How I Changed My Crappy Eating Habits For Good

I have a confession to make…

I was seriously addicted to junk food.

While I sure did appreciate the fast food drive-thrus, often enough to visit them every…



day –

and sometimes twice a day (yes, you read that right) – there was one thing in particular that I loved the most.

You know what that thing was?


Yeah, that’s right. I had a love affair with cake.

And not just any cake either.

I really took a liking to the cake that was sold at my local grocery store bakery.

They used this buttercream icing (my favorite – not like that useless whipped cream bullshit) – and I was completely and utterly hooked.

I couldn’t wait for someone around me to have a birthday, anniversary, baby, graduation…


Just so I could partake in my glory.

Of cake.

And since I had such a strong desire for this fabulous treat (like every day)…but not everyone had a reason to celebrate as often as I wanted to enjoy my buttercream bestie…I decided that the time had arrived for me to become independent of the happy occasions of others and go all out on my own and get what I wanted when I wanted it.

So my adventures of buying my own cake and eating (all of) it too had begun.

I started off light – buying only a six pack of cupcakes at a time.


That went quickly.

So I went on to a regular sized round cake. That would surely be enough, but not too much.

I mean, I wasn’t trying to be gluttonous or anything.

In fact, there was this one time when I was asked by the woman who worked at the bakery if I wanted her to write something on the cake I was buying that particular day.

I said no – but wished that I did…

…because at least if I was making this purchase for someone else, I wouldn’t have had to live with the fact that I was completely addicted to something that made me fat, sick and miserable.

And fat, sick and miserable I was.

Now I may have poked fun of this whole thing during the first half of this post, but in reality, my situation was anything but a laughing matter.

I was out of control.

I knew this.

I hated the fact that I was so addicted to food.

And I felt completely powerless to do anything to change it.

My habits owned me.

My thoughts were completely consumed by the desires I had for the most offensive foods around.

I knew something had to change…but I other than dieting (which I had done on and off throughout most of my life), I had no idea how this was going to happen.

Well, that was a long time ago.

A lot has changed since then.


These days, I have a true understanding and appreciation for healthy foods.

And not only that, I enjoy them naturally.

How I Changed My Crappy Eating Habits For Good

Following the time period where I had been obsessed with junk food (cake in particular) I lost a bunch of weight.

I shared my weight loss journey in this post, and if you have ever felt like you needed to take charge of your well-being, I encourage you to read it.

I actually lost my weight in stages, because while I had connected to a level of motivation, starting with my hiring a personal trainer to help me with this task, the truth is that I didn’t make the internal inner-shift necessary to make these changes a permanent fixture in my life.

I had to change.


And in order for me to do this, I had to get real with myself.

I also had to imagine the person I wanted to be, because without doing this, I would remain in a state of chasing what I wanted – from a place of not having it.

See – when we feel the absence of something that we want, we experience a level of pain that produces the desire for the thing we feel is missing in our lives.

We chase what we want, but because we’re really focused on not having it, we’re essentially chasing it away, instead of assuming the position of being in possession of what we desire.

In order for me to change my crappy eating habits, I KNEW I would have to BECOME someone who preferred healthy foods naturally.

I had to imagine myself as someone who would choose the “jolly green salad” over a cheeseburger because it would be something I would prefer, as opposed to something I felt I had to eat for weight loss.

I spent some time (without realizing I was doing this) imagining myself to be someone who had complete control over my eating habits because I wanted the healthy foods I was choosing.

In order to do this, I had to assume the position in my mind’s eye that I was someone who ate with purpose and a passion for well-being.

How Food Took On New Purpose and Started to Make Sense

Following a workout one day (during one of my many attempts to drop a few pounds), I found myself struggling to come up with something to eat that wouldn’t sabotage my efforts.

I immediately felt a sense of dread come over me because I had no desire to eat diet food – and this is what salads and vegetables represented to me.

As I stood there, wondering what to do next, a thought came over me that changed my life.

That thought was…

“In order to negate the feelings of guilt associated with food, you would have to feel a sense of enthusiasm toward eating. Then food would be a powerful tool instead of something you fear.”

Wow…now I didn’t know where that came from, but it sure woke my ass up!

And it made perfect sense.

Food needed to become a tool that I could use with a feeling of empowerment.

Ok, great.

But…there was one problem.

With the exception of lettuce, broccoli, cucumbers, carrots and cauliflower – I HATED vegetables.

I thought about this for a little while…and then an idea popped up.

I decided to devote some time to learning about the health benefits of the foods I knew would promote optimal health (and therefore, extinguish guilt).

I browsed through websites and books that discussed how each and every vegetable out there had something unique to offer the human body for performance, longevity and wellness.

I became excited about what I was reading.

I wanted to feel good.

I wanted to be well.

I wanted to enjoy food without guilt.

And by combining my prior image of myself as someone who enjoyed jolly green salads, along with my new found knowledge about how certain foods promoted well-being, I experienced an internal shift which allowed me to open myself up to the foods I had rejected for so long because…

I now wanted them.

I didn’t feel like I had to choose them as a form of punishment.

I desired them.

Armed with an open mind, along with an enthusiasm to start practicing the behaviors that went along with what I now knew to be true, I started trying new things.

And because I had changed the way I looked at things, the things I looked at changed.

I discovered that I actually enjoyed the foods I had rejected before – and now even craved them.

I cooked more often, prepared my meals for the week in advance – and found that as long as I filled myself up with the foods that I knew would benefit my health (and my waistline), I had little room (or use) for the “bad” stuff.

Putting it All Together

I followed the path of least resistance.

I had to become the change I wanted to make in my life.

I had first experienced the pain of the consequences of being an unconscious and emotional eater.

I had fought against it using resistance (diets) that caused me to yo-yo back and forth.

I then realized that in order to change my habits, I had to imagine myself as someone who naturally practiced the habits I wanted to obtain.

And I combined my preferred image of myself, some good old fashioned logic and an open mind to enable me to welcome a change in my behavior from a place of allowing.

This resulted in practicing new and preferred habits in a way that made me feel joyful and enthusiastic.

And today…

I AM someone who naturally prefers things like jolly green salads.

In fact, a few weeks ago, I attended a barbecue.

Everyone else had hot dogs and hamburgers.

I had a portobello mushroom burger (I used to HATE mushrooms).

I looked at my giant mushroom caps being cooked on the same grill as everyone else’s food – and realized that I not only felt a sense of pride and joy over my decision to eat the veggie sandwich I would have turned my nose up to years ago – but I also felt thankful that I was no longer ruled by my old habits…

…because cheeseburgers, at one time, were something I couldn’t turn down.

And in regard to cake…I’ll still have a piece every now and then if an occasion calls for it.

But now my body has become so accustomed to my healthier eating habits that my stomach actually speaks to me after enjoying one serving – reminding me that it can’t handle anymore, so don’t even try.

And I wouldn’t.

But what’s interesting is that the ingredients of the cakes I used to buy and gorge on haven’t changed. And since those days, my digestive system is in better shape than it was back then.

So this means that the only reason my body can’t handle such gluttonous behavior is because I’ve changed my mind about how I eat and have practiced it long enough that I have conditioned myself to only be able to enjoy such treats in moderation.

In other words…


I AM someone who lives in balance.


Now that, my friends, is how I’ve changed my crappy eating habits for good.

And I have been fortunate enough to help others do the same 🙂

Over to you…

How do you feel about food?

Have you ever tried to change your habits – just to find the process difficult?

Let me know in the comment’s section.

And please do share this with others you feel would benefit from my story. 

Dana Gore

Author of the books "A Simple Guide to Exercise Safety (What You Don't Know CAN Hurt You)" and "Streetwise Philosophy (A Bullshit-Free Approach to Spiritual Maturity)", Dana Gore is a health and fitness professional, wellness coach, and freelance writer. Dana brings guidance to the public about how to achieve optimal health in a safe and structured manner while inspiring her readers to seek self-awareness and inner peace as a means to well-being in all areas of life.

33 thoughts on “How I Changed My Crappy Eating Habits For Good

  • at 1:10 am

    Hi Dana,

    Very Informative and must be needed information. I am learning a lot from you. Thanks, much Julie 🙂

    • at 12:01 pm

      Hi Julie,

      Welcome to my blog 🙂

      I’m glad you got something valuable out of this. It’s always good to know that your struggles can somehow help others. It’s a way to turn adversity into a gift.

      Eating habits can certainly be changed from a deliberate and positive place. It’s just a matter of shifting perspective and challenging beliefs.

      I appreciate your comment. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  • at 1:17 am

    Hi Dana,

    I have read some of your story before and I cannot say I relate. I for some reason have never been a real sweet tooth. Maybe it is because my mother used to say we could not have sweets unless we ate our dinner so I decided I did not like sweets.

    I do love some junk though but have always been pretty balanced. My hubby on the other hand has a story like yours. I have educated him over time.

    Thanks Dana great share.


    • at 5:29 pm

      Hi Sue,

      Yep, I know from some of your previous comments that you’ve never developed a sweet tooth (or challenges with food in general). I think that’s great – because they aren’t fun.

      It’s cool that your husband has been able to learn some better habits from you. I’m sure the support and direction has been a huge benefit to him.

      Always good to see you here Sue. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  • at 6:28 am

    Hey Dana,

    You changed your life, because useless food habits can really take toll on our health and I must say, majority of our youth has creepy eating habits, including me, but trying hard to watch the reality in the mirror and improve on my health.

    • at 9:40 am

      Hi Atinder,

      Yep – useless habits can easily control our lives. And you’re right about the eating habits of our youth. I see what’s being advertised to them…and it isn’t cool.

      It isn’t as tough to change your eating habits once your mind has changed.
      Our habits always follow our thoughts and feelings…it’s the cause of all effects.

      Good luck on your own quest to eat better.
      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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  • at 1:24 pm

    Hi Dana,

    A few years ago my wife and I made a massive switch in our diet. We cut out anything with high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, sweeteners, and sugar (unless is is in fruit naturally of course).

    We also cut out bread and processed wheat and another processed food and red meat.

    We eat a lot more plant based foods but I still enjoy chicken so we didn’t cut that out.

    Like your story with the mushroom burger, we are often the oddballs out at social events.

    I lost fat rapidly and inches and I noticed that my skin looked more shiny as well.

    I have to admit though, it’s still a fight and sometimes I slip back, albeit temporarily.

    But, we are changing those habits still… 42 years of eating one way and 2 years of another means this is a transition.

    Thanks for your post and the encouragement!!!!

    ~ Don Purdum

    • at 8:38 pm

      Hi Don,

      It sounds like you and your wife are doing pretty well 🙂

      And I know how it feels to seem like the “oddball” at a social event due to the food choices.
      Luckily, there are many others out there now looking to include healthier options…so it may become easier over time.

      While I had originally thought I’d be the only one wanting the mushroom burger, it turned out that two other guests decided they wanted to try this (there were three mushroom caps in all)…and although one of the two didn’t seem thrilled with this choice, the other apparently liked it.

      I happen to live in an area where there is only one health food store/cafe…so I’m glad I had already become accustomed to preparing my food at home. It makes things a LOT easier.

      I don’t have any doubt that you’ve experienced some positive effects from your diet. Two years is something to be proud of – considering that I know how difficult it can be for people to stick with these changes.

      I’m glad you found value in the post – as this was what I had hoped for.
      Please feel free to ask me anything. I plan on incorporating more info like this here…to help others looking for inspiration in their own quest for well-being.

      I really appreciate your input, and your visit Don. Thanks for stopping by.

  • at 5:16 am

    Hi Dana,

    Awesome indeed 🙂

    I loved the transformation from what you were to what you have become now, wonderful! I know it’s not easy to give up on cakes for sure, and for that matter, most of the sweet, white, and fried stuff! I remember reading somewhere, limit your whites!

    I guess most of us have a soft corner for sweets, with cakes and chocolates topping our lists! I used to love and crave for them too, and weight issues are not new for us either. But once the self-realization sets in, you have things in control within you and that makes the difference, as in your case.

    We mostly stick to healthy and simple home cooked food like lentils and vegetables, and rarely eat out. Being vegetarians also keeps it all within good limits, though there’s always scope to get better, isn’t it?

    Thanks for sharing your journey with us. Have a nice weekend 🙂

    • at 7:10 pm

      Hi Harleena,

      I think it’s great that you cook at home as often as you do.

      So do we.

      As far as I’m concerned, it really helps to keep weight down (of course it depends on what you prepare) – and it sounds as though your diet consists of lean and healthy foods.

      Yep – sweets can be a tough thing to do without.
      Of course, I’m writing this, knowing that Halloween is tomorrow – and there will be a ton of candy consumption to start the indulgences that this time of the year represents.

      I’m thankful to be free of this – as it can certainly become a very fattening couple of months.

      I really appreciate your kind words and your visit Harleena.
      Have a great weekend 🙂

  • at 1:01 pm

    Wow what a powerful story Dana! I also used to live on junk food but the circumstances were very different. During the period I was busy recovering financially from my divorce I was working very long days and my life was spent going from one meeting to another and since it was just me at home a quick trip through the drive through seemed like a good way to keep going and save time. The problem was I gained a lot of weight and felt terrible. My shift came when I quit coaching and started working from home and that led to cooking again and eating healthier. So the end result was the same but it required less discipline and courage – well other than mustering the gumption to change careers. Thanks for sharing your inspiring story!

    • at 6:30 pm

      Hi Marquita,

      Thank-you so much!
      I know exactly what it’s like to rely on drive-thrus. They can seem quite appealing when time is short, and I get that this is the case for so many people.

      I don’t have any doubt that things changed for the better once you were able to spend more time at home preparing your own meals. That made a difference for me as well.

      I do know that I’ve recently noticed an organic/healthier drive-thru restaurant open up to the public. It’s definitely a better option…and I’d personally love to see more of these types of places become available.

      I know that what helped me a LOT was when I dedicated time preparing my food for the week.
      I took my lunch and snacks with me for the day, and I made it a point to keep my blood sugar stable.
      I saved a lot of money as well.

      Thanks so much for your comment Marquita. Have a good weekend 🙂

  • at 6:32 am

    Hi Dana
    Simply vow!
    I can relate to the post. It reminded me of my journey. There was a time when I had no control over my eating habits. With time I realized that if I need to lose weight and look good – I need to give up my crappy habits.
    Reading it was like going down the memory lane.

    • at 8:23 pm

      Hi Sonal,

      I’m glad the post resonated with you.

      I’ve discovered that there are a lot of us out there who have struggled with their eating habits.

      I’m sure you’re relieved that you’ve found a way to take charge of your well-being – and I would imagine you feel a sense of freedom in doing this.

      I appreciate your comment Sonal.
      Have a great week 🙂

  • at 1:48 am

    Hey Dana, I wish I could also follow few tips suggested by you. I have a sweet tooth and I really have to change my habits. Thanks for sharing this post.

    • at 8:17 pm

      Hi Ana,

      You can follow the tips suggested here.
      I know what it’s like to have an addition to sweets, and I’ve been able to change my habits because I changed my mind.

      It’s tough when you try to fight with yourself…and I have found that it doesn’t work because it creates an inner-war.

      Instead, when we accept where we are at the moment, get in touch with our thoughts, feelings and beliefs about things…there’s a better opportunity to change a behavior.

      It was a pleasure to share this post. I hope those who struggle with this find some much needed insight 🙂

  • at 8:45 pm

    OMG Dana, I have a special love of cake too! And don’t gimme that whipped icing, I want the real stuff, hehe :). As you can see, I struggle with junk food too but I’ve cut back drastically and settle for cooking at home and eating fresh fruits and veggies. I still allow myself one day of the week to have a slice of cake but I make sure not to over indulge.

    Thanks for sharing the ways your changed your eating habits. It’s hard to do at first but once you get into the habit, it gets easier.

    Hope you’re having a great week so far!


    • at 9:31 pm

      Hey Cori,

      Yeah seriously…
      What’s up with that whipped cream nonsense?

      But in all honesty…it’s cool that you have established something that allows you to enjoy your treat without it owning you.

      And it’s great that you cook at home. I do too. It not only saves us money…but at least I have a far better idea of what’s in my food.

      Plus, I enjoy being creative in the kitchen.

      I love healthy foods now. I feel attracted to them…and I do feel that our bodies become accustomed to what we put in them to the point where they become insatiable cravings.

      And I do find myself craving fresh vegetable dishes and juices often.

      We really do become what we eat.

      I am having a great week so far – and hope you are too Cori.
      Thanks so much for stopping by 🙂

  • at 7:41 pm

    Hey Dana,

    Brilliant post and transformation I might add. I can feel your struggle. I really believe I am the Cookie Monsters love child. I have a love affair with cookies. However in saying that I have always craved fruit and vege. Believe it or not I can eat junk food for a couple of days and I will crave fresh food.

    While I have in the past been a binge eater (the worst kind), I would eat until I had to sleep because I could not move and it hurt, oh it hurt real bad. I would not sleep well because my body would be in sweats due to this behaviour.

    I have had fluctuating weight however as I went into my 40’s something changed and I was more aware of what made me comfortable and uncomfortable. I sort of fell into it. Fridays I am allowed to have a small packet of chips and a small chocolate. I still can’t buy a big packet of either and be disciplined so I don’t even put myself through this. I buy small.

    I am fair better than I was but I don’t tempt myself with big packets of junk food. Thanks for a great post.


    • at 9:20 pm

      Hey Rachel,

      I get the cookie thing.
      Especially those soft baked ones (you know – cause they’re like little cakes)…lol

      Those are tough too because it’s really difficult to control your intake of those since they’re smaller.

      I remember many years ago when my folks had gone out of town for a few weeks.
      They left me grocery money and I bought a package of those “fat free” devil’s food cake cookies and ate the whole thing.

      I knew I had it bad back then. It only got worse.
      A friend of mine was like “but they’re FAT FREE!” I agreed…but knew instinctually that this didn’t mean it was cool to snarf down the entire bag.

      I wish I could say that it’s a matter of simply changing your habits, but in my experience, there is more to it.

      I had to change my entire mindset. As if I rewired my brain to see things in a completely different way.

      But after that, and with constant awareness of my own thoughts and having made myself aware of my habits – and where they stemmed from…I was able to make this shift.

      Now I can enjoy things in moderation because I think of them differently.

      It’s good that you buy small. It does help. It seems that you are conscious of yourself…and taking action to behave in accordance to what serves your best interests.

      It’s also cool to allow yourself a day to enjoy something. I did…and more often than not, I realized it was no big deal.

      Thank-you so much for stopping by and contributing to the conversation.
      Have a great week Rachel 🙂

  • at 7:10 pm

    Hey Dana,
    Totally awesome post! Changing your eating habits is not difficult as long as you learn how to eat more healthier and cut out the junk and by the sound of it you did just that 🙂 Just takes a little bit of discipline……good for you!

    • at 9:07 pm

      Hey Joan,

      Thanks so much for your comment 🙂

      I had found that changing my habits were quite difficult (actually impossible) until I changed my perspective of the whole thing.

      Once the inner-shift took place, the rest became much easier.
      As within, so without.

      It did take some discipline…but it wasn’t bad. It became strategic and made perfect sense.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  • at 3:01 pm

    Wonderfully thorough post! I’m currently doing a 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse and it’s worked great for me especially in helping me to stop drinking soda. I’m not a bad eater but the soda definitely put the pounds on me. I’m glad to be getting on the right track!

    • at 3:56 pm

      Hi Natasha,

      Well, I love green smoothies!
      I make my own sometimes using frozen bananas and blueberries, almond milk and spinach.

      I also think it’s great that you’re kicking the soda habit – because while I don’t feel that carbonated water is a bad thing in moderation…the chemicals in most sodas are pretty toxic.

      I occasionally like to drink something bubbly, so a few months ago I made my own soda using seltzer and fresh squeezed oranges. It was pretty damn good – and offered some health benefits as well.

      Thanks for stopping by and good luck with getting on a healthier track 🙂

  • at 12:51 pm

    Hey Dana,

    I can relate to your addiction in a way. I think my issue was that when I was growing up my Mom would fix stuff I really didn’t like, at all. She didn’t season things much, just tossed them in a pot to warm up from a can. I hated all vegetables too. She bribed us though and said if we ate all our dinner we could have ice cream. I would throw up numerous times during dinner mainly because I hated what I was eating but I held out for the ice cream and most nights it was almost 10:00 pm before I got my bowl. Guess that’s why I was a chunky kid.

    Sweets are my downfall, I LOVE chocolate. Over the years because I too had to fight with my weight I’ve learned to watch what I eat. I don’t keep anything in my house that I shouldn’t eat because they are all like potato chips, you can’t just eat one. LOL!!!

    I’m not as healthy as you are, don’t think I ever will be but I’m finally at a weight I’m thrilled about and am able to keep it that way due to watching what I eat and only splurging once in a while. I think we all have to find that balance right!

    Thanks for opening up and sharing this with us. I know we’re not the only ones.


    • at 3:50 pm

      Hi Adrienne,

      Your story reminds me of why I wanted nothing to do with spinach when I was a kid.

      I used to watch Popeye open his can of green slop and chuck it down to make his forearms big. I thought it looked gross – and I wanted nothing to do with it…lol.

      I can imagine the message you received about food in general when you were a kid. In order to get what you wanted, you had to deal with what you detested. It doesn’t sound like you had learned to love and appreciate good, healthy but delicious foods prepared using a variety of high quality vegetables.

      I personally had no idea how creative I could be in regard to making the healthy recipes I make now. I definitely think it’s helpful to any child to have them feel a sense of enthusiasm toward healthy food – as this will keep them naturally inspired to want to eat them.

      And you know, I really wouldn’t consider myself to be a “health nut”. I don’t follow any specific eating protocols. I’ve just learned to appreciate nutrient dense foods more than anything else.
      Because of this, I can eat the “bad” stuff every so often, but it takes up no residence in my psyche – so it doesn’t own me. My weight remains stable and I no longer diet – or feel the need to.

      I follow the path of least resistance when it comes to healthy living.
      To me, it’a ALWAYS about balance.

      Always a pleasure to share Adrienne. We all learn from one another, right?
      Thank-you for stopping by and have a fabulous week 🙂

  • at 12:34 pm

    Wow Dana,

    Thank you for taking us on your journey. It reminded me of many decades ago when I stopped eating momma’s food and became a vegetarian. Slowly but surely I learned that food was fueling energy to my body and not there to fill my belly.

    Now the only struggle I have is getting off my butt and exercising. But I’m still working on that. I force myself to the gym, but still working on my mindset that it is a pleasant experience. I’m getting there lol


    • at 3:39 pm

      Hi Donna,

      You hit the nail on the head.
      Food is fuel.
      When I realized that in order to alleviate the guilt associated with food was to instead, become enthusiastic about the health benefits… it made a lot of sense and helped me to change my own habits because I thought of the entire thing differently.

      Exercise can be challenging for many of us because of the way we view it.
      It’s perfectly fine to find a physical activity you like and just stick with that.

      I used to love going to the gym, but not so much these days.
      I’ll usually work out at home to my favorite music and allow myself to feel guided toward whatever type of program I feel like doing that day.

      The path of least resistance – with the most amount of enjoyment is always ideal 🙂

  • at 10:27 am

    Congrats on eating healthier! It is so hard, but I have found myself eating much healthier now that I have kids and I want to be a good role model for them. I mean, let’s be honest, if your own mother won’t even eat a green bean, then why would a child give them a try?!

    • at 3:30 pm

      Thanks Christine 🙂

      You made a great point.
      How can anyone expect their kids to follow the guidance of a parent that doesn’t “practice what they preach”?

      My partner here, Laura, has found that she’s drawn toward healthier eating habits since she’s had her own kids.
      I’m sure that with this mindset, it’ll be much easier to feel inspired toward healthy living.

      Thanks for your comment Christine. Enjoy your week.

  • at 10:00 am

    Absolutely awesome Dana. I have 1 sweet treat daily – Pinguinos here in Nicaragua – but eat super healthy overall. Always have, because momma Biddulph drilled it into us – healthy eating – and I’ve always been a work out/exercise mad man who craves healthy foods to fuel myself. Awesome post and inspired story.


    • at 3:26 pm

      Hey Ryan,

      I love the idea of one sweet treat daily.
      It allows you to enjoy something without making a big deal out of it.

      I often keep a bag of dark chocolates in the freezer and eat one after dinner. It’s just enough to keep me happy.

      It’s cool that your mom taught you good habits when you were young. Sounds like you’ve taken her wisdom along with you through your life into adulthood.
      That’s awesome.
      Thanks for stopping by, and for your comment 🙂


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