That’s how long it’s been since I had my last lick of peanut butter.
And it feels… fine. Heck, until writing this post, I hadn’t even been counting:) But sometime about a month or so ago I realized that I was coming up on my anniversary of tossing the last jar into the trash.
Here’s how it all came about…
Once upon a time I ate peanut butter like a normal person. Okay, I ate pretty much any and everything like a normal person, once upon a time. But let’s get back to PB. I might have eaten it with strawberry preserves on soft, white bread for lunch. Or spread across some Saltine crackers for a snack. Not too often. Never too much. It was the stuff that comes overly processed with added sugar. The peanut butter of my youth. All this before “healthy living” or even healthy eating was a glimmer in my eye.
But a few years back I started on my journey, or whatever I’m calling this thing. The whole “lifestyle not a diet” and “no more yo-yo-ing” and “making healthy choices” yada, yada, yada, thing. Peanut butter became a valuable tool. A great protein source. I switched to the “natural” kind with no added anything. Just peanuts. It took a bit of time for my tastes to change but eventually I came to prefer the thicker texture and the lack of sweetness. I still ate it like a normal person. But now a healthier person. Gone was the white bread and the Saltines, replaced by whole grains and my favorite PB spreading surface – apples.
Somewhere along the way, as I stumbled and tripped, trying to find my road to “healthy living” or “being normal” or wherever it was I thought I was going, things changed. For peanut butter and me. I developed a bit of an obsession. A craving. And as the jar in my fridge called to me more and more frequently and more and more loudly, I answered more and more often. No longer needing the excuse of a meal or a snack to partake. No longer needing a surface on which to spread the delectable goo. A spoon was sometimes my weapon of choice. Fast to dip and easy to carry. Reusable (but I did clean it in between; no double dipping for this germaphobe.) And then there was the day the spoons disappeared. And I realized my love of peanut butter had just maybe become a problem for me.
But that wasn’t the end. Because nothing is ever that easy on this journey. Realization rarely translates immediately into effective action for me. But not long after I shared my PB obsession with
the world my readers, the peanut finally broke the camel’s back. In the form of a thoughtful comment left by a reader on a post about me twiddling my thumbs.
I wrote: “I not only opened a new jar of peanut butter, but I finished it off already.”
And Tish said: “For now, Karen, you’d better kick the peanut butter out of the house…”
And I replied: “I am heavily sighing right now. You are all so right. I just need to do it. I am going right now. I really am!”
And I rose from my chair, walked up a flight of stairs to the kitchen, and threw out that last jar.
And never replaced it.
I missed it, my peanut butter friend, for a while. Thought about it. Wistfully. Wished I had more self-control. Craved a crisp apple with delightful smear on top. And then, one day, I didn’t think about it. Missed it less. Craved it, not at all.
My husband still had peanut butter in the house. The other kind. The kind I ate once upon a time with less-than-healthy ingredients added. Funny that I never once craved THAT. Never felt tempted. Then one day in the store, a few months ago, he reached for a replacement jar and decided to buy the exact kind I used to buy. What?! I asked him not to. He had so many other jars to choose from. Why bring my nemesis back into the house. Why tempt
fate myself. He bought a different natural brand and I haven’t once felt the desire to dip into the jar.
Will I ever eat peanut butter again, you might wonder? I’m asking myself the same thing. I think so. Maybe. But probably only if there is a way to do it without having that jar back in my life as a constant temptation. I’d like to think I could handle it now. Return to the days of eating it like a normal person. All things in moderation and all that
crap. But, you know me – moderation is NOT my middle name. And now, neither is peanut butter addict:)
I want to end this post with a final thought for everyone reading. For everyone who ever leaves a comment here or on another blog. I want to let you know that one thoughtful sentence, one caring comment, one gentle nudge, one supportive thought, one kick in the pants… just might be the one that makes a huge difference. Just might be the one that gets that blogger off her duff to make a change. Just might be the one that resonates. Just might be the peanut that breaks the camels back. In a good way.
Has a comment, in person or on your blog, ever opened your eyes or invoked a positive change?