You know that one thing you love and you swear you will never give it up? You know that habit you say you can never break or never make? Well – if I can do this, anyone can.
Last fall I made a decision that I needed to eat healthier and lose some weight. A lot of this was in the hopes of curing my injury cycle. With that in mind, I met with a Registered Dietician (Jeff Sproul) who was recommended to me by my massage therapist, Jennifer Hanna. Jeff specializes in endurance athletes.
I have to admit that I didn’t expect him to want to make over my whole diet. I thought he might give me a calorie count is all. No such luck. Not only did he put me on six strict meals each day, but he restricted my workouts to allow me to not go too far into calorie deprivation.
I have a life long love affair with junk food. And chocolate. And sugar. And hot chocolate. And easy meals. And anything chocolate. And eating out. And more chocolate.
After nearly three months – several surprising things have occurred:
- I rarely eat out. Like once every 10 days – and I am fussy about where I go and usually make that meal cover two meals.
- I prepare my food. I cook up my brown rice and separate it into 1/3 cup servings. I cook lean chicken and turkey and pork and cut them up into 2 ounce baggies for my morning snack, 3 ounce portions for my lunch, 4 ounce portions for dinner. I pack my lunch the night before.
- I eat a lot of vegetables.
- I don’t eat a lot of dairy or excess fat. I mean we are talking 7 almonds as a fat source. Such gluttony.
- I rarely eat sugar. Including chocolate. I broke a huge addiction. I can be happy occasionally eating 1-2 pieces of dark chocolate a week. (If even that often). Imagine my shock of having two large boxes of frango mints in my freezer since November that I have not even opened. I treated myself to a hot chocolate one day last week and insisted Canice make it a small one made out of Almond Milk and sugar free chocolate syrup.
So – to get to the moral of the story. If you are one of those people who swear they cannot break an addiction to junk food – you are wrong. You just have to want it bad enough.
Will I still eat sugar laden products when I get back into training? Sure – but it will be controlled and limited to actual long runs or races.
Do I miss my junk food? Not as much as I expected I would. I did a treat meal at Waffle Love on Saturday. I have not craved them for so long I had not even noticed they opened a store within 2 miles of my office and home. The worst thing is my coworkers love the fresh donuts from Maceys and I actually start drooling when I smell the grease off of them. Luckily they eat them pretty quickly.
The highlight of my day is my daily snack of a Quest Bar at 3:30 each afternoon. They actually taste sweet to me now and I have become quite a connoisseur.
For years I put off the steps needed to improve my eating. I thought it would be a lot of work and I would miss my old favorites. Now I am fussier about what I am willing to put into my body. I appreciate cheat/treat meals. I don’t feel guilty if I want to eat a piece of chocolate. I can cope with a crisis without buying and eating a ton of chocolate.
With that being said – I’m not going to try to make others feel guilty for their own food choices. We all have to choose what we want to do. And I know from experience that there are a lot of events from our childhoods and lives that impact how, when and what we eat. I just wanted to share that it is possible to change and do things that we swear will never happen.