Saturday, December 8, 2007

Buttered Popcorn, Buttered Sin. Fun or Fattening?

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Today's blog is something I wrote last year. But it goes along with the last post. Because although I am in a better place, making better choices about food and nutrition, I still love movie popcorn! If I go to the movies, I can't resist. And let's face it. Movie popcorn isn't my only challenge.

Update: Okay, I'm still a work in progress, but I am maintaining the new weight and keeping up the exercise regime. The most difficult challenge comes at night. But I am working on creating new patterns of behavior to help me avoid those times when I simply want to snack on something crunchy, like...ahem...popcorn, or drink those empty calories. Aaaggghhhh.

On that note read about a movie going experience and an epiphany I had last year.

Buttered Popcorn, Buttered Sin

My cousin and I get a chance to go to a grown-up’s movie, a rare treat for moms. No Cars. No Ice Age 2. No Over the Hedge. We can pick a REAL movie. A movie just for us. We pick "The Devil Wears Prada."

“We’ve got to have popcorn.” Sheryll says. “It’s part of the experience.”

I agree. Popcorn, even at top dollar, is a theater MUST. At the popcorn-ordering counter we debate. Small? Medium? Large? I step up to the plate. “We’ll share a medium-sized popcorn.”

“Butter?” the popcorn guy asks.

Butter? My daughter Addy adds butter. I don’t add butter. Butter is full of bad things. Butter kills. I never eat popcorn with butter. NEVER. Dripping, hot, creamy butter? No. No can do. Don’t do butter. Can’t do butter. Okay, I will not lie. I’ve tasted it. When Addy orders butter, I eat half. Oh, butter. But adult women don’t eat butter. Sheryll wouldn’t want butter. Sheryll wouldn’t even like butter. I am confident. Adult women don’t eat butter.

“No butter,” I say.

“What?” Sheryll sounds horrified.
I think she is appalled at the thought of adding butter. I promise I don’t want butter. No butter. “No butter. No butter.”

We have to do this right,” Sheryll says. “We HAVE to have butter.”

I grin.

“Do you want it layered?” Popcorn Guy says. “You know, popcorn, butter, popcorn, butter, popcorn, butter?”

Sheryll and I smile. Popcorn Guy gets it. He totally gets it. Popcorn. Butter. Popcorn. Butter. Popcorn. Butter. Good. Um. Good. Um. Good.

We watch the movie. We laugh. We eat. We lick our fingers. About halfway through the movie, fashion editor Nigel is disgusted by the excess weight of young, na├»ve Andy. “You are a size 6. That’s the new 14,” Nigel says. I laugh. I eat more butter. I lick my fingers. I don’t want to think about what size my butter-eating-popcorn-self is.

Later in the movie a character called Emily talks about how she lost weight. “I don’t eat,” she says. “When I feel faint I have a cube of cheese. Works like a charm.” Licking my fingers, I laugh. But deep down inside I don’t laugh.

Emily starves herself. Denies herself. Her level of denial cuts much deeper than anything I could ever muster. She looks good. We would all like to look so good. I bet she wears a size 2. Does that translate into the new size 10? She starves herself because she wants to look great in Paris.

Ah, Paris. The place she yearns to go. Paris of the future. Unreachable Paris. But darn it, despite the self denial, she never makes it to Paris. She sacrifices. She suffers. She gets sidetracked by a head-on car collision. I get it. I finally get it.

All my life I’ve denied myself the butter. The real butter. Why? My trip to Paris comes in other forms. I want to look good. I want others to think I’m in control. I want others to think I have my act together. But for so long I have believed I can only have the happy-ever-after if I’m the right size. So far my Paris hasn’t come. But at the Malco Grandview in Madison, MS, I reach a decision. I don’t need a car crash to totally get it. Whether my over size 6 translates into over the new 14—at this point I don’t really care—my butterless popcorn days are over.

And from now on, it’s not going to be just popcorn with butter. It’s going to be layered.


Do I still eat buttered popcorn? Yep, sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. What saves me is that I rarely go to the movies! :) But that's not the point. This weighing, healthy living thing is not about denial. It's about making good choices 80 percent of time.

Enjoy your holidays. Don't overstress about weight, eating or merriment. Enjoy and do the best you can at the moment you are faced with choice. If you do make what you consider a bad choice, don't beat yourself up. And don't make promises you can't keep. Simply live and enjoy being with those you love.

P.S. The other day the president of a company who sells Stevia sent me a sample of their products to try in my lemonade. I will be testing soon and after Christmas will let you know how it all turned out. I'll give you all the details just in time for all those New Year resolutions we'll be making!


Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Ha! I don't even care if it's fattening. If I'm going to eat popcorn, I want the butter. And I try not to think about what that butter might really be--the stuff that I drizzle over it at the movie theaters.

Of course, I could make it at hope and know I was getting real butter. That doesn't interest me. Popcorn is part of the movie scene. That's it. The only time I crave it. So why shouldn't I eat it with butter again?

No. Don't tell me.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Joyce Faulkner said...

You know...folks of yesterday all ate butter. Lots of it. They ate it on corn and on mashed potatoes and on pasta with salt and pepper. They slathered it on white bread toast and dropped yellow dollops of the lovely stuff on apple dumplings. What's spinach without butter? Huh? What's butterball turkey with out the butter? Bet you didn't think of that one, Allyn Evans. Bet you didn't think of all those women who cooked with butter over the you don't think of the pilgrims and the people who went west in the covered wag --

Oh yeah. They are dead now I think.

Maybe butter IS the enemy.


Think I'll go eat some tiramisu to console myself.

Great article, ladikins.

Joyce Faulkner