The One Where Magpie Hates Healthy Eating
So one of my biggest goals for this month is a total ban on take-out and fast food. Over the last couple years as I’ve added job after job, my eating habits have basically found themselves going right down the toilet. Whatever was quick, easy, and convenient was what was on the menu. I drive past Dunkin’ on this day, the Thai place is right around the corner from where I work this day, etc… etc… My location determined my meal.
Which sucks for a variety of reasons. The biggest being, of course, that my wallet AND my waistline both take issue with the habit. My waistline has continued to expand as my wallet deflates. And the waistline thing wouldn’t even be that big of a deal (I’m still on the “skinnyish” side of national averages) if it wasn’t so interconnected with my wallet.
See, new clothes in a new size cost money.
Money that I don’t have because I’ve been mostly spending it on take-out and fast food because I work too much to cook because I don’t have enough money.
So you see the problem here.
So for May I’ve decided to cut take-out and fast food all together.
No more. And no more super duper processed food either – at least when I can manage it. Lots of fresh, lots of fruits and veggies, and lots of water.
And guys? Can I be honest here?
This seriously sucks.
Like, I know that it’s better for me? I know it’s saving me mega money? I know that eating salads, and chicken, and fresh food is way healthier than the way I’ve been operating lately? I know that the internet gives me access to all sorts of fun, exciting, healthy recipes so that it doesn’t have to be boring? But like, all I want is a damned bowl of Kraft Mac and Cheese. Topped with more cheese. And salty nutrition-free ramen. Maybe a big plate of take-out Pad Thai. And a dessert of a whole sleeve of shortbread cookies.
And the kicker is? Eating better isn’t even as hard as I’ve been telling myself all these years. Some careful planning and a couple of good fridge storage containers and I can have enough meals for the week in under two hours. So I can’t even use “It’s too hard and takes too much time” as an excuse anymore. And that almost makes me MORE miserable about this whole thing.
And I know this is a SUPER privileged first world problem kind of thing to be bitching about. I know it is. I also know that these kind of habit changes are a process. Results aren’t immediate and a habit – particularly one that can have addictive aspects to it like this – doesn’t change overnight.
But I also feel like it’s important to be honest. Because I have to admit, when I first started this quest to eat better, I felt like a massive failure for not liking it. For not feeling better. For not loving my meals. For not being able to enjoy eating a salad in the same way that I loooovvvveeee eating mac and cheese. I still feel like that 80% of the time, actually.
Because there’s so much noise coming in from the social media world telling me that this shouldn’t be the case. That I shouldn’t hate this. That I’m wrong if I don’t feel better and happier when I clean up my eating habits. That a healthy diet and exercise are the key to a contented life. And it may not be directly or intentionally, but social media – Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook – they’re filled with health and fitness gurus and inspo that tout how much happier being healthy will make you. You’ll feel so much better! And it’s sooooo easy too! Look, these healthy meals taste so good, you won’t even miss your old diet anymore!
But I do. Oh my goodness, I do.
And I guess that’s the crux of it. I guess I just want to throw that out there into the universe. That this isn’t easy for everyone. And it’s okay for it not to be easy. Everyone keeps telling me that it’ll get easier as the habit change becomes permanent. That my palate will change along with my diet. That I’ll stop craving super processed and fatty foods, and grow to prefer these healthier options. Social media puts this glossy sheen over everything, promising ease and health and pep. That the struggle – when it’s actually acknowledged in a direct way – is super totally worth it, and that in retrospect this’ll seem super easy.
But it’s not.
So far it’s just been hard.
And that’s okay.
And I think admitting that this is hard, and enduring anyway? I think that’s the first step to making real change.
So let’s see how this goes.
Lady, it sounds like you need to build a cheat day into your schedule. Now that you’re in the habits, let yourself junk out on Sundays or something.
After finals are over, I’m going to give myself a little more leeway, mainly because then I’ll be more free to cook throughout the week – hopefully making recipes that are a bit heartier and comforting (but still not boxed mac and cheese level unhealthy). So I’m hoping that’s going to help quite a bit. But if all else fails, cheat day it is. Lol
Yeah, I’ve found cheat days are often the only thing that keep me from going bonkers while dieting and ramping up the excercise. Like. yes, it sucks today, but on Sunday I get to lounge around in my pjs and eat a crap ton of cheese! CHEAT DAY!
Thanks! Hahaha. I need to get better at reminding myself that, hey, this stuff is actually pretty tasty – my mac and cheese cravings just get in the way of enjoying it properly!