Yeah, I know, genius advice, right? Well, if I can do it, you can too.
To begin, let’s recount all the reasons to stop putting over processed garbage into your body.
On second thought, let’s not. I mean, I wrote about the benefits of weight loss, and losing weight is certainly one of the benefits of not eating crap, but it’s not the only one. We all know we shouldn’t be eating those sugary refined carbs, those delicious treats, and we all know any number of reasons why. So forget the why, get to the how.
I was born with a terrible sweet tooth and a fast metabolism, so for my entire life I snacked. Since it didn’t affect my weight, anytime I wanted to I ate candy bars, chocolate, donuts, cake, pastries, anything to fill my stomach and placate my sweet tooth. Thing is, if you’re filling your stomach with crap, you’re not filling it with proper nutrition. At some point, that’s bound to catch up with you, but for me fate intervened before it did.
When our second was about a year old my wife wanted to shed the final baby weight. She started a regular (3 to 4 times per week) Bikram practice, and started paying a lot more attention to her diet. Shortly after, I joined her, ramping my practice up to 3 times per week and since she’s the family chef, my diet got cleaned up at the same time.
Sometime in the next year or two something dawned on me; I wasn’t eating anywhere near as much crap as I used to. When coworkers brought in donuts or cookies to celebrate a birthday, I walked by without grabbing one. After dinner, I skipped dessert (ice cream was going nasty in our freezer, and getting thrown out). The kids’ Halloween candy box was still full at Christmas, and then again at Easter.
When I realized this, I decided I wasn’t going to skip out on tasty treats, so the next time there were donuts in the office, I grabbed one.
Some combination of improved diet and sweating out the garbage left me lacking the desire to eat crap, and on the occasions I did (out of habit, or nostalgia) I regretted it. It stopped tasting good, and my body rebelled against being poisoned. It bothered my stomach, messed with my digestion, degraded my athletic performance and screwed up my sleep. On the other hand, eating healthily instead had directly opposite results.
Do I still have a sweet tooth? Yes. But now I don’t indulge it with the over processed junk of my childhood (I’m looking at you, Vachon).
Cross posted at Medium.com