I used to suck my thumb when I was a kid--until well into middle school. Yes, crazy I know. My parents tried everything to make me quit. They offered incentives like a TV and a go-cart. They punished me with spankings and sentences. They used Tabasco Sauce on my thumb along with the nasty habit-breaking clear fingernail polish (my sister and I called it 'Skunk Medicine' for some reason; we called Pepto Bismol 'Bunny Rabbit Medicine', so I guess we were just really into giving animal names to what we considered 'medicine', a loose family of things, it now seems). The parents also taped mittens and socks on my left hand (the culprit thumb was on that hand, and I didn't care much for the right thumb--can't say why that was though). Most embarrassingly now, I had habit appliances (fang-like permanent devices from the orthodontist--I broke SEVEN of them because I was so determined to do what I wanted).
Well, finally I quit; this was a decision I made on my own without any outside incentives offered or devices imposed at that time. But after the thumb sucking stopped, I constantly chewed gum for about two years. About the time I quit doing that was when I started gaining weight. I wonder if there is any correlation? I just put all this together to come to the conclusion that I have always liked to have something in my mouth (let's stay clean here, folks :) ). In fact, I still bite my fingernails (I know that this is disgusting to some of you). I'm not sure really if there is any tie in all this to gaining weight for certain, but I have started chewing gum again lately (we've all heard the five-calorie chant from The Biggest Loser, I suspect); however, I'm evidently inept at that these days as I bit my cheek and lip to the point that I had terrible ulcers in my mouth (again, that's probably TMI). Any ideas to keep my mouth occupied without the calorie gain or ulcers?