A Year Without Junk Food

Summer is a paradoxical time: on the one hand, there is all the “bikini body” bullshit, and on the other, there is a lot of opportunity for drinking a lot of beer and eating a lot of not-so-great-for-you food such as ice cream.

I have always had a problem with moderation. I don’t know if it’s the way that my brain is wired or something physiological or what, but I have always had a really difficult time with “having just a little bit.” That has been really evident in the last month, especially, and it is starting to take a toll on me. I have less energy even though I have been doing more physical activity, I’m cranky, I sleep a lot but never feel rested. I’m positive that a lot of this can be linked back to my food habits. And so Bryan and I have come up with a radical challenge that will hopefully reset our eating habits and rewire our brains to make it easier to eat healthier.

We are going a year without junk food.

Are you shocked? Probably not, since that is the title of this blog post, but I’m a little bit shocked. I love food. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I think that you should love food! Food is one of life’s greatest pleasures, and at first, I balked at denying myself the great joy of a really delicious cheesecake or a waffle cone with Moose Tracks ice cream in it.

Given that, and given our drastic timeline, we laid down some ground rules:

  • Pizza is okay.
  • All sweets are off the menu. Except on special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, and weddings.
  • We can have junky food when we go out to restaurants, because not only is that a rare occasion, but it is also then a money thing as well as a health thing.

I want to be abundantly clear here: this is not a weight thing. This is not an “oh man, I really need to lose weight” thing. This is about the realization that my eating habits are far from healthy, and I want to reset my body to be healthier. I want to enjoy eating healthy food, and recognize junky food for what it is: a treat and not a necessity. An occasional thing, rather than a daily one. We are embarking on this challenge in order to have a better relationship with our food and ourselves, not to punish ourselves or anything like that. I try very hard to love my body the way it is, for what it is capable of, rather than what it looks like. I don’t believe that we need to give in to the bullshit idea that we all need to look a certain way, and that we are lesser if we don’t, and food is the enemy. It’s a constant struggle, but a worthwhile one.

Just to be clear.

Our junk food moratorium commences today, Wednesday, August 21, 2013 and ends Wednesday, August 20, 2014.

It should be an interesting year. Will you be joining us? Have you ever done something drastic in the name of your health?

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