Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Battle of Good vs. Evil- Food.

Oh food.  How I love food.  But, I don't just love any kind of food.  I love high calorie, high fat, preservative filled food.  In other words, I love fast food.  Yep- I said it.  I love fast food.  I know, the meat isn't real, it's filled with all kinds of bad for you junk, etc. etc.  But let's just be honest.  It tastes good.  And I love it.

You know what infuriates me?  When I read blogs and books where people say that they have found healthy food that is just as good if not better than unhealthy food.  They'll talk about how they used to be "overweight", but then they found all of this yummy healthy food and now that's all they want to eat.  They can eat like, you know, a cup of food, and would you believe it, they're full!?!  Here's what I say- you have never actually been overweight.  At least not like some of us.  So stop pretending that you have found healthy food that tastes just as good and that you are always full.  I don't believe you.

Let's just be honest- fatty foods always taste better.  It's just a fact.  What those of us who truly are overweight have to do is change our food behavior.  We can't lie to ourselves and say that we actually like all of that healthy food better than unhealthy because it just leads to these awful feelings of deprivation.  It's just not good.  Instead, we have to change how we think about food itself.

Let me start by saying that this is all easy to say, and a lot harder to do.  But it's what I've been trying to do, and sometimes it helps.  Sometimes it doesn't.  Sometimes I still give in and eat the unhealthy food.  But sometimes, I follow what I am trying to think and I have small victories.  So here's where I'm at.

I realized that I treat food as an emotional crutch rather than for survival.  I have a bad day at work, feel stressed, and what do I do?  I come home, refuse to cook, and eat something fatty and filling.  Does it help relieve that stress for a moment?  Absolutely.  But then more stress comes from feeling uncomfortable in my own skin.  Of always being nervous about the state of my heart and health.  That may sound a little dramatic, but it's true.  When you are actually overweight the fear of diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, stroke, etc. all lurk in the deep recesses of your mind.  So, eating fatty foods might help in the short term but not the long term.  I also used food as a reward.  I'd have a good day at work, really feel like the kids are getting it or that I'm making a difference, and I'd come home wanting to have a great meal to celebrate.  And, just like the bad days, I'd have the same result.

So here's what I'm doing trying to do.  I'm trying to look at food as merely a means for survival.  I have to eat in order to survive.  That's it.  I don't have to eat to manage my mood.  I don't have to eat to commemorate a good day.  I can do other things instead.  Like buy a new pair of shoes.  Buy that cute shirt I've been eyeing.  Go to a movie (and avoid try to avoid the concessions).  You get the idea.  I'm trying to find other ways of rewarding myself rather than always using food.

And it is working.  Kind of.  It's definitely hardest when we go out to eat.  There are just so many amazing choices on those menus that it's realllllllly hard to choose the grilled, nearly flavorless fish/chicken dish and the steamed veggies.  So, we try to avoid going out to eat- which is great for our very limited budget.

So that's where I'm at.  I'd love know how you handle the difficult choices of eating; unless you weigh under 130 pounds and have never weighed over 150 pounds.


  1. So proud of you friend.....

    Not that I eat healthy all the time but when I do, I have found it's all in the seasoning....olive oil and garlic are your friends! Also, surprisingly, Onion powder - even if you don't like's amazing!

    love it when you blog :)

  2. I hear you on the fast food! I loved Wendy's (and I think I still do) and sonic happy hour with cheese tots or cheddar peppers. My hubs and I made the decision to try our very best to not eat fast food--for health reasons and budget reasons. It was a hard first month but up until this past week we went without fast food for about 6 months. We gave in and ate at Wendy's the other day because I had a super crappy day and didn't want to cook. It was delicious but we were both sick to our stomachs later that night. I know that we're healthier; our bodies don't really crave that kind of food anymore like we used to.
    Have you read the book Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst? It isn't a diet or weight loss book. It just makes you reflect on why you crave certain foods (besides just being addicted to it). It might give you an "ah-ha" moment.
    And FYI- I don't think chick-fil-a counts as fast food, does it? I mean, its sooooo delicious and somewhat healthier than Wendy's, right?
    Good luck on this new journey!

  3. Carrie- I am slowly learning that! I bought a couple of Weight Watchers cookbooks, and they use a lot of different seasonings that really do add a lot. It does make it easier to eat better!

    Kristen- I haven't read that book, but I will look in to it. It sounds really good. And Chick-fli-a doesn't count as fast food! It is healthy, and owned by Christians, so I think God uses those calories in a healthy way in our bodies. :)

    Thank you both for reading and commenting- it's always encouraging to hear what other people are doing.

  4. Oh I love this whole post. I love love LOVE your honesty and you hit the nail on the head with every word.

    Going from over weight to healthy weight has everything to do with changing your eating way of life. I have to learn to reach for an apple, not chips and salsa. I have to order the grilled chicken and veggies when I go out, not the pasta in alfredo sauce. I KNOW all of these things, I just haven't made the effort.

    I'm reading "The Paleo Diet" right now which focuses on how humans ate during the Paleolithic time period. It's all lean meat, fresh fruit and non starchy veggies. I'm planning on starting it within the next week or so. I'm realistic and don't plan on following it perfectly EVERY day (but yes, on most days). It seems like a very realistic approach to healthy eating but I know I'll have to add in SOME grains because of my running. I'll be posting my results/opinions on it!

  5. Tara- I'm really interested in knowing more about "The Paleo Diet". The 6th grade teacher at my school grew up on that diet- her parent's did it. She is a really balanced, healthy eater and is definitely at a healthy weight. She's also a runner, and I'm always envious of her ability to make good choices with food. I'm excited to hear what you think of it!!