The Admission

I’ve redoubled my efforts to watch my calorie intake and nutrition. I think I’m kinda doing okay at it, I’ve got my veggies and fruits down. I’ve cut out all red meat and pork, nearly all chicken, fish is okay though, and switched to a mostly vegetarian diet.

And it’s going incredibly well, despite what I expected. For most of my life, I was of the stupid opinion that meat has to be in every single meal, or else, it wasn’t even a meal. I changed my mind when I read an Reddit AMA with Andrew Zimmern, host of Bizarre Foods. The show, if you weren’t aware, featured Andrew touring foreign locations and exploring culture and people through food which usually was very, very different from food in the USA. (Incidentally, this happens to be my dream job).

‘apingyou’: What is your normal diet like when at home, both for food and beverage?

Zimmern: I get up in the morning and have coffee and yogurt or coffee, egg and piece of toast. Lunch typically for me is at the office and is usually Chinese food or sandwich. I’m big sandwich guy. Dinner we cook at home as a family. Roast a chicken, do a couple of vegetables and make a big salad. Throw a pork shoulder on the grill and let it roast for a few hours. We eat very simply, 3 or 4 ingredients per dish. We have a couple side dishes on our tables always. And we want our son to know that meat is not the center of every meal.

I immediately though oh my god, of course it doesn’t! Why hadn’t this occurred to me?!? I felt kind of dumb, really. Meals don’t have to have such a limited formula. That was what prompted me to cut meat out. I don’t see anything wrong someone else munching down on chicken or burgers- but it hasn’t been working for me, and I need to give something else a try, and I think it’s working out.

I’ve also cut out soda entirely. As of today, 8 days without the bubbly.

The biggest thing that I’ve realized, and the point of this post, is that I’m not addicted.

I’m not addicted to food or soda.

I thought it would be harder. I really thought that this would be a much bigger struggle. Don’t get me wrong, I still want gobs of cheese and fried onions piled on a 1/2 pound hunk of ground beef cause that shit be tasty), but I don’t have withdrawal symptoms, or moments of weakness, or any guilt, or anything.

I’m just making different choices. I just choose not to do that. I didn’t know that I could do that.

I related this revelation to a friend, and she called me ‘lucky’. That sort of hurt, to tell the truth. Sure, I might be lucky that I don’t have the struggle that she and many others have. Believe me, I understand the brain chemistry, I know how addiction works, i know thats it’s really, really hard for some people. But I’m not necessarily better off. There are reasons I adopted this belief that I was addicted.

See, I don’t really have a whole lot of faith in myself. I never have. I frequently feel like a half-person. That just sort of hangs around. I sometimes tell myself that I’m just a minor character in my own story. I’m not very interesting. I’ve never really traveled, or gone to crazy events or concerts, or done anything worth writing about.

I made it up because I wanted faults. I wanted to have something I could tell myself that made me interesting. Some struggle. I believed it, and it made it very, very easy to give in to any extravagant food choices presented. I didn’t have to worry about making the right choice, I already knew I was going to make the bad one. I didn’t share this with anyone, I never really bragged or made it a big deal, so it wasn’t so much a lie to the world as it was an excuse for me to justify what I was doing.

I still don’t think I’m much of anyone of note. I’m quite dull. But at least now, I’m willing to admit that I was only being lazy about making food choices. I’ve adjusted my diet and attitude. The best I can do is move on, and continue to improve. Or at least, try to.

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