It’s hard to say how I got on this writing about food kick. I keep telling myself it’s because I’ve been reading a lot of food books lately. But why have I even been reading all these food books?
It’s something I’m interested in, yes, but is there more than that? Is it deeper than just an interest?
Maybe. There’s a definite desire for change when it comes to food.
I stopped drinking soda my freshman year of college. That was 13 years ago. It was a conscious choice and I quit cold turkey. How, you ask?
Well, anyone who has ever experienced dorm life and its requisite diet knows that college cafeterias are the land of all-you-can-drink soda fountains, which flow freely at breakfast, lunch and dinner.
That’s right, I caught myself drinking 6-plus glasses of soda per day (that’s right, two or more refills per meal). And I knew that if I didn’t nip the compulsive drinking in the bud, then I’d be doomed after 4 years of non-stop soda drinking.
I quit. And never looked back.
It was probably the single best thing I ever did for my body and my health.
Maybe I should apply such cunning willpower to other things like…bread!
So what can we learn from this?
1. pay attention to your behavior.
There’s no easy explanation for how or why I realized that I was drinking 6 or more sodas per day. But something about starting the day with two Dr. Peppers just didn’t seem right. It didn’t jive with the me that I wanted to be. To enact change you have to first notice when, where and how you eat (or sleep, or watch T.V., or whatever is your addiction of choice). Is it harmful or helpful? If it’s harmful, why do you do it? What are you getting out of it?
2. pay attention to the why.
Why was I drinking so much soda? Frankly, because it was there. Which (obviously) is not a very good reason at all. If you’re able to answer the question, “why do you do it?” pay close attention to the answers. Is it a good reason? No? Then Knock It Off. Can you summon those answers by engaging in more healthy behavior? If not, answer the question, “Why don’t you knock it off?” and pay attention to those answers. The why will always take you to the core of the issue — and just keep asking why until there’s nothing more to say.
3. pay attention to when drastic measures are necessary.
That’s why I quit drinking soda cold turkey. I knew that if I didn’t enact a drastic measure, I’d allow myself to cheat way too easily. The old “it’s just one soda” would sneak in at every meal and before I knew it I’d be back to drinking 6 sodas day. Not good. And having no good reason (from #2 above) for ridiculous behavior requires drastic measures.
If you are drinking 6 or more sodas per day* — what the hell are you gonna do about it? (*Substitute “drinking 6 or more sodas per day” with your own personal ridiculous behavior.)