Why You Should Have a "Stash"

Photo by Denny Müller on Unsplash

CONFESSION: I have a stash.

Ok. That's a lie.

I have stashes.

Let's see...there's a drawer full of chocolate bars. There are two candy jars full of chocolate truffles. Then there's a Rubbermaid bin full of chips and crackers. Oh, and let's not forget the shelf full of cookies.

Also, there are endless baking supplies in case the urge ever strikes to get in the kitchen and whip-up a batch of...whatever.

I bake a lot; I find it relaxing. I like to put on an audiobook and get in the kitchen and mix things.

I give away most of what I bake; I used to give it away because I felt guilty about the food. Now I give it away because after eating one of the dozen cookies I've made, I'm over it and am happy to share my carefully-crafted goodies. To me baking is like arts and crafts, but useful because you get to eat the project at the end. ;)

People ask me all the time "How are you not the size of a house?" when I share my baking with them. I bake often and give away my baking on a regular basis, so people are naturally curious.

So why am I not "the size of a house?" 

It's because of one thing: PERMISSION.

I've finally given myself permission to eat.

I spent most of my life feeling as though I wasn't supposed to eat because food = getting fat.

And really yummy food (cake!) means getting VERY fat.

(Perhaps you can relate?)

But then I began practicing a counterintuitive approach to eating; I found that by giving myself permission to eat anything I wanted, any time I wanted, my desire to eat cake and all the things diminished.


Now you might be sitting there thinking "Well it's great that that worked for you, but I cannot possibly do that because I will eat all the things."

And you know what?

You're right.

You will eat all the things.

For a while.

If you've deprived yourself for weeks, months, or years, you will rebound eat.

For a while.

But eventually the novelty will wear off; when you can have any food you want, any time you want, you'll discover you don't want it all the time.

You'll crave healthy food, eventually.

You'll be able to have your kryptonite food in the house and it will expire because you'll forget about it. (This now happens to me ALL THE TIME.)

That's why you should have a "stash" in the house at all times.

I know, I know.

I can hear you doubting me right now.

But trust me.

People who live with a designated stash don't generally obsess over it. That's because it's not a stash to them; it's not a shameful secret. It's something they don't think about unless they're in the mood for a chocolate truffle.

As a lifelong dieter, chocolate was never allowed. That's why I used to treat it like something to be hoarded whenever I found myself alone with my forbidden fruit. It didn't even matter if I was in the mood for sweets, or even if it was the kind of chocolate I liked.

My brain was conditioned to just smash and grab, adding to my stash or stuffing my face because this might be my last chance; chocolate and all of its sugary brethren could be taken away at any moment as I embarked on my next diet.

Photo by Luis Aguila on Unsplash

Growing up, my mom was very health conscious and wouldn't allow any 'fun' treats in the house. We never had boxes of cookies, bags of chips or colourful cereals in the cupboard.

(I once convinced my mother to buy Strawberry Shortcake cereal, but when she saw that it turned the milk pink, she was horrified and gave it to our neighbours.)

When I quit dieting and began giving myself permission to eat, I made a point of creating fun-food security for myself, specifically around the foods I'd behaved like a crazy person around. (Meaning all the foods my mom had never allowed in the house.)

I literally went to the grocery store and loaded my cart with boxes of cookies, cartons of cereal, and bags of chips.

On MULTIPLE occasions.

Over the span of a YEAR.

It took me that long to trust that I could have any of those foods any time I wanted; that I wasn't going to take them away from myself.

And eventually the novelty wore off.

And now things expire in my cupboard all the time. To the point where - when I'm at the store now - I think carefully before putting any of those fun-foods into my cart; not because I'm worried about getting fat, but because I ask myself whether I'm actually going to eat the thing or if it's just going to end up in the trash because it got old. Again.

I promise you that if you give yourself full and total permission to eat anything you want, any time you want, and that you have a stash of all of your favourite foods around at all times, the novelty will wear off.

Your brain might freak out at first, telling you to eat your whole stash in one sitting, just in case. But if you keep it around regardless, that voice in your head will eventually shush.

We don't behave like FERAL ANIMALS around the mundane and plentiful things in our lives. 

When your brain knows for sure your stash isn't going anywhere, it won't hold on for dear life.

So get yourself a stash.

Keep it well stocked with all of your favourite things at all times.

And eventually the novelty will wear off.

Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash


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