yo-yo too. Over the years he has gotten much better at not bringing home quite as much tempting stuff. And of being respectful of my eating. But he still likes his treats. Thus the Klondike Bars he thought he could sneak past me!

  8. I have to say that my husband is awesome when it comes to this — it is just the two of us and I am the only one who does the grocery shopping. So I get to pick and choose what comes in. He will also eat anything I fix.

    I knew it was bad when I came home one day and there was a pitcher of sugar-free cherry kool-aid -(packet from probably 1991) and a batch of fat-free cherry jello made (both things we never really have — and it was so strange to have both at one) I said “so what is going on…” He said “we don’t have any thing sweet to eat in this house.”

    We just started a 21 day cleanse (food based) and he has even done that with me which makes it so much more fun.

    If I lived alone — I probably would eat more popcorn for dinner.

    • Karen

      I can happily eat an apple and peanut butter for my dinner. I do the shopping but hubby does the Costco runs. Costco size candy containers last a very long time!

  9. Fortunately, it’s just me and my husband. This is one of the reason that I desire to eat well now. I want to introduce the children that we have to healthy alternatives. You know? There have been times that we had crap in the house because I know that my husband loves it. Let’s be honest, I also know that I love it (you can fill in this black with just about anything). Right now, I refuse to by jelly. If jelly is in our house, I will OVERINDULGE in peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I’m learning 🙂

    • Karen

      You are so wise Corletta:) There is not much I would like to do differently in life but I would indeed go back and feed my kids differently if I could.

  10. Like Corletta, it’s just me and DH and I do the grocery shopping so I mostly control what comes into the house. I do buy cookies and chips for DH’s lunch, but I buy ones I don’t really like so usually I don’t have a problem with it.

    • Karen

      That is a good trick. I wish there was more my family liked that I don’t! My poor son loves cinnamon bread and I used to buy it for him but eat half the loaf myself:( Actually, I used to get into a lot of his crappy food.

  11. Ugh, I SO hear you. I only live with my husband, and sometimes it’s hard to stay out of his stuff. Poptarts=my kryptonite. Sometimes I have the worst time staying out of his stuff. What I’ve found really helps for me, is to put the tempting food out of sight, then (sometimes, this doesn’t work all the time) I forget about it. Like poptarts, usually I can put those away and forget about them, and then stumble upon them 4 weeks later, and be like “Oh, HAI!” But then just put them back quickly, and do my best to forget they were there.

    Sometimes, if I absolutely can’t stay out of what he has, like for example, right now, it’s Reeses’s Puffs cereal, I will have a tiny bit of it, and then move on. Like I will break one poptart in half, savor it, enjoy it, and move on. It is tough to lose the weight with all that stuff around, but I promise, it CAN be done. 🙂

    • Karen

      Oh I could not eat just one pop tart! Some flavors I can easily pass up. But I do like my son’s favorite – the chocolate fudge. They are amazingly caloric!

  12. Hi Karen. This is a tricky one! While I technically live alone, I keep a few items around that my boyfriend Justin likes. I just have to make sure they are things that don’t tempt me. For example, the ice cream in the freezer or his beer and win in the fridge don’t do it for me. But there is no way I can resist the siren call of chocolate. He’s brought me boxes of candy back from the UK before that lasted less than 24 hours each. I just can’t be trusted around it!

    • Karen

      I don’t have ice cream in the house anymore. Used to have it all the time. Tried flavors that were less tempting to me. But no one seems to miss it. Except for my husband bringing in his Dove or Klondike bars every so often. I had to say “no” to Skinny Cows though – I cannot control myself with those.

  13. Great topic. DH is a lifetime WW member and follows the CORE plan, as do I. That said, he does have the Costco size walnuts container handy for his morning oatmeal. Not bad. DS eats whatever he’s served and doesn’t snack, except on yogurt. My problem is when my two fellas start eating MY food. DH always has leftover dinner for lunch the next day. Fine when he goes off to work, but recently he’s left the tempting portion of dinner and gone for my fat free cottage cheese. And finished the container. And I had none when I went to fix my lunch. So DH went to the store to buy some more and came home with low fat. $%%@@# I’m very picky. If I want fat free, I don’t want to settle for low fat. Made me remember the old song– Reuben, Reuben I’ve been thinking what a grand place this would be, if the men were all transported, far beyond the northern sea. Not really, I want them here, but just stay away from my food!!!

    • Karen

      Oh I am the same way with my food! Not that it is eaten often. But sometimes I am planning on leftovers and they have vanished.

  14. After reading all the comments, I feel really lucky. My hubby and 11 year old daughter loves the foods I eat on WW. So they are my main support and they don’t temp me. If they want something sweet the 2 of them go out and eat it together and I just stay home. No problem at my house.smile.

  15. Living with men/boys and their muscle mass that allows them to eat more must be amazingly difficult. Fortunately, both of us are eating the same stuff, or my partner’s treats are things that don’t tempt me (licorice, wine, certain brand of protein bars). On occasion, I have dipped into her stash of yogurt when mine runs out, and I feel guilty (for taking her stuff). For now we have a strict policy of what is allowed in this house. Once I reach goal, allowing new foods back in will be a real challenge.

    • Karen

      My boys are both skinny and don’t overeat, despite eating pretty bad crap and no vegetables. My hubby is trying to lose some weight but has a very different approach than mine. Life would be easier for me if he was on my eating plan. I keep thinking that when out nest empties in just over a year we need to come up with a policy of our own.

  16. I do live alone, and in most regards, that does make life easier. There is, however, the downside of not having anyone else’s junk around when you “just want a bite of something sweet.” I buy bite-sized chocolates and keep them in the freezer, which helps, but there’s no one to eat leftover Ritz crackers or Oreos or chips (things I’m not willing to have around here in quantity.) And since I don’t go into an office anymore, I miss the opportunity to have a nibble of something from the communal plate. On the other hand, if I want to eat chicken wraps five nights a week, no one complains. 🙂

    • Karen

      I wish that freezer trick would work for me. I remember once having lemon bars left from some event and freezing them for company some day and then I discovered that I liked them better straight out of the freezer! Can’t keep cookie dough in there either. Actually, when I am doing well and feeling strong, I can ignore it all. But not so much right now.

  17. My hubby eats a ton better than he used to so this is not as bad as it was for me… although he likes different things than me. I love the crackers & cookies & stuff but he likes ice cream & things like that.

    Now, he does keep a couple things here BUT not things that I fond worth it to me. When I splurge, I really want to LOVE & enjoy what I am eating. Even if I buy something to treat myself on, if I don’t like it, I throw it away. I don’t want to waste the calories & that way I can still go have something else I really want.

    As for those crackers & stuff in your house. very tough!

    I keep healthy alternatives & have just made it my choice to go for them… almonds, healthy homemade protein bars & cookies, things like that. I also keep flavored no cal water to sip on to help in those “dark times”! 🙂

    When you live in a situation like this, ya got to pull all that strength together & tell yourself no. Many temptations in life so we just got to suck it up if we want to lose it.. it does stink! 🙂

    • Karen

      I am soooo working on it! On a good day, I don’t even feel tempted. And I am so much better than in the past. Honestly the biggest problem for me right now is my hubby’s bread which I crave insanely and cannot eat in moderation.

      • Well, I can’t help ya there.. I love my bread! 🙂 I keep healthy ones in the house for me & I actually eat 3-4 pieces a day! Now saying that, I plan for it & they are lower calorie & good make up of carb/protein/fiber. I was baking from the Artisan 5 minute bread book for a while but could not keep my hands off that fresh bread so I had to stop making my own! 🙂

  18. Biz

    My husband and I are not typically on the same diet plan except for dinner – he’s on his own for breakfast and lunch, and sometimes that means he eats hard boiled eggs with salt and pepper for lunch!

    There are a few things that I simply cannot have in my house, and the family knows this – anything in the cheeto family, and Trader Joe’s sesame pretzels – both are crack to me!

    I do find though that since I eat bigger meals (around 500 calories) I don’t even want snacks, so that helps!

  19. I try not to have it in the house. Those rare times I do I buy the individual size so I can eat it and be done with it. That’s why next go around I want to date someone who has the same health/fitness values as I do.

    Is there enough space so they can have their own junk food cabinet? That way the pantry has the healthy food and they can still have their junk food?

    • Karen

      I remember you posting about that and it did make sense. We share a pantry but I do put my stuff on one side. Of course I still know the other stuff is in there. Seeing it is not so bad… it is THINKING about it – craving. Sigh.

  20. You keyed into the biggy – on good days vs. bad days.

    I’ve had a slew of bad ones and I finally had to ask my hubby for help…”I know I SHOULD be able to resist, but I’m having a really hard time. Can you help me by not bringing XYZ in the house for now.” I totally took responsibility, and I was amazed at how willing he was to “help” – it might be worth a shot. Good luck!

    • Karen

      I wonder how mine would feel about that. Maybe if I have that “for now” on the end. Your guy sounds great:)

  21. I think it would be easier food wise but I would be so lonely! Plus, I like cooking so this way I can cook and don’t feel like I have to eat it all!

    • Karen

      I know I would be lonely too. So I will take the bad with the good. My husband grew up with a family similar in size to yours and I think that is why he eats so fast at meals now! Had to get it in before it all vanished.

  22. I have banished it … for now. Because I can not control myself. Especially just the beginning to trying to eat healthy.OH GIRL I can do damage on a bad day too! Thats why it is not in the house! Also – V needs to eat healther too!
    You are so right ~! No matter how much time goes by, you can always pick up with and L3!
    Kristin

    • Karen

      Unfortunately my man has a different idea of what works for “dieting” and not having stuff around is NOT his plan. Sigh.

  23. I have 4 sons (one is away at college). My husband probably has the sweetest tooth of all. I couldn’t even imagine living alone. Lol. No food lasts long enough here to be much of a problem. There are poptarts here. Don’t tempt me in the least. They are hidden from the kids or they’d be gone in under ten minutes. They are hubbies. I am making a commitment to serve everyone the same thing. Son who needs to gain weight for football gets more than everyone. I pretty much keep my portions some place btwn my 4 year old and 9 year olds. I may eat more frozen dinners but I doubt it if I were alone. I would have entirely too much time time to be bad without all my guys. Lol

    • Karen

      That is a lot of testosterone (and future testosterone)! During running season I have to plan lots of carbs for my teen that I try not to touch.

  24. Linda at Bar Mitzvahzilla

    Karen, when I was heavy my husband didn’t bring one ,orsel in our house. I think he was afraid of exactly how large I’d end up if he did. Then, somehow, when I started my program ten years ago, he knew it was different and the food was no longer calling to me (you describe it so well!) and then he began bringing it all back in.

    So now, with three of them around (all with his genes) there’s a ton of stuff in the house I can’t eat but a lot of “my food” too that they don’t. Of course, I doubt they’d want it! (Boca burgers and diet chips? Right!)

    • Karen

      You have been successful at this a long time and always give me hope for my future. BTW – hubby and I both eat black bean burgers but different ones!

  25. sunnydaze

    Luckily, it is just me and my daughter in the house and we are both on the same plan but every once in a while we splurge and buy some junk and then we both end up regretting it later. If I had to have “junk” in the house, I could not be trusted. I have no willpower when it comes to chips, candy and CHEESE!!! Oh, how I love cheese! Good for you for living with temptations everyday and resisiting!

    • Karen

      Interesting about the cheese because I have found that some I can eat very moderately and some I cannot. So I no longer buy the ones I love the most and tend to overeat. Sigh

  26. I do most of the shopping and I have a few tricks.

    I buy mainly the desserts and snack foods that I don’t like but that they do. There are plenty where we overlap, but those don’t come into the house very often. I don’t much care for puddings and most cookies – so they can be in the house. Same for sweetened yogurt (I eat plain greek). So I load up on those. I’m lucky in that I don’t like potato chips, so those I can buy, but I skip tortilla chips except for a specific meal. Best of all my husband is not an ice cream fan (I am) so that never comes in the house. If I have it, I have it out. I cannot be in a house with a tub of icecream….

    I live in France & I also had to make some adjustments to the different temptations (and diet foods) here. I learned I do better when I cut out bread than when I cut out cheese. So I make the tradeoffs that make it easier to live with.

    I also try to ALWAYS have good healthy fast snacks available. Big quantities of cut up veggies (and dip, so my DH eats them too), bowls of fruit around the house, etc.

    I think making our environment easier is a key long term success factor.

    • Karen

      I think this is the first step in many diet programs – the environment. Which is why I am just whining a bit that it would be easier if I could have total control. If my husband reads this comment he will laugh because we both know what a control freak I really am.

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