Breaking Up (with Junk Food) is Hard to Do

Editor's Note: The following three letters were finalists in our June 2005 Break-Up Letter Contest. We'd like to thank everyone who participated and voted. While the contest is closed, you can still read the top three letters below.

Letter #1

Dear Abby,

Help! I have been trying for a long time to break up with this friend of mine (we’ll call him Snickers because that is his real name. He’s not innocent and does not need to be protected). He just can’t seem to take the hint. We’ve been together for longer than I care to admit. We’ve had some wonderfully sweet times together. No matter how tired I get of my other friends, Snick is always there. At first it was okay. We were a pretty good team. But then he would just never go away. Sometimes I wanted to be alone, but every time I turned around he was there. For a long time I enjoyed having him in my purse or in my top dresser drawer. Then I realized he was keeping me from some very important relationships. I barely knew Apple and Banana, and Broccoli just didn’t feel welcomed when Snick was around. It would have been different if he liked my other friends. We could have all spent time together. But Snick became so selfish. He wanted to be the only one. I’ve tried to explain how I feel. He has become so possessive of me, wanting all of my time and attention. Frankly, I’m afraid of him. Sometimes I see him watching me from the pages of a magazine, from the TV, even from my own kitchen cupboards. I’ve become a victim of Snicker stalking. Please help me! If only I could make him understand there still is room in my life for him. But there are others I want to spend time with also. What can I do?


Dear Desperate,

Your problem is not uncommon. Many people out there find themselves in relationships that are too possessive, too selfish. I can sense from your letter that you are very upset with Snick. Take a moment to calm down and think clearly. Snick is feeling threatened right now. He used to be tops on your list. Now you’re bringing in more Apples, more Whole Grains, more Green Beans. Of course Snick is going to try harder than ever to get your attention. My advice to you is not to shut him out entirely. Invite your other friends in so you can all get to know each other. Let him hang around. As soon as he feels your friendship is secure, he won’t be so apt to require all of your attention. Let him know you still care. Let him know that most of your time is going to be devoted to Apple and Broccoli, Whole Grains and the others. If he feels you still care for him, he will be content to share you with others.


Letter #2

French Fries, we have to talk.

I don't know how to say this, but –

I can't see you anymore.

I just can't do it—the clandestine meetings, the sneaking around—it's just too much for me. My husband is beginning to suspect something.

Just yesterday, he found one of you on the floor of the car. I laughed nervously and denied everything but I think he knew I was lying.

I felt so ashamed!

And it started me thinking - I really love him!

We made a promise to each other, and I know you probably can't understand this, but our life together means more to me than anything.

I know, I know, we've had some good times together and yes, you've been there for me -- like the time I was so upset when my boss got mad at me. And when I was so nervous about giving that speech.

No, no, it's not you, it's me! I've changed.

I've found some new ways to deal with my emotions. And they're really helping. One thing I do is meditate or pray every night. Nothing happened at first, but over time, I find myself a little calmer, a little more capable of handling life's everyday stresses.

I also try to walk every day. You should try it, it really does clear your head!

And if I really get stressed, I write it all out in my journal.

So, you see, French Fries, I have to thank you for helping me out when I needed it.

But I think I can take it from here.

Letter #3

My Dear Beloved,

I'll never forget the day I met you, Mr. BLT Pizza. I was on a church youth group retreat in the winter of 2003. We stopped by a Happy Joe's Pizza Parlor on our way back to the cabin. I was expecting a pleasant time, for the parlor name indicated a cheerful, delightful atmosphere. I certainly wasn't looking for anyone new. A new love in my life was out of the question, for I had been dragged down and chubbed up by your kind before. The other women at the table spotted you first. They said you looked "delicious" and just wanted to "eat you up!" To be honest, you weren't my type. I wanted something safe and reliable; I wanted the strong, sturdy type. Plain ol' Mr. Cheese beckoned to me; however, the women were wild cats and insisted on you. Now, I don't hold them responsible. How were they to know you would slowly destroy my life? How could they know that your initials didn't only stand for Bacon Lettuce Tomato, but they also stood for Big Lying Traitor?

You were so deceiving. You covered yourself in layers of crisp lettuce and ripe tomatoes that I had to peel away to find the bad parts like fatty bacon, oozing mayo, and greasy crust. I couldn't figure out what I craved about you. What was I drawn to? I tried to convince myself that your lettuce and tomato exterior drew me to you. I told myself you were really a lettuce and tomato type of guy at heart. I'll admit it now; I was drawn to the bad boy in you. The mayo got me! The mayo! My family begged me to bid you farewell, but I couldn't. I was addicted to you. With a wild heart (and stomach and tongue and lips), I defied my family to be with you. When you invaded my mind, I wanted you right then and there. I'd throw you on the table and devour you. I found myself staying in with you more and more often. I invited a friend to hang out with us a few times, but I was too greedy. I couldn't share you!

Soon my thighs were straining to escape my jeans. I think they were trying to tell me to escape you. My stomach was rolling over my waistband. I felt it. I saw it. I saw the me that was the result of you. I saw my chin, Mrs. Chiseled Chin, and her new partner, Mr. Chubby Chin, who moved in after you came into my life. They had united to form a chin family. I didn't want to wait around for their children to emerge. It was enough.

I tried weaning myself off of you. I saw you less frequently and asked for smaller portions of you, but I couldn't bring myself to a complete halt. I kept going back to you and forgiving you for mistreating me. But not anymore! I've burned all your boxes with relish. I've rid my phone of your number. I've realized that I've mistreated myself more than you have mistreated me. I've allowed you to take control of my life. It's MY life. It's not OUR life. I have control of my life, and you don't belong in it with me. I don't need to be Mrs. BLT Pizza and have my initials stand for Bulky Lard Tooshie. You were a little too wild for me. I think it's time for me to find a real life partner, and that Mr. H2O over there is looking pretty refreshing!

You Don't Deserve the Sincerely Here You Jerk!

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