100 lb. Club - another's good intentions = bad news for my weight loss!

12-19-2007, 09:50 PM

Over the past 5 days, my "well-meaning" aunt has shipped seven cartons of junk food to us. (Us = my mother, daughter, and I). Four 3-lb cartons of potato chips. Chocolate bars and chocolate-covered pretzels. Snack mix. Homemade cookies. Tastycakes. --- And that's just the stuff that I like!

My mom is giving some of the stuff to my sister, but seems unwilling to part with even half of this unasked-for bounty. I don't know if growing up in the Depression gave her family a warped sense of what is and isn't excessive in terms of stocking up (or is it hoarding?) but really . . . this junk is now in 3 rooms of the house! I am trying very, very hard to ignore it, but the temptation is so difficult to resist.

Now, my aunt is overweight with plenty of mobility problems, and she knows that my mother has been trying to lose weight so that she herself won't have to go on meds for high cholesterol. After my aunt's last food gift to us -- a case of canned peaches (in syrup), plus assorted sugary fruit spreads -- my mother told her not to send any more food. In light of all that, plus the fact that I'm quite obviously overweight and there is a family history of diabetes, heart disease, and other weight-related health issues, it just baffles me that my aunt would go ahead and send us all this crap. Maybe she's losing her mind . . . :dizzy:

I would like to take most of the food and donate it to the homeless shelter, but because of my mom's pack-rat mentality, I don't think she will let me do that. We'll just have to figure out somewhere to store the junk out of sight, I guess -- not an easy task in a 100+ year old house with no cupboard or closet space!

Any suggestions as to how I can turn a blind eye & steel stomach to all these goodies? Where can I get a super-strength, economy-size tin of "willpower dust?"

12-19-2007, 10:09 PM
Well, I'd say the stuff has to leave the house, period! Just because someone shipped it to you doesn't mean you have to keep it. Donate it, as you had wanted to do. Talk with your mom about it, tell her it's not good to have it around if you're wanting to lose weight. Your aunt may have been well meaning, but no one is obliged to keep or eat anything just because it's been given...


12-19-2007, 11:33 PM
I second what Jay said! Just because it was a gift doesn't mean that you're obligated to keep it and eat it. I think it's noble that you want to donate it, and I think it would make sense to give to those less fortunate who would appreciate it, instead of you having to keep it and be tormented by it sitting there staring at you.

I would talk to your mom about it, explain the situation, and just tell her that you aren't comfortable with it being in the house.

Shy Moment
12-19-2007, 11:40 PM
I would defiantly try to talk to your mother about this situation. Then either give it away or toss it in the trash. Loseing weight can be hard on the best of days for some people. You don't need all that stuff in the house. What is good for you and your daughter is more important than maybe hurting someones feeling because you don't eat the junk they send you. You have already said you didn't want the stuff in the house.

12-20-2007, 12:04 AM
If your mom doesn't want to part with it, tell her to pick what she wants for HER half, and you donate your half! You won't snitch her goodies and your portion will be gone gone gone - i like the idea of giving it to a shelter, that's really thoughtful and would be appreciated i'm sure -- some 'extras' at this time of year for less fortunate people is a good thing :) yay!

12-20-2007, 12:50 AM
Donating to a homeless shelter or foodbank is a great idea, and I'm not trying discourage you in any way. Junk foods have an extremely long shelf-life, so they do not spoil, and most shelters will take them unless they're overloaded with junk. Unfortunately many of them are. For some reason shelters tend to get a lot more "junk" donated than healthy food (probably because it is cheap and a good tax right-off especially for grocery store owners). I think people also assume that the poor and homeless as underweight and undernourished where calories are more important than nutrition. In most parts of the country this is not true. Access to calories is a much smaller problem in the US than access to high quality calories, so many people who need food bank assistance are overweight and a good number diabetic or with heart disease. Since they may not have money for medications, a good diet is even more emportant, so I would encourage anyone wanting to donate to food banks or homeless shelters (aside from or in addition to just getting rid of your excess sugar and starch), to write a check or call the organizations and ask them what they need most.

A quick internet search suggests that the needs of our local shelters are pretty consistent with others across the country"

(pop top and other easy open and individual serving items are especially useful for the homeless)

Peanut Butter
Canned Tuna
Canned Beans
Canned Soups, Stews and Pastas
100% Fruit Juice
Canned Fruits and Vegetables
Macaroni and Cheese Dinners
Whole Grain, Low Sugar Cereals

12-20-2007, 01:05 AM
Do you have some lighter fluid and a match? hehehe...
That is how I feel about food that is trying to sabotage my health and my life!!!

12-20-2007, 07:39 AM
Those are some good responses, everyone. It seems that my mom has gone ahead and opened all the chips, however...and left them open. They may not be stale or soggy yet, but just the idea of opened bags of food sitting around grosses me out, so I'm not tempted by those goodies anymore.
If the rest of the stuff isn't put away by the time I get home this evening, I'm going to put it out of sight. And even though my mom is insisting that we "accept it gracefully," I am going to talk to my aunt about my concerns. She can express her generosity through other means, I'm sure.
I agree with you, kaplods, about the appropriateness -- or lack thereof -- of giving junk food to a shelter. I had the chance, with someone elses' money, to go shopping for the shelter in the town where I work recently, and made a conscious effort to choose healthy staples, along with OTC meds and cough drops that the shelter staff distribute. I guess I was thinking that a little "treat" over the holidays wouldn't be a big deal, but so many of the residents there do have health issues that I wouldn't be doing anyone a favor. Thank you for posting your excellent suggestions to the readers here so they will know how they can help.

12-20-2007, 08:54 AM
Food left open is a health danger... you now have good reason to take a big trash bag and fill it. Yuck. :p


12-20-2007, 10:46 AM
Now, how is that quantity of food all being opened at once NOT wasteful? Doesn't that seem oddly excessive? Even if she wanted to keep it all, why open ALL of it at once...except to keep you from giving it away? It sounds like your mom really wanted to keep this stuff around, and by opening it all up and leaving it out she's trying to tempt you, too. It sounds like she's not on your side. :(

12-20-2007, 02:51 PM
I wasn't trying to say that there's anthing wrong with anyone giving the needy (or the needy receiving) foods that aren't the healthiest. I certainly don't mean to be the food police for anyone. I was just shocked when I learned that in most shelters, the junk IS available and healthier stuff stuff is not. It just seems so sad that a person might have to take a bag of potato chips, because the can of beans they would have chosen weren't available.

12-20-2007, 02:54 PM
For the rest of the stuff... wait until she goes to bed and then open it all up and run it thru the garbage disposal. When she gets up you can show her all the wrappers and tell her you had a major binge....

12-20-2007, 02:57 PM
I totally agree with what's been written. Food banks are always looking for donations and it's usually "nutritious foods" that are put in the bags...but what a nice treat for everyone to get something sweet.
Let something would be a problem for you be a blessing for someone else.

12-20-2007, 03:37 PM
In most parts of the country, food banks do not have nutritious food to give. Up to 50% of donations are considered "nutrition-poor" prepackaged high carbohydrate foods (because they don't spoil and are the cheapest), and donations are down because more people are tightening their own budgets and are not giving. Some food banks are trying to decide whether or not to give out "junk food," at all because so many of the needy are overweight and sick because of it. Junk food calories are cheap calories, so poor people buy them over "healthy food" because they are cheaper and more filling. People give junk food to food banks because it is cheaper and they perceive it as a "treat" (a treat many poor have little choice, but to eat even at the expense of their health).

I know I'm on a soapbox a bit here, but I find it distressing that obesity and it's health risks are highest among the poor. Too many people believe it's because the poor are not smart enough to make good food choices, but it's simple economics. They're making the best food choice they can with their dollar. When you have $3, as one article put it, you feed your children the most calories you can for the buck, which is usually junk food.

My aim is not to make anyone feel guilty for buying "junk," or giving it to a foodbank, but to ask anyone interested to educate themselves. If you want to donate to a local food bank, call them and ask them what they need most. Is it peanut butter? Is it canned vegetables? Is it a check to help pay the light bill?

And while you're at it, ask what they have TOO much of. I think you'll be very surprised.

12-20-2007, 07:23 PM
I'd say throw a party! hehe. Or give it to a family member or close friend who is having a Christmas party this week. Preferably someone close by who's having a party that maybe you can't attend. I'm sure they would be grateful for the free food, and you would be for not succumbing to it's siren call, and hopefully your mother would feel good that it's going to someone else close to the family.

12-20-2007, 08:13 PM
I have only one word to say, RE-GIFT!
Just pass the unhealthy crap onto all of your friends & neighbors,.. walla done outta sight and outta mind! Tell your MOM others need these things more than we do!!!!

12-20-2007, 08:29 PM
One cool way to regift, since these are open, but still fresh, is to buy a cute dollar store airtight container, pour in a portion of the goody, and seal up.

12-21-2007, 11:36 AM
Re: food pantries, unfortunately my new work schedule conflicts, but I used to volunteer for a community garden which donates produce to a local food pantry which operates a soup kitchen & pantry. The herbs (basil, etc) are especially popular as they're expensive to buy in the grocery store. Things like that are a great source of produce for food pantries and it's a nice way to get to know people in your community.

12-21-2007, 11:49 AM
Just say no. Make up your mind. You are in charge of what goes in your mouth.