Some places I expect to see food: The grocery store, the convenience store attached to the gas station, vending machines in the break room. But the office supply store? The checkout in the sporting goods store? Book stores? Coffee shops? Auto parts store? The chance to succumb to the devil in my head and impulsively purchase a chocolaty, sugary, calorie-laden snack is at every turn these days. Whomever invented those tiny cake balls on a stick needs flogging.

How am I supposed to control my weight around this?

I've gotten reasonably good at navigating the temptation minefields of the grocery store. I make sure I'm not starving, stick to my list, and screw my resolve up for 30 to 45 minutes as I shop. But how on earth am I supposed to permanently stay in a state of "no, no, no," when the voice in my head is saying, "Just this once?" Like a mother giving in to a screaming 5 year old, sometimes you just buy the dang toy to get some peace.

I'll admit, for the few minutes after I eat that candy bar, I feel a little happy. I do. The voice in my head says, "You deserved it - you work hard!" I relax and continue to convince myself that candy bars are hard-earned rewards.

That voice eventually slips away as the fat and sugar seep their way into my body like a drug fix. That's when I'm left with the rest of me - staring at the crumpled wrapper licked clean. I feel like a disgusting animal, unable to control the slightest urge. My own dog can stay out of a 30-pound bag of food sitting wide open on the laundry room floor. I'm no better than a dog. Oh the guilt ... the shame ... the self-hatred.

But then the "you suck" wave fades a little, too. I realize the candy bar was 350 calories and I haven't had one in awhile. If I skip my usual evening bowl of cereal and eat a modest dinner, I'll be fine. Granted, it wasn't my most nutritious choice but in the grand scheme of things, it wasn't that big of a deal. Steamed broccoli with dinner offsets anything.

In a world of "here a snack, there a snack, everywhere a snack-snack," I gotta move from trying to control my weight (and my life for that matter) to a mindset of management. Give a little here, take a little there - manage the day-to-day - and don't hate myself.

• NSCA certified personal trainer Shannon Sorrels has a bachelor's degree in chemistry and an MBA. Her company, Physix LLC, works with Valley individuals as well as groups to improve their overall fitness. Reach her at (480) 528-5660 or visit

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