Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

The great Cheez-It conspiracy


I love Cheez-Its.  I know.  They’re not good for me.  They’re empty calories.  They derail diets.  Who knows what’s really in them.  I know.  I still love Cheez-Its.

For years I’ve worked on loosing the 20 pounds I’ve gained since 2004.  Actively counting calories.  Recording everything I eat.  Foregoing dessert or seconds or night time eating.  Struggling.  Making progress, falling back.  Giving up, trying again.  Joining groups, quitting groups.  Some of you know the routine.

Right now I’m allowing silly little yellow orange squares to beat me.  They sit in the vending machine I pass several times a day.  Did you know that little bag in there is 6 Weight Watcher points?  In a diet that only allows me 21 points for the entire day?  Crazy!  I think the manufacturer bakes something into them that triggers my craving.  It’s a conspiracy I say!

I know that snacking is one way of coping with stress…and there’s plenty of stress in my life…but not enough to eat like this.  So what else is it?  Why does it seem impossible to walk by that machine without contemplating spending the 85 cents?  Some days I win the battle.  Some days I don’t.

So now I need to give up on the crunchy salty goodness.  If I tell you I’m not eating these anymore will that make it true?  Can I think about each of you when I’m tempted and keep the change in the purse?  I hope so!

What about you?  What’s your favorite snack item?  And how do you keep your cravings under control?

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

30 thoughts on “The great Cheez-It conspiracy

  1. cheez-its are sooooo good. But my downfall is anything with buttercream frosting 🙂 Right now, I let myself get a panera cupcake (for only $1) when I eat there on Sundats. I only eat half, because I share it with Jeff. Yum, yum, yum. And then on Monday and Tuesday, I eat vegan.

    I think we shouldn’t deprive ourselves completely. Life’s too short for that.


  2. I am soooo with you about the Cheez-Its I sooooo adore them and I am long overdue for re-joining Weight Watcher’s! I had lost 44 lbs there 3 yrs ago and in the last year and a half I gained it ALL back. Haven’t been back to Weight Watchers since last May. How do you only have 21 pts per day? I thought it was 29? You aren’t heavy so 21 seems way too low!


    • They lowered (or maybe raised?) the # of daily points, and adjusted the amount of points each food had. I can’t remember for sure if it was 21…but I think so.


  3. Dawn…I am also a victim of the Cheezit conspiracy … my only defense… I actually really like the low fat cheezits !!! (It’s a small victory …… ) Just bring a daily snack bag of those…. and avoid the evil point sucking vending machine!!!!!


  4. Hi, Dawn.
    I think of the conspiracy, alright…mine is one of placement. Proximity is the enemy!! i try to never shop while hungry, and when I lived alone it was a simple matter of not keeping stuff at hiome Harder when stuf is rigtee. i have no solution yet!!!


  5. I’m with you sister! Some foods are impossible to resist. My trick is that I never keep anything like that in the house, but you have it dangled in front of your nose at work.
    Many times when I am going to eat something bad for me I force myself to eat a few carrots or celery after the crime. I mean just as soon as I’ve finished a Mars bar, I chase it with vegetables. Not only does it ruin the chocolate after taste, but I feel too full. I try to train my brain to recognize that the snack has too many consequences. I don’t particularly like carrots and celery, so it’s punishment. I am good at mind games!


  6. I can relate with the Cheetos. For a while I thought I was doing better by purchasing the reduced fat ones but they are both evil! Sometimes when I have to have something like that I get Pop Chips or Quacker mini rice cakes, but only if I earned them. Bring some healthier snacks to work. I bring food to work but have the hardest time at home.


  7. ummmm, Mommy just ate a brownie before reading this post. Maybe she should have had cheez-its instead. Mommy doesn’t even want to know how many points are in a brownie!


    • I think there are weight watcher brownies…but truthfully if it’s only one brownie, no matter who makes it, it can’t be that bad. Me? I’d eat 3 brownies.


  8. Ah, yes, Cheez-Its are good. We used to fight the snack food battle every day like you are – being called to by the addiction that’s baked in (and it really is – there’s an alarming piece the New York Times did on junk food science focusing on it) – but it’s not so bad anymore. Since we work from home, we just avoid the temptation to buy the stuff in the store. So if we’re strong just that one time, it doesn’t matter if we crave the junk or not, we don’t have it. The funny thing is, when we don’t have it, I don’t crave it nearly as much. We do allow ourselves to break down once or twice a year and buy a big bag of cheezy garbage (Doritoes for Tony, Cheetos for me), which we eat over about two days. Those days are horribly unhealthy, but better than fighting/losing the junk food battle all year 🙂


  9. Working for myself *does* have the advantage of no vending machines, ha! But my downfall is potato chips — salty, crunchy, delicious. I gave them up several years ago for Lent and have managed to keep myself from indulging ever since. Still, just like a former alcoholic, I find myself craving “one more”!! I know they’re my weakness, so I can’t have them — ’nuff said. Good luck with your Cheez-Its dilemma, Dawn.


  10. Favorite snack? Depends on the moment. I wonder why so many things in my life seem to depend on the moment? I feel this turning into a blog post.



  11. At the moment, i.e., the last few days, snack-size Reese’s have been my downfall. If only trick-or-treaters had come in droves to the bookstore the way they used to do years ago!


  12. I’m all too familiar with the routine. I’ve been giving up stuff one thing at a time. Ice cream is my favorite snack right now. I blame it on the nearby organic dairy that makes the creamiest, butteriest ice cream in the world. Never mind that I have to drive out of the way to get there. It’s still their fault. 😉 Good luck with the Cheez-Its.


    • Another favorite! There is no such thing as bad ice cream as far as I can see…but organic dairy ice cream? We have a dairy farm near us…I drive by it every single Saturday on the way to doggie school. Makes amazing ice cream. I’ve only gone twice this year. Sometimes I am tempted…but so far I’ve made it by on Saturday mornings. Sigh.


  13. Yes, it is a conspiracy. I remember watching a special on TV. The idea was to design foods and drinks with a fantastic flavor, but of short duration. So unlucky saps like us would eat/drink more.

    Dog Dad


  14. Try giving yourself absolute permission to eat the Cheez-Its as often as you want. . .and then say as you walk by the vending machine: Hi Cheez-its you look so delicious today, I am going to come back and buy a bag in 15 minutes. Do this again and again but allow yourself to be distracted by washing your hands or getting a glass of water, or eating a bag of peanuts before you go back. It’s the resistance to what you want that wears you down. When you say yes to yourself, more often than not you decide you really don’t want it. Telling yourself No is bound to cause an inner tantrum especially if you are under stress.
    Works for me when I do it ….which isn’t always


  15. Interesting that so many people have responded to this–it’s something almost everyone wrestles with, isn’t it!

    Ditto what My Odd Family said–telling yourself “no” all the time isn’t a successful strategy for everyone. My toddler nephew, years ago, started banging his head against the wall at the least provocation, alarming his mom. They mentioned it to his pediatrician, and the doc asked, “how many times a day do you say “no” to him?” When they did a better job of childproofing and found more creative ways to deter him from doing things he shouldn’t, the head-banging stops. One thing that sometimes works for me is, “I am making a healthy choice today (and only today) and saving my points for something that I also like but that is healthier and more filling. I’ll worry about tomorrow tomorrow.”

    Sometimes I have the strength to resist my favorites (e.g., not downing an entire bag of mellowcreme pumpkins in a single day), and sometimes I don’t. A couple of things that sometimes work for me: Get the bag of [whatever], but put it somewhere where you have to go get it (do yo have a fridge at work?). Then when you want one, walk there and take one. Eat it in small bites without doing anything else so that you really taste the taste and feel the texture. Allow yourself to get one every 20 minutes but only if you really really want it. I find that I can often go a day from one slowly nibbled mellowcreme pumpkin to the next. Might work for cheese-its. Also helps if I have a cup of water and sip from it after every nibble–it clears my palate and lets me taste each nibble afresh, which is pretty cool, actually.

    Weight Watchers points… yep, they changed the program about 3 years ago, so number of points for things has changed and how many points per day has changed. Also the minimum # of daily points varies depending on your current weight. Plus you still get the weekly points allowance on top of the minimum daily points to spend any time during the week that you want to spend them. So if you can in fact arrange your meals and snacks so that you eat a healthy set of foods on your minimum daily points (mostly fruit & vegetables and “power foods”), then you’ve still got 49 points to spend during the week any way you want. Which, I hate to point out, would be equivalent to one bag of cheese-its a day :-). But you would definitely have to stay at those minimum daily points for everything else. And keep doing your daily walks!


  16. P.S. Yes, the manufacturers DO put things into junk food that increase your craving–taste and texture are very well studied sciences!


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