The 9,658 Calorie Tic Tac

The 9,658 Calorie Tic Tac

I remember this Tic Tac like it was yesterday, though it was almost 20 years ago.  The story of the 9,658 Tic Tac begins when I was on a diet trying to lose the same frustrating 40 pounds I had gained and lost over the previous fifteen years.

This time I was on some sort of juice fast which restricted any food other than fruit and vegetable juices.  I had been “juicing” for about a week and had lost 6 pounds and I was excited—only 30 pounds to go!  The French bikini that I had fantasized about wearing that summer, while eating chocolate the week before, was just around the corner!!!

JUST DON’T EAT AND YOU WILL BE FINE

While I was doing this juice fast everything seemed fine and dandy. In a weird way, fasting was easy because it meant not dealing with food. I didn’t think I could trust myself with food so this fasting thing worked for me because it removed food as an option.  It was very black and white.  Juice or water and that is that—eat any food and “you blew it”. So don’t blow it!

I nervously knew in the back of my mind that food would have to come back, but I assured myself that I could figure out how to deal with food at some other point when the summer is over and the French Bikini has been put away until next year. So, I pushed those thoughts aside and enjoyed how “good “ I was being–right now I was the superstar Queen of juice fasts.  That is until that Tic Tac crossed my path.

Do you remember the Tic Tac lady? 

Do you remember those commercials where this blonde, super skinny lady dressed in white comes on and seductively says, “Tic Tacs are only 11/2 calories each” and then pops one in her mouth?  She made them seem so easy, so light, and so fun!!

DAY 7 OF FAST

On the morning of the seventh day, everything started out fine. I drink my morning juice of cucumber and apple and pack my next lunch time juice of spinach and apple and I head out the door, get in the car, and head out for a long day of running errands all around town.

About two hours into the day, I get back in my car and head out on the freeway to my next appointment and I get into some very slow going traffic.  I sit there and start getting stressed, this is bad—I may miss my appointment.

I also notice I am hungry so I reach down for my juice container and that’s when tragedy occurs—the juice container falls over and juice pours out all over the floor of my car. Shoot.  Now I am stuck in traffic and I am really hungry and my precious juice is gone.

The traffic continues and I did indeed miss my appointment.  Now I am frustrated and starving—my stomach is growling!  Then out of the corner of my eye I see a canister of Tic Tacs on the passenger seat. I grab them.  At first I hesitate—a part of me says—“no!  a Tic Tac is food—juice or water and nothing else remember?  The other part of me says, “Eat the damn Tic Tac.  It’s a mint.  Mints aren’t food.  Just eat one—it will calm you down and remember like the lady says, only 1.5 calories.”

Guess which voice won?  I ate the Tic Tac!  For a second I felt wonderful as the little white sugary bliss entered my blood stream. But then the Tic Tac was over and so was the little relief from the traffic and my stress.  So, without thinking I ate another—bliss– and another—bliss– and within a minute I was ripping off the little white plastic dispenser and DUMPING ALL OF THE TIC TACS FROM THE CONTAINER INTO MY MOUTH AT ONE TIME!  But did that make things okay?  No!  Now the fire was fueled and I wanted more.

At this time there was enough of a break in the traffic that I got off the freeway and headed to the nearest 7-11. I went in and got some juice. After all, I hadn’t really cheated had I?  Tic Tacs are just mints not food.
GO ON, YOU ALREADY BLEW IT

As I was waiting to buy my juice I stare at the pastry display and saw a shiny, tantalizing chocolate muffin.  My stomach growled some more.  A part of me said “no—just the juice—juice and water—juice and water!”  But the juice and water didn’t seem so good anymore and the other voice welled up from within, “You know you blew it with the Tic Tacs today so you might as well screw it and just eat the muffin and start again juicing tomorrow.” Guess which voice won?

I grabbed the muffin…and then a bagel with cream cheese.  And oh, heck why not—a bag of Cheetos and let’s rinse it all down with the juice! Oh wait, chocolate, yes a few chocolate bars too.

Do you remember the Tic Tac lady? 

Do you remember those commercials where this blonde, super skinny lady dressed in white comes on and seductively says, “Tic Tacs are only 11/2 calories each” and then pops one in her mouth?  She made them seem so easy, so light, and so fun!!

DAY 7 OF FAST

On the morning of the seventh day, everything started out fine. I drink my morning juice of cucumber and apple and pack my next lunch time juice of spinach and apple and I head out the door, get in the car, and head out for a long day of running errands all around town.

About two hours into the day, I get back in my car and head out on the freeway to my next appointment and I get into some very slow going traffic.  I sit there and start getting stressed, this is bad—I may miss my appointment.

I also notice I am hungry so I reach down for my juice container and that’s when tragedy occurs—the juice container falls over and juice pours out all over the floor of my car. Shoot.  Now I am stuck in traffic and I am really hungry and my precious juice is gone.

The traffic continues and I did indeed miss my appointment.  Now I am frustrated and starving—my stomach is growling!  Then out of the corner of my eye I see a canister of Tic Tacs on the passenger seat. I grab them.  At first I hesitate—a part of me says—“no!  a Tic Tac is food—juice or water and nothing else remember?  The other part of me says, “Eat the damn Tic Tac.  It’s a mint.  Mints aren’t food.  Just eat one—it will calm you down and remember like the lady says, only 1.5 calories.”

Guess which voice won?  I ate the Tic Tac!  For a second I felt wonderful as the little white sugary bliss entered my blood stream. But then the Tic Tac was over and so was the little relief from the traffic and my stress.  So, without thinking I ate another—bliss– and another—bliss– and within a minute I was ripping off the little white plastic dispenser and DUMPING ALL OF THE TIC TACS FROM THE CONTAINER INTO MY MOUTH AT ONE TIME!  But did that make things okay?  No!  Now the fire was fueled and I wanted more.

At this time there was enough of a break in the traffic that I got off the freeway and headed to the nearest 7-11. I went in and got some juice. After all, I hadn’t really cheated had I?  Tic Tacs are just mints not food.
GO ON, YOU ALREADY BLEW IT

As I was waiting to buy my juice I stare at the pastry display and saw a shiny, tantalizing chocolate muffin.  My stomach growled some more.  A part of me said “no—just the juice—juice and water—juice and water!”  But the juice and water didn’t seem so good anymore and the other voice welled up from within, “You know you blew it with the Tic Tacs today so you might as well screw it and just eat the muffin and start again juicing tomorrow.” Guess which voice won?

I grabbed the muffin…and then a bagel with cream cheese.  And oh, heck why not—a bag of Cheetos and let’s rinse it all down with the juice! Oh wait, chocolate, yes a few chocolate bars too.

I head out to the car and just sit in my car and eat it…all.  After I am done, I feel a few seconds of remorse but those feeling were quickly pushed down by the voice telling me, “C’mon you will be good tomorrow—live it up. Let’s hit the drive-thrus and then let’s go get some ice cream. Let’s really party because tomorrow it’s back to boring juiceville.”

So 9,568 calories later, I ended my day and that was then end of the juice fast too because I did not wake up and go back to juicing, I said, “It’s the weekend.  Start again on Monday”. 

FLABBY BITS ON PARADE THIS SUMMER AND FOREVER?

That Monday came and went and so did all the other Mondays of the summer.  And you guessed it–that was another summer that I had to spend cleverly figuring out ways to cover my flabby bits YET AGAIN.
However, worse than hiding flabby bits behind a towel was the fact that I was still struggling and beginning to think that it was always going to be like this. I was always going to have to struggle with not just my weight but MYSELF in this area of my life—FOREVER.

I look back on that story now—having now maintained my Shifted weight release for nearly two decades—and I see many places where I let myself down with FAT THINKING.  Fat thinking is the all or nothing, good or bad, on or off way of thinking that we get into when we struggle with our weight.

BREAKING “BAD”

For me, the key to consistency and long term success, after helping thousands of clients shift from fat to thin thinking, weight struggler to weight master, is not so much about being “good” it’s about losing the “good” and “bad” labels that define us and keep us in the on or off Fat thinking Cycle.

The key is to break “bad” and pull yourself back from that desire to disconnect and just say screw it and eat everything else after you eat the first thing that takes you off the rules of your “plan”.

As you can see in this story, my eating the Tic Tac wasn’t what was damaging to my weight loss, it was my impulse to get out of my feeling guilty about eating the Tic Tacby focusing on starting tomorrow and being “good” at that time. That opened up in my mind the permission to be bad again.

Here is the weird thing about the brain: when we promise to be good in the future, the brain immediately starts feeling good about that decision and so you can do a lot of questionable (and fattening) behavior in the time leading up to “starting over tomorrow” without any backlash.

Making the promise to “start over” is the most fattening thing anyone can do. You delay refocusing your weight release effort and you eat a bunch of calorically dense food with the “last party” attitude that tomorrow you are going back to diet prison.

This habit of “I blew it”, “so screw it” is persistent because the brain perceives it as a reward, fun, letting go. It doesn’t remember all the guilt and shame we feel following this cycle.

SHIFTING OUT OF “I BLEW IT”

A lot of my work with people is all the different ways we can escape this cycle and re-wire our brain for Thin thinking. I want to share with you one quick mind technique that can begin to intercept the “I blew it, so screw it” habit.

1. Whenever you hear or feel yourself saying “I blew it” when you eat something questionable—STOP AND TAKE A DEEP BREATH. This will get you present and in your rational conscious mind rather that your habit driven subconscious.

2. Label the “I blew it” thought. By labeling the thought you separate it out from you. It is no longer something you are but a thought you had, and an irrational thought at that. Labeling it allows you to see it from a different perspective. “Oh there is the thought that I ate a Tic Tac and it wasn’t on my juice fast, so I blew it”

3. Reframe and refocus yourself. You aren’t releasing weight to “be good” you are releasing weight because you want to be healthy and take care of yourself. Start now by treating yourself with respect even when things don’t look so good.

Take that “I blew it thought” and swirl it away by replacing it with a rational, self respecting viewpoint. “I didn’t blow it, I got hungry and ate a handful of tic tacs. It was a few hundred calories which isn’t going to spoil my commitment to what I am doing and myself. I now need to eat something nourishing and really take care of myself at my next meal or snack. Even though I ate the tic tacs, I am still on my journey to weight mastery.”

See–now you have not only avoided another 9,000 calories but you gave yourself a little love and respect and can feel good about yourself right now in your mind.  The more you do this, the more that old pattern weakens and your confidence builds.

Try playing around with this technique this month. You will definitely see a difference and feel more in charge of the moments when your behavior around food goes arwy and the old you who used to blow it, gives way to the you who stops, stays connected with themselves and keeps moving forward on their journey of weight mastery.

Have a great, but not good or bad, month!
oxox Rita

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