Serving Size: 15 chips

Serving Size: 15 chips

Elizabeth Cheng | Art by Audrey Wong

Lay’s Chips. A scrumptious treat to enjoy while watching a movie, sports game, or having a conversation. The classic bright yellow bag is a birthday party staple, bringing happiness to whoever may be the consumer. Crispy, salty, and greasy. Each chip delivers the perfect crunch in your mouth, the salt dissolves into your taste buds, the flavor reaches every corner of your body. It’s the original chip, the perfect, all-American snack, lifting the mood and bringing everyone together. It just feels so good

But then, it also doesn’t. You aren’t at a party. You’re not with a friend, having a conservation. You are alone in your room, doing absolutely nothing as each second ticks by faster and faster. Each minute the guilt seeps in further and further, like oil soaking up every inch of your body. The mushy feeling in your stomach forces your arms to hug the cramp harder and harder, even though it just continues to tighten. There’s simply too much food that wants to come back up, but it can’t. As you turn the bag around and stare at the words on the label, your jaw tightens and your fingers immediately start to pick at the delicate skin around your nails. You try to take a deep breath, but it comes out short and raspy instead. The panic rises, because you already did it. Again. And you can’t go back. 

8 servings per container. That’s two families. But you had it all to yourself, in one sitting. Serving Size: About 15 chips (28g). Why couldn’t you just stop? Calories: 160. That’s the same as running six miles. Are you going to get your lazy self out there and do it? Take two hours to reverse something you sabotaged yourself with in a few minutes? Total Fat: 10g. Are you stupid, or are you dumb? Both? Sometimes, indulgence simply isn’t worth it. Have you learned your lesson yet? 

One month later, you see them at a potluck. So, you turn around and walk the other way, not with strength, but in horrible fear. Fear of the label on the back. Fear of those numbers. 

Two months later, they present themselves to you in a goodie bag. They stay in your hands for a while, before you toss them in the trash. 

It’s been four months and six days without Lay’s Chips. Good job! You did it! The instant gratification but horrible aftertaste has been avoided with success. The grease in your stomach is gone, and your body is back to normal. Those healthy habits you’ve worked so hard on are finally paying off! 

But the chips will always be there. 

Suddenly, your fingers are covered in salt, your lips coated in grease, as the chips keep coming, you keep chewing, and the swallowing won’t stop, until there is nothing left. 

Back to square one, I guess.