Exploding Oatmeal and Other Hazards

quakerYesterday, my oatmeal exploded in the microwave at work.  I make oatmeal every day and I have to keep an eagle eye on it because Mr. Quaker Oats sometimes gets a bad attitude.  Well, there were other people in the lunch room hogging using the space in front of the microwaves to make their coffee, so I was trying to be courteous and give them some room.  Next thing I know, I see my oatmeal spilling over the top of my bowl.  I leapt forward and grabbed the door, almost bashing my co-worker Lois in the head as I yanked it open, and then stared sadly at the mess.

My first thought was not, “Ew- what a mess” or “Wow, I hope I didn’t kill Lois” but was, “Rats. Now I have less food to eat.”  My second thought was, “I wonder if I can salvage any of the stuff that spilled over” followed by my third thought of, “Gross, Sue.  You might eat a random M&M off the floor but you will not stoop to eating boiled over oatmeal off the bottom of the work microwave”.  For the record, I had to repeat this to myself twice, and thankfully Lois was still in the lunchroom or I may have succumbed to thought #2.  Haha!  Just kidding!  That would be so disgusting!  I would never do that!  (No, really, I might have.  Lois unknowingly saved me, even after I tried to kill her with the microwave door.)

I hate having my food routine disturbed.  It just leaves the door open for those irrational rationalizations, where my brain tries to justify eating 10 cookies to make up for the disruption.   “You poor dear!  You didn’t get a full 1/3 cup of oatmeal today.  Have a pan of brownies.”  I know what you are all thinking.  You are all thinking I should overcook my oatmeal everyday and replace it with cookies because oatmeal is like eating wall paste and good Lord if your going to eat something as bad for you as wall paste you might as well eat cookies.  And if I’m going to eat cookies, bring on the chocolate cake, because even Bill Cosby knows chocolate cake is full of nutrition!

Perhaps you are wondering if I grew up as a starving child in China (“There are starving children in China that go hungry every day!  Eat your wall paste!”) but no.  I grew up in a middle class home and never went to bed hungry – not even as a punishment.  My mom was a wizard in the kitchen and could make a pound of hamburger stretch for all 7 of us, including my Dad and my brother.  No, I’m just a food addict.  No meth or crack for this girl!  But whoa!  Is that a bakery?  I think I’ll stop in and mainline a chocolate donut.

Because I am a food addict, I need to have a strict food plan of no sugar or wheat, and I need to follow it.  I have fallen off the wagon these last three years, and really have no desire to get back on it, even though I know the sugar and flour just keep feeding the beast.  Before this, I went four years without it passing my lips.  I lost 80 pounds.  Gained confidence and moved up in my company.  Ran my first half marathon. Hit the upper 90’s in my health assessment at work.  Felt absolutely fantastic, physically and emotionally.  Except when I felt deprived – like at birthdays when others were celebrating with cake or at Christmas when I passed the cookie tray without taking one of my mom’s cut-outs (my favorite), or on vacation with the Daver or at Easter when I passed the rows and rows and ROWS of unbelievably delicious Robin Eggs and other confections (why do we celebrate religious holidays with so much chocolate?  A fattening mystery…).

So where am I now?  I am somewhere trying to find the balance.  I want to have my cake and eat it too (pun totally intended) but I don’t want to give up my health doing it.  I have gained back some weight, but not all.  I have held on to certain food habits – like lots of fruits and veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins – and most certainly my exercise habits have stayed.  I don’t run as much – I would like to have fully functioning knees and hips when I am 80 – but I do bike, swim, inline skate, kayak, walk, hike, snowshoe, and hang out in the gym doing burpees and jump squats and dive bombers (oh my!).  Since regressing back to sugar, I have done another half marathon, ridden 2500 miles on my bike, taken another position in my company, and performed 10 billion burpees.  Yes, you heard me.  10. BILLION. BURPEES.


And you know what?  I think I’m okay with where I am.  Yes, I still struggle.  Yes, I still have food issues.  But at the end of the day, I would rather eat a celebratory piece of birthday cake on my dad’s 82nd birthday.  I would rather go out with the Daver and have pizza and a couple of beers while we talk and laugh about our week.  I would rather bike 100 miles with Kay, eating strawberry shortcake at the rest stops.  Or have dessert with the girls at the end of our night out.  Or eat a cannoli at Mike’s Pastry in Boston even if it means getting blisters because I am stupidly wearing brand new shoes.  Or eating Garrett’s cheesy popcorn while watching my niece run in the Chicago Marathon.  And you know why?  Because life is meant to be lived, and sometimes living involves eating delicious foods that have no nutritional value.


Some people are blessed with high metabolisms or the ability to eat a single brownie, but I am not one of them.  I am a big-boobed, 49-year-old woman, with stretch marks and jiggle, that loves a good laugh and cake with frosting and sprinkles.  But I just have to believe there is a balance and come hell or high water, I’m going to find it.  And when I do, I will share it with the world.  Meanwhile, I’ll be in the gym –  doing burpees.

What are your food downfalls?  How do you handle feeling food deprived?  Have you found balance in your own food plan and if so, what worked for you?  I love hearing from you and I love your feedback!  Please share in the comments below or on my FB page!

PS – I actually love oatmeal and seriously do eat it every day at work, with two – three hard-boiled eggs.  I like it best with almond milk and blueberries or apples and cinnamon.  Mmmmm!

Friend me here: FACEBOOK

Or here: TWITTER


For additional reading on body image acceptance, check out these blogs:

August McLaughlin’s Blog

Katrina Anne Willis


16 thoughts on “Exploding Oatmeal and Other Hazards

  1. Katrina Anne Willis

    Oh, my goodness! I can not get over how similar our journeys are! I was laughing so hard at Lois and the spilled oatmeal. And I feel exactly the same about certain food deprivations and rewards. Yes, you deserve an entire pan of brownies — with icing! Of course! But the best part of this whole serendipitous post?? The Quaker Oats man picture. When my hubby and I first got engaged, I was rockin’ a Quaker Oats man haircut. Since finding our engagement picture, my kids can’t walk through the grocery store without busting a gut in the oatmeal aisle. 🙂 XO

    1. Sue Post author

      Love the Quaker Oats man hair image! I could do an entire post on my old hair styles…and glasses! And kids are such opportunists – mine have teased me about my Sally Jesse Raphael glasses…lol. I got so excited when I read your post yesterday – I probably sounded like a weirdo, but I just related so well! And the timing was so spot on. Anyway, thanks for stopping by – can’t wait to read more of your journey!

  2. sueslaght

    Great post Sue. Funny, honest and thought provoking. I have oatmeal every morning as well. Thankfully no recent explosions. I am all about living and enjoying life. So for me it’s a balance, lots of healthy exercise, lots of healthy food and treats from time to time. If there were a pan of brownies in my house I would eat every one…so such goodies I enjoy going out for but don’t have them too available.

    1. Sue Post author

      That’s a great practice (to not have it available) – but my Dave is the “high metabolism” type (I swear he runs completely on sugar and never gains an ounce) and we usually have something in the house. Most times I can stay away from it, unless it’s homemade. That’s a rarity thank goodness! Lol.

  3. Anne

    Laughing so hard! I relate this to the occasional French fry “ripoff” when counting points (if you don’t know what points are then you’re one of the people Sue refers to with high metabolisms). You know what I mean, when the bag is hardly full & they think you’ll give them full point value…NOT! Yet when it is overflowing, that counts the same. After all, it not you’re fault they overfilled the bag….;-)

    1. Sue Post author

      Exactly!! Same with the mcd’s ice cream cone. No matter how big the new kid behind the counter makes it, it’s still only 180 calories. 🙂

  4. Your SIS!

    My favorite oatmeal is Oatfit! Not too expensive. 100 calories a serving. Cinnamon flavor. It even has flax in it! 90 minutes in the microwave and so far no boil overs!!! By the way I have a friend who occasionally over cooks her oatmeal in the microwave too….her boyfriend said she had Alzheimer’s because she would let that happen….seems like we would all be in trouble if that were true!
    P.S. he is no longer her boyfriend…LOL.

    1. Sue Post author

      My friend Dawn also sings the praises of Oatfit. I’ll have to see if I can find it. And do you really cook it for 90 minutes? Cuz pretty sure that might set the microwave on fire and I already did that at work with popcorn once. Lol

  5. Terri

    I am glad to know Burpees are not new Tupperware containers! I will have to try them–I like the newbie instructional videos you added but will wait to b e sure Pete is around in case I get stuck. As a member of your immediate family with access to mom’s cooking over the years, I definitely know where you are coming from! And to think I passed up her pies in my younger years–I must have been nuts! But I never ever passed up on her chocolate cake until that Easter 1988 as I had given up sugar. I think mom almost had a heart attack. I think I almost did, too, because she makes the best cake ever! But survived we both did. Love my sweets. Love my bread. Love my crackers. Love my sausage and cheese. And they all contain 26 points–end of day–bleah!!! Thanks, Sue, for the fun blog 🙂 Love, your favorite oldest sister.

    1. Sue Post author

      You ARE my favorite oldest sister. 🙂 And I miss mom’s chocolate cake – I wonder if we can get her to make that instead of cookies for Christmas this year? Have fun with the burpees- they are great fat burners but they do suck.

  6. Amy Shojai, CABC

    ROTFL! I’ve actually done the oatmeal scoopy thing…not at work but here at home (at least I know the microwave got cleaned thoroughly beforehand). And my downfall is Cheetos. Totally addictive. And you can’t hide those stained orange fingers, either. Great post!

    1. Sue Post author

      Ha! I have done it at home too-for the same reason – I know when it was last cleaned. Cheetos are delicious- I feel your orange fingered pain. 😉

  7. Joanne T Ferguson (@mickeydownunder)

    G’day Sue! Always spit my coffee our in laughter, today, true!
    Spilling the oatmeal, Bill Cosby (is one of my favorites) and is great how much you accomplished and I too believe everything in balance or moderation.
    Just curious (am not a doctor or life preacher lol), have you tried Xylitol? It is a sugarless sugar, no after taste; can cook and bake with it so as to have that cake and eat it too!
    If you would like to know more, feel free to contact me! Cheers! Joanne
    Glad your post today I did see!

    1. Sue Post author

      Thanks, Joanne. No, never tried Xylitol, except for having it in my gum. 🙂 I don’t bake too often – would much rather be the recipient! But thanks for the tip – I will let you know if I decide to try it, as I would probably need some guidance!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s