I have always rewarded myself with food.
However, the reasons I was rewarding myself were getting ridiculous. I was super productive today, so let’s go get a burger and a milkshake. I stayed late at work today, so let’s get Taco Bell on the way home. It’s Friday, so let’s get a pizza. It’s the weekend, so it’s alright to eat crappy. This is not a reward system; it is just the days of the week. I could justify about anything to go to Taco Bell after work. As you can see, I have mentioned Taco Bell a few times because that is my go-to. I don’t know what it is about that place, but I cannot get enough. On my commute home, I would find myself instinctively taking the turn towards the drive-thru, even if I didn’t consciously decide to go there. The first time I actively fought myself from stopping at Taco Bell on my way home, and I mean I had to actually yell at myself, was such a victory. Once I started buying groceries on a more regular basis, the decision to not get fast food became easier over time. As your parents have probably said to you when you asked them to go to McDonald’s, “we have food at home!”
One of the main reasons I eat poorly is because it requires less thinking.
Thinking is hard. I know that is a silly thing to say, but in reality, life is much easier when you have less things to think about or fewer decisions to make. I just ate what was around me and what was easiest to prepare (and I use that term loosely because there was little to no preparing of anything). I guess that’s why they call it mindless eating. When you take the time to track everything you put in your mouth, it does take more time and more thinking. Luckily, it gets easier the more you do it and information is invaluable. I really had to learn about the foods I was choosing and make sure I was tracking everything. I still struggle with tracking. It is not second nature to me yet, but I am getting there. I am also still learning about food and the macro breakdown. I am sure that will be a continuous process, but I definitely know much more about the content of my food than I did a few months ago.
Losing weight is hard. Being fat is hard. Choose your hard.
I love me a good quote. This mantra always brings me back and helps me re-shift my focus to making better choices. It just simplifies the struggle so succinctly. I also emphasizes that this is a choice. When you consider how many excuses we constantly make to avoid eating healthier, it is astounding. I still can get in the way of myself, but I am much more aware of when I am making an excuse, which makes it easier to create a solution. The excuses do win from time to time, but that is something I choose to work on in order to get positive results.
If you are wondering if I still travel “south of the border” and go to Taco Bell? The answer is yes, I do. I haven’t kicked the habit entirely. But if you compare my past visits of when I was going 2 to 3 times a week to now, which is about once a month (and I do track it), I consider that a massive success and it will only get better over time.