Everyone has their addiction – soccer, beer, cigarettes, porn, sex, exercise. One of my biggest addictions in life is junk food. Other than family, this is probably my longest relationship of my life. I’ve loved junk food since I was a kid. My mum used to tell me how I rather eat ice cream at meal times and at the age of 12, I could take six roti pratas with egg (the oily Indian pancake lookalike) and two Milo Dinosaur drinks (basically iced Milo topped with lots of Milo powder) just for breakfast.
Someone once told me that my attitude towards junk food should be that of: “Make it worth the calories“, but the way I love junk food, everything is worth the calories! My girlfriend Daphne told me that I should love my body and treat it right by feeding it only healthy food, but somehow I don’t quite fully agree on that.
Junk food exists as a form of sinful indulgence for us, but it’s not something that we should be stuffing our faces with 24/7. I have a bad habit of preferring to have junk food over proper meals and I also have this ability to wipe out junk food at alarming rates. In one sitting, I can wipe out three tubes of Tim Tams, one tin of butter cookies, one big bag of chips, one tub of ice cream, one big bar of chocolate and more.
Since I embarked on my quest for healthy living, I have been trying my best to cut out junk food and avoid it, but I end up binge eating. I wrote about this problem of binge eating and how having cheat meals will help the weight loss process, but a recent conversation with my trainer Joey got me thinking again.
He was trying to persuade me into giving up junk food the way a chain smoker should give up smoking and also, to make a permanent lifestyle change and just break up with junk food essentially. My argument was that I didn’t want to give up junk food totally, not that I can’t.
You see, I know junk food is bad and unhealthy, but I just find life that bit meaningless if I didn’t have junk food. I have been able to cut out sweet drinks completely and only drink water or milk, but for some reason something in me cannot and does not want to give up my sweet and savoury treats.
Daphne, who used to be really overweight, ate all the junk food in the world then. But once she put her mind to lose weight and keep it off, her cravings for junk food disappeared into thin air just like that. Now, she craves for a good thick, juicy piece of beef steak rather than a freshly baked brownie overflowing with ice cream.
My idea of a cheat meal is two tubes of Pringles, one big bag of Kettler honey dijon chips, five tubes of Tim Tams, one tub of Ben & Jerry’s Cookie Dough and three packets of Doritos/Nachos, while her idea of a cheat meal is something with veal or some truffle pasta. Hence, she cannot comprehend why I have this junk food addiction. Ling, another girlfriend of mine, is totally able to understand why! *mega loves for Ling*
Believe me, I am trying hard to cut out junk food completely, even when I’m travelling. Sometimes it gets hard when I’m on the move and there’s nothing healthy to eat. I would conveniently reach out for biscuits or something rather than starve. Moving forward, I really need to put in more effort in planning ahead for my meals and packing along food on the go.
The thing is, I know myself well. If I deprive myself of something, I have a tendency to burst and then I will just stuff myself silly with junk food suddenly within a short timeframe. It’s all about the mindset I know. It’s a choice I have to make, a lifestyle change as Joey put it.
It is tough but I will try. I am already avoiding junk food as much as I can, but I’m not ready to give it up entirely. I will allow myself the occasional cheat treat and I have to master the art of self-control. I simply cannot stop at one. No matter how I tell myself to just have one to satisfy the craving, I usually end up cleaning out everything.
Because of my tendency to clean out everything, a good way to overcome this junk food addiction is probably to just avoid completely – which is what I am doing now. I end up depriving myself and bursting, but it is slowly improving. *hooray to progress*
There are ways to overcome this junk food addiction and I will start by telling myself how much I need to work out just to keep those calories from junk food off. For example, one piece of Tim Tam is about 100 calories. There are nine pieces in one tube which means a total of almost 1,000 calories a tube. I would have to run for an hour at a speed of maybe 6 minute per kilometre to burn that same amount of calories.
I’ve made a commitment to myself to live healthy so I must honour my word. I hope one day I will be able to stop craving for junk food the way I do now, and also be able to stop at one. It’s a tall order but I promise I will try and I am trying! I will try harder!
Do you have a junk food addiction and a self-control issue like me? Here are some suggestions to overcome this:
1) Think of the amount of exercise you need to burn those calories off
2) Swop for healthier options to snack on (I know carrot sticks aren’t the same as potato chips but at least there’s a munching action to trick the body into thinking you are snacking – similar theory to electronic cigarettes)
3) Don’t think of it as torture or a restriction, but think of it as helping your health (this will take a lot of self-convincing)
4) Don’t have any junk food in sight or within easy access
5) If you really have to have some, stop at one (or two) and then have someone take it away or just throw it away. It’s a waste of money to throw away but that’s what I do. In time to come you will just stop buying to throw away.
6) Remind yourself of your motivation for that better body
7) Have a buddy to talk to each time you feel like snacking
I love walking into supermarkets and convenience stores to look at snacks and lately it has become somewhat of a torture. I feel like all these ‘bad foods’ are calling out to me but I’m rejecting their friendships. I love to check for new products or new flavours to try, but no more of that!
Lately I’ve been playing this mind game with myself where I overload myself visually with junk food and then fight the craving head on. Before you do that, make sure you have no access to junk food, or food of any sort. I’m in a far-out hotel in the mountains now, hence I’m able to successfully execute this. Self-torture? Not really, just feeding my temptations psychologically.
During my random surfing of the internet for junk food pictures, I came across this blog by The Girl Who Ate Everything. Coincidentally, my Facebook page is Cheryl Tay, the girl who loves cars and motorsports. Anyway, this is a foodie blog with lots of recipes. She has healthy food in there as well, but I only went through the Desserts section. Here are some of the most drool-worthy photos, in my opinion as a junk foodie:
Now that you have viewed all these, are you reaching out for something to eat? NO, STOP IT. Go have cottage cheese or drink water and then go dream of these. When you wake up tomorrow, please don’t binge on junk food – have a good breakfast of oats, muesli or eggs instead.
Remember your cause!
Read the rest of my Weight Loss Diary entries here.