Posted on September 21, 2011 by Jennifer Lilley
Oh, those pesky nutrition labels. How much fat? How many calories? Does it serve two or four? Does it have Yellow # 5?
Does it matter?
Ladies and Gentlemen, the solution is easy. Forget about all that label hubabaloo. Chances are everything you need to know is right there in front of you, conveyed in the very name of the food or brand you’re about to feast upon.
Jelly Belly®. I mean, with a name like that, isn’t checking calories moot point?
It’s as if you know what you’re going to look like before you even know what it’ll taste like.
Nestle®’s Chunky® bar. Enough said.
Rolo® caramel candies. One stomach roll, oh . . . no! Another roll, oh . . . no!
Candies like this are lurking everywhere, especially with Halloween right around the corner. Time to loosen the witches’ britches!
Hey, I Paid to Have Buns Like This!
It’s not just candies, either. On a more generic front, plenty of other food names hint at the havoc they’re going to impart on your flesh.
Pound cake. Pound cake. C’mon.
And all those hamburger buns eaten during summer barbeques? Buns are great on the grill, but what a bummer for your bum. Then there’s the too-good-to-be-true declaration: NEW! Jumbo Sized Buns. Big, oversized buns – just for you! That’s right, for a mere 25 cents extra, not only can you get larger buns, but you can dwarf-ify your burger, making it look like a charbroiled little poker chip resting on a king-size pillow. Again, no need to check any label here.
Funny thing is, no Chunky or Jumbo Named Anything ever deterred me. Not on Halloween, not during summer cookouts, not, well, ever. Label, Schmabel!
226 Pounds & Tons of Snickers
In fact, my favorite candy bar’s name also matched the exact reaction I imagined others had in response to my um, large figure: Snickers®.
At 226 pounds and pushing a size 24 in 1994 (some numbers you just remember), Snickers surely played a role in my rolls. They undoubtedly led to a few snickers as others observed my attempts to gracefully maneuver through turnstiles with swanlike finesse.
During my last two years of high school and for the first two of college, a Snickers bar often came after a tiny “sliver” of an Entenmann’s walnut danish ring. Dessert après dessert.
Prior to that, it was a plateful of sharp cheddar on Ritz crackers. And sandwiched somewhere in between was this thing called dinner where I filled up on mega doses of “whoa. I really ate all of that?” frustration. The food was great. The clothing choices and confusion? Not so much. What a cycle.
Yes, I’d have celery, so long as that nuclear orange pimento spread filled its hollowed out stringy insides.
And so it went. The weight piled on faster than I could say “extra cheese.” Years of up and down gains and losses, and always, always keeping an eye on the numbers. Calories. Scales. Labels.
Labels, Labels Everywhere!
Itchy 1X sweater labels tickling my neck.
The “lazy” label.
The “cheerful jokster” label.
The “dumb” label.
The mayonnaise jar nutrition label.
The Fancy Pants label, where a simple “2” minus the “X” attempted to convey a smaller, tighter, booty-rockin’ me!
But that was then. This is now. Somewhere in the midst of it all, I lost some weight through a variety of diets, plans and fads. Then in 2007, I lost the additional 70 pounds I needed to thanks to the Medifast meal plan and I’ve kept it off on my own since. I’ve enjoyed my Skinny Water in my skinny jeans, maybe even obsessively so – some folks jokingly urging me to buy a bag of Jumbo Sized Buns and get some Chunky back.
Of course, I’ve had my dessert après dessert moments, and I’ve most certainly given into my cravings. But I most certainly hit the gym too. And when I go back for more food, it’s for seconds, not fourths.
So, I’ve never forgotten those days. In fact, like most of us, I have my “I’m not fat but I sure feel like a hot air balloon wearing jeans,” moments. I want healthy, but just as equally crave bad.
For times like that, Skinny Cow ice cream it is.
No need to show me the nutrition label though. I’ve had enough of labels, thank you very much.
Jennifer Lea Reynolds
U.Jennifer Lea Reynolds is a weight loss success story who enjoys living a healthy lifestyle. A fan of the elliptical, roasted asparagus and remembering to put the lid on the blender, she’s appeared in many national and local print publications. She lives in New England where she writes professionally about health and wellness in online publications including U.S. News & World Report, Reader's Digest, Woman's Day, The Huffington Post, and more.