N is for Nemesis

N is for Nemesis

I have one Nemesis in my life. It’s a simple one. It’s a vice that I wish I could beat. My nemesis is sometimes tricky–it can lay dormant for awhile and I think I have it under control. Then my Nemesis pays me a visit.

What is my nemesis?


Recently I wrote about Happy Weight and making peace with my body image, peace with the number on the scale. I know that I could lose those “last few pounds” if I didn’t battle so much with my nemesis.

I really wish that I was a stronger person and could resist having dessert every day, but I just can’t. While I stay within my calorie range for the day, I do eat dessert most nights. Sometimes it’s a hot cocoa. Sometimes it’s cookies or ice cream. I try to choose low calorie options.

See, I love dessert. I always have. Dessert was my trigger food. Dessert was one of the main reasons I was obese. I loved ice cream and ate cartons by myself. Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food. Peppermint ice cream during Christmas time…I loved it.

Since I can’t completely kill my nemesis, I try to resist it as much as I can. I trick my brain by eating alternatives.  While I talk on and on about eating whole, real foods, I do believe that eating lower calorie alternatives of dessert is a-okay.  Sometimes I just need a TASTE to satisfy that craving.

I’m working on not feeling bad about myself when I eat treats. I’m eating them in moderation, within my calories for the day, so why am I beating myself up about it? Why do I feel like a failure for the day if I indulge in dessert? I don’t understand it myself. I do know that after years of restricting in order to lose weight, certain foods because trigger foods that I just avoided. So maybe it just takes some rewiring of my brain.

Recently I  wrote about how I was trying to break the habit of mindlessly snacking on candy at work. It was a habit that I wanted to break because I was WASTING so many calories each day eating candy that I didn’t even really LIKE. It wasn’t worth it. And I always felt bad about myself when I gave in to the temptation. I felt like I had failed for the day. For no particular reason, I decided that I would avoid snacking on candy from The Candy Room. A week went by and I was successful. Then another week went by and I realized I didn’t miss it.

This is not the first time I’d tried to avoid The Candy Room. I did it once before a year ago. But it only lasted about a week. I avoided eating candy and chocolate of any kind for a week. But once the week was up, I was eating candy and dessert again. I had a light bulb moment. I realized this time around that the dessert wasn’t the issue: the candy at WORK was the issue. If I just resisted the mindless munching during work hours, I made it through the day. Having a treat at night for dessert was enough sugar to satisfy the craving keep me from eating it at work. I realized once again that moderation is key: completely eliminating something from my life just made me want it more. But allowing myself to eat it in a certain scenario worked. I saved hundreds of calories a day by not eating candy at work. And was happier for it. AND I still got to enjoy a small dessert at home.

How I “Trick” My Brain

Some of my favorite desserts are low in calories. Here are some ideas I have to share that I frequently use myself:

1. Pudding. Making some chocolate pudding is a good option for a treat. I like that it’s easy to make and there are lower calorie options. For less than 200 calories you can enjoy a chocolate dessert. Who doesn’t like pudding?

2. Vanilla ice cream with fruit. In the summer time I add slices of strawberries to my vanilla ice cream. Sometimes I’ll drizzle a little light chocolate sauce on it too. Love the flavors!

3. Fruit Crumble. There are lots of quick recipes you can do to make a fruit crumble. One I used to do was cooking apple slices in a skillet with a little brown sugar, top with granola cereal and a scoop of ice cream–yum!

4. Fruit and honey. I recently made a dessert for a dinner party that was a hit. It was slices of pears with goat cheese, toasted walnuts and drizzled with honey. It was delicious and healthy.

5. Dark Chocolate. A few years ago I made the switch to dark chocolate. It’s so much healthier and after getting used to the dark, rich flavor I started to prefer it over any other chocolate. It’s good because it’s hard to eat a LOT of dark chocolate!

QUESTION: What is YOUR nemesis? What’s your battle plan?


A-Abstinence * B-Balance * C-Calories * D-Vitamin D * E-Emergency * F-Fast Food and Fine Dining * G-Gym Bag * H-Happy Weight * I-Intervals * J-Jumping * K-Keeping Sane * L-Losing Weight * M-Measuring Mistakes *

Author: Lisa Eirene

About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and Glamour.com.

12 thoughts on “N is for Nemesis”

    1. You can have several! Bread is a common one. And it seems like everyone I follow on Twitter is obsessed with cereal. 🙂 I have to admit, I’ve had cereal for dinners many times!

      Pudding is a good dessert. It satisfies a lot of cravings.

  1. So lately I’ve been adding some of the sugar free/fat free chocolate pudding powder mix to my FF plain Greek yogurt and it tastes chocolately and it is very filling! A few years I gave up dessert in the evening – I am fine with having a cup of decaf coffee (I like hazelnut or french vanilla) or tea and that is enough to signal to my brain that is the end of the meal.

    My nemesis I would have to say is SALTY CRUNCHY stuff. And these days I’m just not having it, not even a little bit. There will be room in my life for pita chips again but while I’m really trying hard to see the number on the scale go down I’m just not even playing with having smaller portions.

  2. I had 2 BIG nemesis. Peanut butter and cereal. For the peanut butter I had to keep it out of the house for about a year. It is back in the house and my plan of action is to allow and enjoy 1 TBLS a day of peanut butter. I put it on top of my oatmeal so it gets all gooey and it is pure bliss for me. I think knowing that I will have it again the next day has freed me from that all or nothing mentality. I also eat it guilt free- which is wonderful!

    Now, for the cereal. I just can’t eat any cereal. I have tried and it ALWAYS starts binge like behavior. I just can’t stop. Therefore- I just can’t have it. *sigh*
    Jill recently posted..Time to Poop!

    1. Sometimes it is just better to avoid it. And maybe some day after you have maintained for a long time, you can have those things in the house without it triggering something. It took me a long time and I definitely struggle once in awhile but for the most part my trigger foods don’t have as much power over me.

  3. My nemesis is sweets and homemade fresh breads! Oh my, if it weren’t for those things I’d probably be underweight! I just love sweets of any kind. I’ve gone back and forth between just totally eliminating them and moderation. Both approaches are difficult. Just tonight I was contemplating whether I should make myself a chocolate lava cake instead of eating dinner so I could have it and still stay under my calorie goal! I ate a healthy dinner instead and am planning to make myself a healthier version of chocolate mousse with Greek yogurt.
    Laura Jane recently posted..What to Do When the Going Gets Rough

    1. Haha! I don’t mean to laugh but I have so been there. In fact, just last night I asked Twitter if I could just eat cookies for dinner instead! I almost did, too. But I reigned it in and ate a REAL dinner (boo) and had some dessert. I was a little over my calories for the day but under 2,000 so I figured I was good.

      Sweets are a killer for me too. I wish I had a magic answer for you. Most days I can stay on top of it, but every once in awhile (like yesterday) I just want to go nuts with it.

  4. Hi Lisa. Great, thought provoking post. I think my nemisis is more savory, but a nemisis all the same. BTW…pears with goat cheese, nuts and honey sounds AMAZING to me. I’m putting that in the “try when company comes over” file. Hope you have a fantastic week.

  5. Choc Chips….a bag in the freezer…one handful leads to another…one taste and I am screaming for more. BUT if I add those choc chips to something substantial and sit down and ENJOY them…I am good…its when I do it in a mindless pass by that I get into trouble.

    I love choc chips on top off choc chia seed pudding right now 🙂 (1/4 chia seeds, 1and 11/4 cups almond milk, 1TBSP of honey or agave nectar, 1-2 TBSP of coca powder…let sit for a min of 2 hours overnight is best) YUMMY!
    Katie Squires recently posted..Liebster Award

    1. Man, all you guys have some really great ideas on how to indulge in my nemesis!!! 🙂 Your idea sounds delicious. I discovered the wonderfulness of frozen chocolate a long time ago. It’s so good.

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