4 September 2012

Pringles: Kicking the addiction

"That's enough".  The words hit me from out of nowhere a few nights ago as I was upending the third of the four cans of Pringles I bought last Tuesday - ironically, while watching a National Geographic feature about health and social issues associated with junk food gluttony in America.

My preciousssss....


"Am I stuffing myself with too much of this stuff?", I asked myself.  I average three cans a week... okay, maybe four from time to time; but truth is, Pringles have become a staple in my late-night, just-before-bed diet.  I felt a pang of guilt - which felt alien coz I'd never before felt guilty about eating anything; never mind my favourite snack.  Nor has it ever crossed my mind that maybe - just maybe - I've been consuming a wee bit too much of 'em.  Maybe it's the sight of those sickly 350lb Americans on TV that got to me.  Or maybe it was my subconscious taking me back to that day a week or so ago when I very disconcertingly experienced irregular heartbeats for a good 20-odd hours.  Was my body trying to tell me something I don't wanna know?

Simply irresistible


Whatever it was, I decided I'd had enough.  Well, for the week at least.  I briefly stared at that last unopened can - conveniently placed within reach of my bed; ever so tempted to open it - and told myself that I'll just leave it for next weekend's CSI:Miami season finale.  Or so I'll try.

I didn't use to consume this much Pringles (honest) until about two years ago when, inexplicably, a can every coupla months gradually became one a week... then two... and now three.  Despite this, I've never considered it an addiction coz after all, it's not like I'm munching them all day long like smokers do their puffing.  In fact, I only indulge after I get home from work at midnight; which is just about the only time of day I get to sit down, relax and watch the telly proper.  And enjoy my favourite TV snack.  I mean, everyone has TV snacks, right?  So how am I any different?

Well, the thing about Pringles is that "once you pop, you can't stop".  I admit I almost always finish an entire can of Pringles in one sitting.  Or a can per half when Liverpool are playing.  That's two in 90 minutes of football.  And I'm not talking about those short, mini cans.

Four mouths-full... max!


So what do ya make of it so far?  An addiction?  Or some kinda eating disorder?... something not quite right upstairs, so to speak.  If so, then there must be hundreds of millions out there like me - well, at least numerous enough to make Pringles the world's #1 snack food.  I dunno; I'll leave those questions for another day.  In any case, what's that they say?... ignorance is bliss...?

Anyway, as promised to the missus and some of my concerned Facebook friends, I visited my physician a coupla days ago about the palpitations I had last week.  To cut the story short, the crux of our conversation went something like this.

Doc:  "I believe it was an anxiety attack.  I'll put you on alprazolam for two days.  Go easy and let me know how you feel after that".
Me:   "Thank you, doc."
Doc:  "One more thing... do you take a lot of Pringles?"
Me:  "Errr... not at all, doctor.  Why do you ask?"
Doc:  "My wife saw you at the supermarket the other day.  She said you had half a dozen cans in your trolley."

Trust a woman to exaggerate such things.  It was FOUR!  Not six!  This one-horse town is so small it's like Peyton Place, I tell ya.

And so it was that I'd spill the beans to the good doctor, who took the time to explain to me the six nutrition gradings of A (best) to F (worst).  Pringles are graded D and contain 30% saturated and total fats, he pointed out to me on his lappy.  I'm no food scientist, but if one-third of the food on which I thrive are nothing more than FAT, then - bloody hell! - that can't be good, can it?!

The goodness of Pringles


Doc:  "Trust me... all that salt and MSG will do your high blood pressure and asthma more harm than good.  You gotta cut down or quit Pringles altogether."

Cut down, maybe... but quit?!  I mean c'mon, you don't just stop eating Pringles, do you?!  I mean, has the man even tried Pringles before?  Does he know what he's saying??

Anyway, I spent the last coupla days pondering over what my doctor said (the health bit; not the supermarket bit).  Given the fact that he knows my state of health better than I do, I figured I'd be ill-advised to throw caution to the wind on this occasion.  After all, it's only Pringles (never mind my doc; now what am I saying??).

My feelings are now a mixed bag... or should I say a mixed can.  Nonetheless, I'm gonna... no, I gotta cut down like he said.  Sharpish.  After all, I'm not exactly 18 anymore.  Those palpitations - anxiety attack or otherwise - were pretty scary, believe you me.

So what's my action plan?  For a start (and to avoid any withdrawal symptoms), I'm gonna try and reduce my consumption to a can a fortnight.  Yeah, that sounds reasonable.  Or should I say bearable.  And I'm gonna stop face-effing myself with Pringles like there's no tomorrow.  From now on, it's gonna be one at a time.  One a minute, in fact.  Or maybe I'll just break them into small crumbs and eat them like a freakin' missy by picking out pieces of the broken chips.  This should at least help to control my rate of consumption.



One thing's for certain though; I'll always be tempted by Pringles - and resisting them's gonna be the toughest part.  I mean, these chips really do rock!  But what I'll try do is to just look forward to Pringles as an occasional treat, rather than a nightly one.  Easier said than done I know, but nonetheless I will try.  I mean, who's gonna make coffee if this ol' ticker crashes on me?  But talk is cheap... or should I say "chip"  Enough of that.  I'll show everyone that I can do it!  And I'm gonna immediately set my action plan in motion; starting with that unopened can beside my bed which... which... bloody hell!... I finished the damn thing while writing this blog post!







(Photos courtesy of Google Images)


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