A note on healthy eating, mainly for myself.
Deviating from the normal today, I’d like to talk a bit about food. More specifically, my difficulty in making healthy choices regarding what I consume. At the beginning of this year, I had stopped drinking soda and was eating more healthily than I probably have, ever. After three or so months of eating better and exercising regularly, my motivation stalled. A pattern has thus developed wherein I make poor choices about what I put in my body, feel disappointed or angry with myself, and continue to make poor choices in these times of particularly low moods. During good times, I am also ‘treating myself’ way too much.
This struggle, which has re-emerged many times in my twenty year lifespan, is born out of a lack of self-discipline as well as lack of funds. It’s much easier, as we all know, to grab something at a drive thru than to be considerate about what we’re eating and to prepare meals ahead of time for occasions when you’re too tired to cook.
My point is, ultimately, that I need to get back to the mindset I had six months ago. The breakthrough at that time, which is something I let slip from my mind and need to grasp again, is that sugar is an addiction. Every time your brain says, “[Insert food, in my case, a McDonald’s Coke] is good and I think you deserve some!” It’s a lie. You don’t actually need or want the sugary item because it’s just so yummy. You want it because sugar is an addictive substance and your body, when it has sugar in system, is always going to want more unless you learn to tell your cravings to shut up.
The best way, obviously, to avoid this is to cut out sugar and artificial sweeteners altogether. It’s very overwhelming to consider going cold turkey once you realize all the things that have sugar in them. I made a chef salad for lunch today, which is not the healthiest option but better than what I often eat when I’m home alone, and the ranch dressing I used has sugar in it. Loads of every day foods that we don’t consider sugary have the substance in them! For me, it’s not realistic to cut sugar out entirely, but I do have to set boundaries, which starts with remembering that consuming sugary food items is not a reward, but enabling an addiction.