My vice is not immoral or illegal. It doesn’t even cost a lot of money.
It is (drum roll please) the nightly snack.
I can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t have a nighttime snack. There were times when it was something “lighter” (like a Weight Watchers ice cream snack when I was on Weight Watchers). It’s pretty much a 47-year-old habit, whether light or “heavy.”
I have heard some people say that calories are calories, whether you eat them at 10 a.m. or 10 p.m. I have heard more people say that calories before bedtime are not good for a nutrition plan. After all, they are just going to sit there in your digestive system looking for some activity to fuel. Last time I checked, brushing teeth, reading, and sleeping aren’t super-demanding activities.
The one time I was successful in avoiding (and not wanting) the nighttime snack was during my and Tenley’s trip to Guatemala last summer (see #9 in this post). We had a satisfying dinner around 6 p.m. every night, followed by an activity (such as a speaker), then took showers and went to bed. The “nightly slowdown” came so early compared to my usual habits that I would read and fall asleep. There weren’t nighttime snacks to be had, and I didn’t miss them.
I know that my nighttime snack is a grown-up pacifier – I like the routine, I like the taste, I like slowing down long enough to do something pleasurable. When I have a freelance project underway, it marks the end of a long couple of evening hours of proofreading/editing on top of my day job.
When I have thought about meeting with a nutritionist, I have envisioned the conversation going something like this:
Nutritionist: “It is good that you kept a food diary before our first meeting. The skim milk every night is good but what’s the deal with the Double Stuf Oreos?”
Me: “I’ll do anything to keep ’em! Run an extra mile! Eat less some other time! I want to lose weight so I am more likely to run faster but I love my evening Oreos.”
Nutritionist: “You know that’s almost 1,000 extra calories a week, in those Oreos alone?”
Me: “1,000 extra calories that are weighing me down when I run.”
Nutritionist: “Run away, as fast as you can, from that nighttime snack.”
Me: “Here I go ……………..”
“If I want to be great I have to win the victory over myself.”
– Harry S. Truman
Wife of one, Mom of two, Friend of many. My pronouns are she/her/hers.