I have added a few years of eating since I first wrote an article. Life had been going pretty well for a long time; while not a perfect record of healthy eating was maintained, at least my weight kept within about 10 to 12 pounds or so of fluctuation.

I am admittedly a “vacation” eater and drinker. Some of you readers might identify with that. It works pretty well for me as long as I can get right back to it after a week or so “off.” I was going along with that plan happily until recently—COVID-19 has really thrown a monkey wrench into everything.


I’ve had to be in “self-isolation” at home, just like hundreds of thousands of others. I had to take a trip to California for a family situation; since I’ve been back, I have isolated myself from even my husband out of extreme caution.

In our home, there is one side of the house that has a guest room, my home office, and a bathroom in between. I have been living 99 percent of my time in that space. My husband and I take turns in the kitchen, and I wipe everything down with antiseptic wipes each time I’m there. Am I being overly paranoid? I don’t know, but that’s better than being underly paranoid, right?


I am in Day 5 of the 14-day quarantine, which seems like a month already! This is the farthest thing from vacation that I can imagine, but my body thinks that’s what’s happening. I can’t go for an hour without thinking about what I can eat next. If this “shelter-in-place” program lasts as long as I think it will, I could be in BIG trouble (pun intended).

I know that I’m not the only one with this dilemma. A friend posted on Twitter a couple of days ago that he went to the grocery store to stock up for several days and then came home and ate everything he bought that night! Chelsea Handler tweeted that she had to set an alarm on her phone for three hours and make herself wait that long before going back to her kitchen.


The first day back from my trip, there wasn’t much food in the house—at least not the kind of food I wanted. I had a huge sugar craving and nothing to satisfy it. Then I remembered I had a stash of Charms Blow-Pops (the ones with bubble gum in the middle) that I’d put away a couple of years before for when the grandchildren visited.

YES, that’s the ticket!

So, I found them in the back of my office closet and tore into one. It was my favorite—cherry. It was delicious! Then I got to the bubble gum part (remember I told you I had bought it a couple of years ago), and it was as hard as a pebble. But after I sucked on it awhile, it softened right up—Ahh, SO sweet—for about 5 seconds, and then it was nasty. Yesterday, I was actually craving a salad—yes, a salad. I asked my husband to drive through Zaxby’s to get a couple of their chicken topped salads (Zaxby’s calls them zalads) which is our all-time favorite drive-through meal. As he was going out the door I called, “See if they have anything sweet for dessert.”


When he returned a short time later, I took my salad into my sanctuary to enjoy, along with the brownie. I savored the salad, as always, and then was ready to chow down on that delicious looking brownie. It was so hard I couldn’t bite into it!

Not to be deterred, I used my teeth to scrape off layer after layer, and it was delicious. I felt like a baby with a teething biscuit, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying every little scrap. Last night, I was telling a friend about my prolonged adventure with my teething brownie, and she said, “Why didn’t you put it in the microwave for a few seconds? It would have softened right up.”

Oh well, next time I’ll know, but the good news is…I had 30 minutes of enjoyment instead of the 30 seconds it would have taken me to scarf it down!

Distracting My Mind

Today I decided that I have to do SOMETHING to get my mind off food. Watching hours of television, online browsing, and reading makes me want to snack mindlessly. I decided that I would take a walk outside, being very careful to stay far away from others out in the neighborhood. I had been walking for about 30 minutes when the beautiful spring breeze wafted allergens up my nose, making me have a sneezing attack.

I was careful to sneeze down the inside of my tee-shirt, but I could tell that people were looking at me like I was Typhoid Mary, so I hurried back home. I finished my walk inside, pacing the hallway between the bedroom and office. I was trying to listen to my audible book, but my mind kept drifting away with thoughts of what I could eat for dinner and when I can have my one glass of wine that I’m allowing myself.

I felt like a caged tiger, prowling back and forth looking through the bars, hoping to get out and eat somebody.

About the Author
40 Years a Dieter is a sassy senior who was a state tennis champion for years in her 30s and 40s and can still hit the tennis court pretty hard. Having tried nearly every diet fad that was promoted in the 80s, 90s, and throughout the new millennium, she’s definitely dabbled in diet for most of her adult life.