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I plan what I eat on a daily basis before I eat it.
I don’t wake up and say “I’m having spaghetti today.” I don’t meticulously plan every single item I put into my mouth. I used to, but that level of strict conformity isn’t necessary for me.
When I get up in the morning, I know what I’ll have: coffee with a protein shake. Sometimes I have jerky too, but not often. I know that my lunch will be bacon and eggs (except for Wednesday, when I have pho), with some kind of meat. If I eat dinner, it will be small and of the bacon and egg variety.
I know that’s boring as shit, but I broke up with food a long time ago.
I, like many others, had a romance with food. Simply the idea of what I could eat led to romanticizing all of it. Burger and fries? Pizza? Chili? It all sounded amazing. I did the same with desserts. Sugar always sounded amazing.
I would eventually settle on one of the many choices, and walk to whatever restaurant near my office had the food of choice. It would always taste good for a couple of bites, and then it would taste OK, and then it was just mindless consumption.
Notice how I said good, not amazing? That’s the problem with romanticizing your food: the picture you paint in your head has very little to do with the reality of what you eat.
It’s because you’re chasing the dragon. Put simply, you’re chasing a high that will never be reached again. Like a crackhead, you actively chase what your brain tells you will be the next, most amazing high. This often comes in the form of high-calorie, high-fat foods.
This is a state that many who are obese live in, daily. It’s like drug addiction, but I doubt too many people are giving blowjobs for Big Macs. Instead, these are “drugs” that anybody can buy. They taste great when you first eat them. They taste great the second, and third time too. The more you eat them, though, the more you dull your ability to appreciate them.
Food goes from “great” to “I hope this is as great the 15th time”. So what’s the solution?
Break up with your food.
You need to kill the romance, because it’s not benefiting you in the slightest. How do you do that? Make a plan.
You can do this the day before, or you can plan out a particular meal you’re used to having this romance with. My close friend and colleague (let’s call him Josh) I share an office with plans his lunch. Josh knows what he will have every day for lunch. The moment he stops following that plan, he ends up right back in the same place of food romance.
Everybody needs a plan. If you need to plan your meals out for the day, do so. Put them in a notepad or calorie counting app, or meal planning app, whatever. Once you have a plan, you can fight back against the voice in your head. You can ignore that voice when tells you to go eat a cheeseburger for lunch instead.
I have arguments in my head against that voice on a regular basis. “You can just…” Nope, I have a plan.
You can fight back against that voice. Don’t let it control your decisions, because it’s not you. That voice is a desire to chase a high that you’ll never achieve, and you’ll be left bloated and foggy.
You can have these foods sometimes. There is nothing wrong with that. If you want to have a burger once a week, fine. Pick a day, and make that part of your plan. The other days, eat a decent, protein-centric lunch that leaves you sated. When that little voice comes calling, you can tell it “I have a plan, this is what I’m doing. Fuck off.”
Break up with food. Kill the romance. Make a plan.