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…
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.
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.
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.
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.