I got over food addiction by building a mental wall around me that kept out all things negative; other people’s problems…that I couldn’t do anything about, news items that were crap, side trips that could take me away from my goals, people’s opinions of me — good or bad….I kept my mind clean, for me. I developed a mind-set that no one was good enough to influence me, my lifestyle, my relationship with my boys, what I ate, what I drank, and most of all, who I was as a person.
At the time, I was going through a divorce and I had always tried to take the high road…be the bigger person, be an example. All that nonsense gave me the license to reward myself by eating anything I wanted.
I finally looked in the mirror and said, “what about me? What’s this doing for my lifespan?”
From that point on, I decided to create good habits. Habits that last a lifetime. I started walking everyday, doing light exercise, getting fresh air, doing something good for myself.
I got out some old motivation books I used to read because at the time, I thought they were cool. I could always say in conversation, “yeah I read that book,” and quote something from it. I hadn’t made it a part of me…I was giving lip service.
I made a point of using a positive principle out of those books everyday. Dale Carnegie’s, “How to win friends and influence people,” was the best.
What I ate at that turning point, is what I eat today, 40 years later.
I had a friend in Houston who was a Naturopath and his philosophy was to eat 70% healthy.
It’s like when a person has a hangover, the best bet is to have a drink of what gave you the hangover so you can ease back into normalcy…kind of like “having some of the hair of the dog that bit you.”
The other 30% of your diet keeps you environmentally friendly. (Hair of the dog)
I started replacing basics with healthier basics; herb seasoning for salt, herbal tea for coffee, turbinado sugar for white confectionary sugar, club soda and cranberry juice for Rum and Diet Coke, whole grain bread for for white bread, honey for maple syrup, almond milk for homogenized milk, 70% chicken over 30% red meat, fruit for candy…just common sense trade-offs.
I learned to enjoy things like biting into a fresh tomato with my eyes closed and tasting the goodness instead of gobbling it up like I had always done. I learned to slow down while I ate, smaller bites, chewing my food good, just enjoying eating.
My wife and I eat out quite a bit and you can always get a salad with chicken strips on it. If we want a steak, we eat one, but not everyday.
When I first changed my mind-set, I weighed 262 pounds. Now I weigh 174 pounds. We ride bicycles every morning for 20 minutes, treadmill and light weights, a moderate amount of in-cline push-ups and set-ups… a total of about 40 minutes.
It’s a good habit to create because you don’t feel right unless you do it.
Now, I can look in the mirror and say, “This,…is about me!”