Junk Food Junkie

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Junk Food Junkie.”
What’s your biggest junk food weakness? Tell us all about it in its sugary, salty, glory.

My biggest junk food weakness is anything with or made from potatoes.  Chips, fries, gems, hash browns, jacket potatoes.  Anything made from that starchy wonder is good enough!

Don’t tell me you aren’t thinking the same thing.  I’ll bet a quick Google image search will change your mind.

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RoastPotatoes  Potato-Chips

Mouth watering yet?  Because mine is.  I’ve been a sucker since I was a little kid.  Cutting back on my favourite vegetable is probably one of the hardest things about my new health kick.  I would seriously eat them all day every day if I thought it wouldn’t cause a heart attack.  Gimme gimme gimme!

-JD

Time to Change – Day Thirteen

So, I fell off the wagon.  Instead of going out to eat a few days ago, we made the mistake of going to the supermarket when hungry and when my friend was going through a rough point in her life.  We bought too much junk and she stayed over for a couple of days, and between bad food and alcohol, I’m almost back to where I started (though not quite thankfully).

I’m back on the diet and exercise now, and I’m even more determined this time.  Now that I know how easy it is to give in to temptation, I’m going to do even more to avoid it.  I made sure I went for my walk today even though it was warmer than it has been in a very long time, and I’ve stayed under my calorie limit by a fair bit today.  I also made sure I focused mainly on protein to make up for the extra fat and carbs I’ve eaten over the past couple of days.

I’m also going to make sure I write as much as possible – it was very easy to allow myself to fall off the wagon when I wasn’t writing because I didn’t have to acknowledge it.  It was like slipping straight back into my old habits, and while it tasted amazing, putting weight back on that it’d started to shift didn’t taste as good.

I got some good news yesterday – I’ve most likely landed a full time job in a fancy new store.  I’ll get a definite answer yes or no early next week, but I’m so happy about it.  I was glad I was offered something last week but I was nervous it was only a casual job.  A full time job is ideally what I need as it’s guaranteed hours, which I need to make sure I can pay my rent and bills!

Tomorrow’s temperature is supposed to be even warmer than today so I’ll be going for my walk early.  Not ideal to start a new job all sunburnt!  I’m also going to keep planning my meals in advance.  I’m not going to let a couple of bad days drag me down!

-JD

Time to Change – Day Eight

Today was hard.  I don’t know why specifically.  I just felt extremely unmotivated.  All I wanted was a pizza and to sleep on the couch.  Honestly, I was close to doing just that.  Previously, I most likely would have.  I decided I wasn’t going to fall into that trap again though.  I’ve come this far, and this will no doubt be the first of many “low days”, and I had to find a way to get through them.  It was time to dig deep and find the self-control and self-motivation that, up until a week ago, I didn’t have much of.

I ate an okay breakfast (although I traded vegemite for honey) and a high protein lunch and dinner.  I also made sure I went on my daily walk, even though I really wanted to bail on it.  I even went so far as to say “it’s Sunday, I can rest today”.  While having a rest day wouldn’t hurt, I knew if I started giving into my pathetic excuses, it would snowball as always.  Plus, my dog was giving me her puppy eyes and I couldn’t tell her that I couldn’t be bothered.

The walk seemed tougher than usual too.  I think it was because it was quite a warm day and I was already feeling pretty flat.  The reason why I like walks so much (apart from the fact they make my doggy happy and I get a tan at the same time) is that once you start, you have to keep going no matter what, or you’ll be stranded.  It’s easy to throw in the towel with exercise equipment because you haven’t actually gone anywhere.  If you’re on a walk, it’s either keep going or sit on the side of the road until you decide to keep going.  It means I’m not risking my self-motivation giving out, and it usually does.  I know for a fact it would have today.

I hope tomorrow is a little easier.  Even if it isn’t, I got through today and I’m sure I can do it again tomorrow.  It will all be worth it soon enough!

-JD

Time to Change – Day Three

So, I’m three days into my health kick.  I’ve been eating well, monitoring my calories (I know that’s not an ideal way to lose weight, but I find it helps to track what I’m eating and plan ahead) and exercising.  Not exercising as much as I’d like, I’ll admit, but moreso than normal (which up until recently, was none at all).  The scales haven’t started reflecting the change but I’m not going to let that worry me just yet – it’s early days!

I felt okay for the first two days.  Not really any different to normal.  Today, though, I felt lethargic, easily stressed and found it hard to focus.  On top of that, I started getting a migraine around midday, which isn’t completely unusual for me, but I haven’t had one in awhile.  I believe this is my body having sugar withdrawals, and it isn’t fun.  The only sugar I’ve had for three days is natural stuff in fruit, and I guess my body knew it wasn’t what it was used to.

I know this is potentially only the beginning of the adjustments my body is going to go through, and while I’m not looking forward to it if it’s anything like today, I know it needs to happen.  As much as it sucks, it tells me that my diet is having an effect, even if the scales haven’t picked up on it yet.

So far, I haven’t been overly tempted to eat sugar or fatty foods.  Oh sure, I see donuts or chocolate at the grocery store and think for a second how easy it would be to grab it, but I know if I’m going to have any success this time around, that I can’t do that, even if realistically one thing here or there won’t hurt.  As soon as I let myself have one of those moments, everything starts to fall apart.  I know at some point I’m going to have to cross that bridge when I’m out with friends, but I feel that the longer I can completely avoid it, the better off I’ll be.

I’m actually a little surprised that I haven’t had cravings.  That was a lot of my eating issue – I live by myself, and if I felt like eating something and I got it into my head that I wanted it, then I’d go out and buy it.  While I was heavy prior to living alone, I feel like it has exacerbated the problem because nobody is there to say “that’s not a good idea” or give disapproving looks.   Not that it’s up to anyone else as to what I put into my mouth, but it certainly helped to worry that someone is judging you when you binge eat ice cream or order in a pizza.  This is why I have to be super careful not to fall off the wagon, and why I’m going to keep writing updates.  It helps to keep myself in check!

More updates to come =)

-JD

Time to Change – Day One

So, it’s become particularly apparent of late that my weight is an issue.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been on the heavy side.  I realized I was quite big (that’s the nicest way of putting it) a couple of years ago.  Instead of stopping myself then and there, I let the problem get worse.  I don’t know how much I’ve gained between then and now, it could be 10kgs or 15, I’m not 100% sure.  All I know is, I look back on photos of when I was a teenager only 5 or 6 years ago, and I was a different person (and not because of my emo attire back then).  The sad thing is, at the time, I thought I was fat then too.  Okay, I was still a size 14, but I WASN’T FAT.  Not like now.

It’s easy for fat people to blame so ciety, to say “love me the way I am”, to see it as normal.  I’m not suggesting that people should be allowed to trash talk or bully overweight people – I’m sure the views on themselves are worse than what anyone else could say anyway – but I know personally, I used all three of those lines as excuses.  “We’re just in a fat world now, it’s not weird”.  I’d convince myself of this.  I knew even as I was using them though that it was nothing more than a defense mechanism.  If I hate myself at this size, why do I have any right to expect anyone else to love me for it?

In Australia, almost 2 out of 3 adults are overweight.

Let that sink in a little.  That is a huge, huge number.  This is also why it’s so easy for individuals like me to sweep the issue under the rug.  To shrug it off, say that it’s just the way it is.

It doesn’t have to be.

Some people have genuine health problems that lead them to become overweight, I appreciate that.  I also think that a lot of people use this as an excuse.  It’s easier to explain away your weight if you can find a condition to blame it on.  I’m not suggesting this is true in all cases (it’s obviously not), but I find it hard to believe that almost 2/3rds of the population is fat due to a hormone imbalance or medication.

I guess I’m straying from my point.  Right now, I don’t care about the rest of the world.  If they are happy with themselves, then great.  I’m no longer going to let them drag me down into this “normality”.  I’m fat because I made myself fat.  If people with an alcohol problem need to acknowledge their problem before they move forward, then it stands to reason people with an eating problem do too.

I made myself fat.

I’ve put on about 30kgs in 5 years.  It didn’t happen overnight, but it did happen.  It’s easy to overlook it when it happens gradually.  It’s even easier when you spend a majority of your days around overweight people.  I worked full-time and about an hour away, in a shopping centre where fast food is everywhere.  Even if I avoided the greasy temptations there, I’d stop off at Maccas on the way home for dinner.  It’d leave at 7.30am and get home at 6.30pm.  I’d be tired before work, I’d be even more tired after work.  Too tired to exercise.  On the weekends I’d channel surf, play computer games and go out to lunch with friends.  The weekend was my time.  I’m not going to ruin it with boring, uncomfortable exercise.  This is how the weight crept on – through all the excuses I fed myself along with all the fast food.

For those of you who haven’t experienced being overweight, you probably can’t really imagine it.  I mean, you probably think you can, and it’s probably partially correct.  Having never been naturally skinny, I don’t know what you’d think it’s like.  Let me break it down for you.

  • You wake up each morning, look at yourself in the mirror and hate yourself.  Imagine that for a second.  Your day hasn’t even started and it’s already off on the wrong foot because of your reflection.  Some people chose to avoid mirrors for this reason.  I did for a long while.  Then I moved into a rental with mirrored wardrobes and suddenly I don’t have that luxury any more.  Even if you avoid the mirrors, you know that you have to face the world and everyone else is going to see you.  Yep, such a great start to each day.
  • It’s lunchtime.  You forgot to pack lunch (it happens).  Suddenly, you realize you have to buy lunch.  From a food court.  One of the most unhealthy food selections around.  You can spend half your lunchbreak trying to find something healthy (and break the bank for the trouble), or you can get take away.  Inevitably, you get take away, and while you eat it, you try not to look like you’re enjoying it too much (even though take away always tastes like heaven).  You hate yourself.  The fat person is eating greasy take away.  You feel like a massive stereotype.  You are a massive stereotype.  You assume everyone is judging you, even your friends.
  • The seasons are changing.  Oh god, you need to go clothes shopping.  Is today going to be the day you can no longer find things at Target that fit you?  Even if you can find things that fit, will you find anything that doesn’t pull awkwardly and make you look even bigger?  Clothes shopping is one of the most stressful, horrible things a fat person can do.  It’s in public, it’s uncomfortable trying so many different things on and it’s depressing when you find cute things and know they’d never make it in your size (and if they do, it won’t sit right because it was made for thin people).  You wind up buying clothes you don’t even really like, purely because they fit and don’t make you feel too much worse about yourself than normal.
  • You friends are all getting engaged and pregnant and you are single, and always have been.  You’ve been on a couple of dates but nothing came from them.  You’ve liked people but they weren’t interested (big surprise, you’re huge).  You know even if you managed to find someone, you’d be thinking the whole time “why are they with me?” and assuming all their family and friends are not only judging you, but your partner as well for being with someone so big.  You’re plagued with such self-loathing and doubt that you ruin anything before it even starts.
  • You apply for jobs, but you first have to work out whether you’d be suitable for it.  Is their uniform going to fit you?  Are you going to be someone they want representing them?  You mentally rule out most clothing places, most real estate jobs…basically anything where skinny, beautiful people are front and centre.  Even when you land an interview, you know deep down you probably won’t get it because someone more attractive will get it.  Yes, this is discrimination, but how can anyone actually prove it?

These reasons are why fad diets are so popular, and always have been.  Who doesn’t want a quick fix to address oversized stomachs, flabby arms and chubby thighs?   Especially when your friend’s friend (supposedly) had great success with it.  I’ve always tried to avoid fad diets, though I have tried a couple.  No success whatsoever, needless to say.

I have a terrible diet and I hate exercise.  If we’re being honest about everything, it’s best to start there.  I don’t think this is a particularly unusual thing in this “normal fat” world.  It’s too easy to find amazing tasty (extremely fatty, greasy) food and too hard to find motivation to get off the couch.  I’m also a fussy eater.  I always have been.  Before you start, it’s not something you can just turn off.  I’m sure you have something you hate the taste of – I just dislike the taste of a wider variety of things.  I wish I didn’t as it makes having a healthy diet harder.  I don’t know who’s to blame for it.  It’s easy to point the fingers at my family, but my sister isn’t fussy like me.  I guess it doesn’t matter, it just is what it is and what it is is an additional complication to weight loss.

Today, I’m making a change.

I’m done with being fat.  I’m done with wishing I could wear cute clothes.  I’m done with convincing myself that pizza for dinner won’t hurt.  I’m done sitting on the couch all day wishing things were different.

I’m 91 kilograms today.  I ate donuts for breakfast like this is normal.  IT ISN’T.

September is the last month I’m going to be 91kgs.

It’s going to be difficult, and progress will no doubt be slower than I’d like.  That’s the issue, isn’t it?  You feel motivated, work out a couple of times, the scales don’t change and you go back to your old ways.  That’s how it’s always been for me anyway.

This time it’s different.  This time, I’m laying everything out in the open.  I’m going to document everything on here.  I’m sure it’s been done a thousand times before by other people going through the same struggle.  I don’t care.  I’m not doing it for other people and their light-reading enjoyment.  I’m doing it for me.  The best motivator for me is to know other people are watching.  That if I fail, I’m letting them down too, not just me.  It’s easy to let myself down – the easiest thing in the world – but I hate letting other people down.  I hate trying to explain why.

Today I went for a 50 minute walk around my suburb.  I haven’t gone on a walk like that in at least a year.  I can’t even remember the last time I went on one that long.  And you know what?  I surprised myself.  I assumed – wrongly – that I’d be sweating bullets and feeling awful by the 20 minute mark.  I didn’t start to feel that way until I was almost home, and even then, it wasn’t as bad as I thought.  The sun was out, the sky was blue and it was really nice.  More proof that I really do have it in me to change.  I’m also going to plan out my meals ahead of time, so I don’t fall into my old lazy ways of snacking on bad food or cooking quick meals.

This won’t be easy, but it will be done.  It has to be.  It’s time to change.cb7aaf5ad5b963b95c7485c46c4f27d011123890_1429776213994099_1480929173_n