Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Where oh where have the hamster treats gone?

I was eating lunch with a couple of co-workers (one male and one female) on Monday.  My male co-worker shares a story about when he was a boy and he drank an entire bottle of children's cough syrup because he liked the taste.  Then my female co-worker says that she used to eat the children's aspirin (who didn't?), as well as the chocolate dog vitamins (ironic since chocolate is poisonous to dogs).  Which made me remember that I used to eat my hamsters chocolate drop treats.  

Maybe you remember them?  They looked like this...
And I looked like this after stuffing them in my mouth, waiting for them to melt.  Did you know that hamster chocolate does not melt very easily?
So my mother would buy the treats for the hamster weekly, and really, there were enough treats to last the hamster months if you gave him one a day as per the suggested serving size.  Anyway, my mother is buying treats every week for the hamster and keeps cautioning that I should stop feeding Hammy so many treats, lest he get fat.  The truth is, I was the only one getting fat since Hammy ate none of those chocolate treats, and likely never tasted one in his short life.  If my mother took the time to smell his hamster breath, she would have only smelled alfalfa.  And I 'm not talking about Spanky's friend.

Hammy was with us for two years and it wasn't until the end of his life that my mother caught me stuffing Hammy's treats into my mouth.  I can still remember her shrill exclamation of "Leigh-Anna!  I can't believe you ate all the rodent treats!  What is the matter with you?"  Well mother, I am addicted to anything with sugar and carbohydrate...Incidentally, Hammy also had these wicked alfalfa wafers that were equally yummy and pure carb.

So now you know my secret shame of how I coveted my hamster's treats.  I try to think of it as a life saving tactic for Hammy.  Since his life expectancy was only around two years, I thought it was my duty as his pet owner to steer him away from anything that would make his life shorter, like carbs and sugars.  Since Hammy never had any of the chocolate drops, it's not like he knew what he was missing.  And I figured it couldn't be so bad for me because hamsters are so small, so how many extra calories could I possibly be consuming.  What I should have gotten from Hammy was his hamster wheel so I could have gotten in the cardio I needed after chowing down on his grub.

I was about 10 during this particular incident and this behaviour of not being able to walk away from something I wanted to eat has remained with me my entire life.  I can do it now...but I'm not convinced that I'll be able to walk away from tempting food that is bad for me for the rest of my life.  It may not bother me now, but what about next week, next month or next year?  I'm not naive enough to think that I have this issue licked.

Just today I was eating at Swiss Chalet with a client.  I ate a half chicken with salad and watched as she ate a half chicken with poutine fries.  That didn't bother me in the least, but I did feel a moment of longing as I watched her eat an entire slab of double layer carrot cake.  It lasted just a moment but made me realize that even though I tell every one that what they eat around me has no effect on me, maybe I need to admit that it does...a little.  I'm only human after all and I love food!  Just like many humans, and hamsters alike.

The real test will be during the holidays.  I have a couple of holiday parties to attend and of course the Polish Christmas eve (my family) and the Italian Christmas day (husband's family).  It's been three months since I've started my life style change and I can't screw up now!  I know I can do this and if I feel the need to indulge in something really risque, my dog Finn has some yummy looking Jerky treats.  Pure protein, but I'll have to drink a lot of water afterwards, they're high in sodium:)