Poptart theology…

There are no adequate words to express to you just how much I love PopTarts. Well, more accurately, how much I love frosted Strawberry PopTarts. I actually do not care for any other flavor of store bought “toaster pastry” at all, and really only like PopTart when it comes to strawberry. (I do also really enjoy Toaster Strudel cherry, but do not like cherry PopTart or Strawberry Toaster Strudel. I’m a complex girl.)

I went several years avoiding this silly (terrible for you) “breakfast” treat because of the very reason I just mentioned: the are TERRIBLE for you! (All hail the 80’s childhood, where a bowl of sugary cereal became a balanced breakfast once you added a PopTart or toast with jam and a cup of fake orange mystery named after both sunshine and happiness…) Then, a couple of years ago I was sent an article about the top tips for managing a life with Fibromyalgia and one of them was to keep a container by your bedside with easy to eat “comfort foods” for bad flare days, and the TOP suggestion was POPTARTS! This exclusively gave me permission to add them to my grocery cart on my next super market trip. They’ve been making a regular, though not constant, appearance ever since.

I’ll let you in on a few secrets though… First, when PopTarts are in the house, they are my go-to “food”. I’ve never been a big breakfast maker, for just myself, though I have top notch intentions. So, when all of a sudden, late in the morning I realize that I am painfully hungry, what is easiest and handy? PopTart! Hours later I forget all intentionality when it comes to lunch and am once again feeling those terrible hunger pains- PopTart to the rescue. Evening snack? Yep, pretty sure you see where this is headed. Suddenly my box of 12 is gone, never a space-packet of their tasty evil making it to my bedside, which is best because I’d just eat them in bed while Chw was trying to sleep and this is a nightmare of different proportions…

The other day the husband accompanied me to the supermarket and it was by sheer accident that we ended up in the PopTart isle, noticing they were on sale. Here is the conversation that ensued…

M- the 12 count is $2.50. That’s pretty good, right?

C- yes, because the 8 count is $3 Who does the math here?

M- Aren’t you buying an 8 count of Raspberry ones for work?

C- yes. I’ve never had them and they sound like a nice snack. (in all fairness, half the box will be gone by APRIL. this is exactly how PopTarts should be eaten, if they must.)

M- well then I guess it doesn’t matter WHO does the math, because most of the flavors only come in 8 count so people will buy them anyway.

C- you can go through them pretty quick. (yeah. thanks.) I wonder, what about these? (he points to “healthier” options.

M- those are $4 for 8!

C- but they are healthier for you.

M- They are gross.

C- so you’d eat less of them.

M- I’ll just get the 12 count. Remember, they ARE the best Fibro food.

C- I think it’s more like they are the easiest Fibro Flare food, not the best. (here he notices something on the bottom shelf.) What about this 36 count for $6?

M- WHAT?!?!?! That’s a good deal! (no, misty. NO IT ISN’T. This is NOT REAL FOOD…)

C- it is less expense in the long run. Do you want to get them?

I really pondered this, you guys… and here is where the moral of this whole ridiculously humiliating (but pathetically honest) post culminates in something resembling a point:

M- no. No. I mean, I DO want to get them, but I can’t. I can’t because then I will just eat them, and I don’t need to eat 36 PopTarts.

C- I wish they had Raspberry in the 12 count. (notice here how he’s wishing for MORE of the “pastry” he has NEVER tasted, simply on the faith of my own devotion and the not repulsiveness of my PopTarts)

M- I mean, at least we are choosing healthier PopTarts, right? We could be buying the 12 or 36 count of Hot Fudge Sundae or Smores flavor.

C- That’s totally true.

Why?!?!? What is wrong with me? First of all, I completely befell to PopTart shaming, which should be beneath me. More importantly, I was absolutely willing to give myself the frank boundary of not having a ridiculous number of handheld garbage to consume, and pat myself on the back for such a decision. YET- yet I wasn’t willing to not buy them, or buy them for the very reason I allowed them into my diet again in the first place… AND FURTHERMORE why was I wanting to congratulate myself on the fact that at least I wasn’t consuming the crappier crap.

In high school, walking home one day I turned to my best friend (who incidentally was a guy) “I know I’m overweight, but am I as fat as that girl walking ahead of us?” Emphatically, lovingly and protectively he assured me that of course I was not. Of the thousands of lifetime conversations this person and I have had, this is one of the ones that sticks near top of my memory bank. The truth is that his words were meaningless. His guarantee was filtered through his care for me and my feelings, not fact. I asked him because I knew this truth, even if I didn’t want to admit it. (I was a terrible person for asking it in the first place. What did it matter?)

Maybe we are all guilty of allowing “a little to a moderate amount” of garbage in, but standing resolute that the line is drawn and no more, beyond that.

Maybe we allow someone to verbally abuse us, but determine we will not allow physical violence. At least my boyfriend doesn’t hit me like Sally’s does

At least I’m not covered in bruises like she is…

Sure, my husband goes out for drinks with female coworkers even though he knows it hurts me, but at least he comes home

Extreme comparisons aside- it is an unhealthy pattern that I see woven throughout SO MANY areas of my life. Just a little, but at least it’s not this kind/much/blah blah blah.

We have to stop.

Loving myself does not mean limiting my PopTarts to when they are on sale alone, it might just mean deciding my body is better than any PopTarts at all. Now Chw with his box of 8 that will last him 3-6 months- he’s ok with the occasional indulgence. He’s good on the PTs, he doesn’t seem to have a problem. Me? I’m pretty great with having anything else around, but put a box of those within my reach and my next meal will be a guarantee.

What is your “PopTart”? (we’ve all got something… something we expect ourselves to tolerate and settle for.)

{oh hey, by the way! Have you listened to the latest episode of the Collective Podcast? This week is a GREAT one! And If you wouldn’t mind, could you please subscribe and give us a rating? We will love you forever! xoxo}

2 Comments

  1. I feel your pain, though I’ve never eaten a pop tart. I probably shouldn’t try one either!! My treat is mac and cheese. I can’t have dairy though so I get the dairy-free but I shouldn’t have yeast either and that’s in the brand I get. I only get it on sale, very rarely but I think about it all the time. Weird. Yes, definitely better to respect your body and think about how much better your body feels than any junk food tastes, but sometimes you just have to give in! Thanks for sharing!! 💕

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