Addiction is enjoyable!
I have been invited by Chris to say a few words which are closest to most people's heart (Literally) the obsession we have with food. I own a website called, Advice for Living, in which I cover a large range of topics from mental acuity to running.
Everything I talk about here is from my experience and I am not a doctor. I hope you will find something of use here. I am using common sense and logical arguments to help you improve your health and diet. My statements may also be very confronting and for that I apologise, but my aim is to see that you are in control of your destiny albeit in a confrontational way.
Every day we are prompted to eat through commercials on TV, leaflets in our mailbox, radio ads, billboards on the road, practically every time we are on the internet there will be some other food product being pushed at us. Then after we hear, see and smell all that, we are then flooded with health products, routines, and lifestyles. When does this all stop?
We need this!
Apart from medical problems (I know there are many conditions which can lead a person to overeat, I can only cover will power which some people lack for various reasons) some overeating is just a lack of self-discipline. We know what is good for us but we continue doing the bad stuff. Why? Let's face it, eating is one of the few pleasures a person can have which doesn't have to cost the earth. Food is easily accessible, it smells good, it tastes good (most of the time) and it is so easy to devour to our hearts' content. Why can't we just carry on like this? It's fun, you can even play with it if you want. Why should we suffer?
I have to agree, food is fun, it's enjoyable, it doesn't require a commitment, it is available everywhere and yum!
Now that I have convinced you to go out and have a large meal, coke and maybe some fries on the side, I want you to consider something. Do you get puffed going up a small flight of stairs? Can you see your feet? Are you exhausted when you put your shoes on? (Forget the lace up ones, you only have to bend down to cut off your oxygen supply to tie up your laces!) Are you embarrassed by your weight? Have you stopped looking in the mirror? If you answer yes to any of these questions, it's time to make a change!
How do you go from ‘all you can eat for $5' to ‘I will only eat enough to sustain my body.'
This is where discipline can be your friend. You don't have to make an impossible commitment that has no chance of working for you. Instead, take it in small steps. First off we have to deal with the way you think about food. Do you use it to quash your feelings? Is it the only interest you have in life? Are you just socializing with big people?
The first thing I will point out, you are not enjoying eating! There I've said it! Why do I say that? Because it is not satisfying you, this is why overeating is not working, it is not enjoyable, we use it to fill a void. I can almost bet that as you are eating your first bite you are thinking this plate is not enough and you are thinking about getting your next plate because only the next plate will fulfill your desire! Am I right?
One thing you need to understand more than anything else is that when you eat, sit to eat, do not eat ‘on the run', make time to actually enjoy your food. Stop thinking about what you can have next while you are eating. Focus on the food you are eating right now and then when you have finished that, rest for about half an hour before you pick up any more food. When you put food on your plate, put as much as you normally do on your plate and then slide off one-third for later.
Small things like this will make a big difference later. Don't get into any habit of weighing yourself until you establish a good eating pattern over the next 6 months.
Try to stay away from packaged food. Now I know most of you are so busy that you don't have time to prepare food for yourself on a daily basis. Here again, discipline is required, prepare food for the following week on one day. It is not as hard as you think, try it. This one is a biggie, stay away from sugar drinks, even diet ones and start drinking water, preferably filtered water. If you start this habit you will soon find that water is more refreshing than soft drinks. Give it a shot for one week at least and maybe for one week a month until you find it is better than sugar drinks. I will use the word discipline. If you brush your teeth every day which requires discipline, then you can do this!
One step at a time!
There is no perfect diet out there. There are disciplined people and undisciplined people. Neither is better or worse than the other, it's just the way we are.
So, take it easy. To change a lifetime of bad habits may take a while to break but we will do that one step at a time and in our own time. Don't try everything at once, first try to slide a third of your food aside for later, see how that goes and leave a half hour break. Or try always sitting to eat and not on the run or rushed.
If you slip up that is okay!
It's not a race, it's your life. Every time you make an improvement it will impact on your life. Don't look for results until you have done this for a year. A year is not a long time. How long did it take you to get out of shape? Trust me that can take years.
Don't we love to snack? It's so easy, doesn't require a lot of thought and most snacks are so cheap, we can stock up on them, no trouble. Now I am going to use that dirty word again, discipline. Cut up heaps of carrot sticks, celery sticks, apple slices, in fact any fruit and vegetable you can think of. Keep them in a Tupperware container in the fridge and yes it takes a while to make them and you may not think they are as good as a packet of chips. You would be wrong! It's just that you have been taking the easy route for so long your body doesn't recognize how natural food tastes 10 times better than packaged food and you will feel more satisfied for far longer on ‘proper' food.
As I have said earlier you can slip up, we all do. Don't punish yourself, just pick up where you left off and continue. It's like walking, sometimes you are going to fall over and you may want to stay down for a while but then you pick yourself up. Another thing is, don't tell anyone you are doing this and if people notice a change, ignore it because you are on the path to health and that is going to be your constant state, not a ‘have you lost weight' but a ‘WOW you look terrific!'
On a lighter note…
I love to write inane things, thoughtful things and things that make you think. I would love it if you have the time to take a look at some of my posts. You may find one that grabs you and might brighten up your day, you may even laugh!
If you feel the inclination to leave a comment you can bet I will answer your comment.
Thank you, Chris, for allowing me to be a part of your wonderful family! I know you are a very wise and helpful man and I look forward to future conversations with you.
Author and blogger, living in Australia.