Remember several years ago when there was all this talk about the tobacco companies adding extra nicotine to cigarettes, causing smokers to become even more addicted?  Well, I’m convinced the snack food industry is up to the same thing.  I’m not sure exactly what they’re adding to the food that is stocked in vending machines but whatever it is it’s got to be addicting.  I know this because I’ve developed a serious problem with cheetos ho-hos and I need to quit before I get too far and one day find myself free-balling red vines and diet coke. 

For those of you who are lucky enough to avoid this trap, please heed my warning: STAY AWAY FROM CHEETOS!  They are clearly a gateway drug. 

I never considered myself a to be prone to such things.  Sure, I dabbled in the occasional fiddle-faddle and beer when I was in college but that’s not really junk food.  And besides, I never really tasted it. 

When I finally discovered the joy and comfort of the afternoon cheeto snack a few months ago I was foolish enough to think I could handle it.  Dear god, was I wrong. 

It started as a Friday afternoon treat.  I’d hit the 3pm low and rather than try to struggle with focusing on work for another few hours I started treating myself to a bag of cheetos from the vending machine to celebrate the upcoming weekend.  Gradually I started including Mondays as well, to help get out of the rest of the week blues.  Before I knew it I was having a bag everyday.  But at that point I still thought I could handle it.  I mean, we all need an afternoon snack right? 

The major denial began when I started grabbing a bag at lunchtime as well.  I knew lunchtime cheetos were trouble but wouldn’t let myself see the truth.  Instead I lost myself in their salty, cheesy goodness and pushed the guilt aside, twice a day. 

I kept this up for about a month before I added ho-hos to the mix.  It started one morning when I saw the pack staring at me from behind the vending machine glass.  I could practically hear that thing telling me how good the chocolatey, creamy cake could taste with my coffee.  I knew it was wrong but I went for it anyway.  I didn’t care.  And man did that ho-ho deliver!  It was indecent how that ho-ho tasted in my mouth.  I obsessed about it for the next 24 hours and before the week was up I was adding a ho-ho chaser to my afternoon cheetos. 

That’s when I got scared and decided to stop.  And I have to sayIMAG0023_edited a double cheeto/ho-ho habit is not that hard to break.  V-8 juice seems to satisfy my taste for savory stuff and fage fat free yogurt with fresh blueberries gives me my creamy-sweet.  And when I absolutely must I pull out a bag of baby carrots.  The sure don’t look like cheetos but for a brief moment their bright orange color fools me into thinking I’m reuniting with my old friend.