I woke up this morning with this blog post practically bursting out of me. So I have to share it with you guys. A few months ago, I was talking to my trainer about the intense cravings I have for “Bad” food. He helped me view it differently. Sometimes I feel bad when I have food cravings. Actually, most times I feel bad for having these cravings. I ask myself “why do I have to obsess over food? Why can’t I just be normal?” And he told me, “It’s not your fault.” That caught my attention. Of course it’s my fault, who’s else’s fault could it be? I’m pretty sure it’s not the evil food fairies sprinkling these naughty thoughts in my mind. You’re telling me that I’m not just lazy and crazy because I like to eat cupcakes even though I know they’re not good for me?
He explained that a lot of the responsibility lies with the food industry and their marketing tactics. He described how most of the grocery store is junk. They set it up for you to crave it and become addicted. They intentionally add ingredients and create marketing that makes you want it all the time. He said “you’ve had more than 20 years of this manufactured food, it will take time to adjust back to your natural appetite.”
He also told me “you will still crave unhealthy food, but over time, you won’t enjoy it as much.” I simply waved that foolish statement away. He couldn’t be right. Some desserts are downright orgas…. Err… ummm really really enjoyable, and I could not imagine that I’d ever not enjoy them. I mean stuff like the Hot Chocolate dessert at Black Finn restaurant with a Hot Brownie, gooey Peanut Butter, Caramel, Fudge, Vanilla Ice Cream and Whip Cream! That coffee mug filled with yummy goodness will change your life! Lol well, maybe it’s not life altering, but it will raise the bar on tasty deserts. But I digress. I simply couldn’t imagine that I’d enjoy any food any less that I did at that time.
But you know what? Again and again, he’s proven to be right. I’ve recently rededicated myself to his food plan. I’m tired of saying I lost 30 pounds last year. That was last YEAR! I’m proud that I’ve kept it off, but it’s time to lose some more weight. His strategy is simple, everyday eat whole foods (lean meats, fruits, veggies, eggs and whole grains) plus 1 or 2 planned cheat days. Last weekend I was so excited about my cheat day, I had it all planned out. I had fast food for breakfast, birthday lunch with a friend and a buffet for dinner. And you know what? All of it was just “ok.” I was actually surprised. The greasy breakfast hash brown left me hungry. The corn syrup drink was just too sweet, I had to water it down. Lunch was fine. But the buffet was really “just ok.” It was not nearly as exciting and delicious as I’d imagined all week when I was drinking green smoothies for breakfast. Initially, I was a little disappointed that my cheat day wasn’t all that I’d hoped for. Had the fast food changed? Then it hit me. Nope, it hasn’t changed. I realized that finally, I’m changing. It’s happening!! I’m rediscovering my natural appetite. Salads and veggies aren’t gross anymore. (Lesson 1: There’s more to salads than iceberg lettuce and ranch dressing.) I actually really enjoy some salads. I can even sauté spinach with salsa and add a little bit of feta cheese, omg super-fast and delicious.
Foods that are good for me taste better; and foods that add to my belly rolls are still exciting in theory, but not so much in real life. I don’t like the way I feel after eating unhealthy food. My stomach is upset and I feel weighed down and tired. The junk food hangover certainly takes away some of the appeal. After my last cheat day, I looked forward to eating a healthy meal. So, does this mean that I’ll never eat junk again. Nope, of course not! For me, it means that there’s light at the end of tunnel.