Many people have issues eating healthy. Some stick to a diet and fall off, while others eat semi healthy all of the time but never fully get there. Why? It is undeniable fact that eating healthy is the best way to go and will result in you being the best person you can be. It can give you the body you want to have, or the physical performance on the field you need. The mental performance you need at work, while still having the mental fortitude and energy when you get home and have to switch from worker to parent. The mental clarity and efficiency in school to get great grades without stressing out. So if eating healthy can do all of this for you, then why is it so hard? Well there could be many reasons but today I will focus on one that nobody seems to talk about. It isn’t that eating healthy is hard. In fact when you habitually eat healthy it is very easy and not stressful at all. It is simply that you love food.
Now hold on, I see the questions coming in now. “What? Everyone loves food!” And to an extent, yes they do. But when I say “love food” I don’t mean the fact that some of it tastes good. I mean that deep in your heart there is an emotional connection to food so strong that you will put your own life on the line for it. A love for food that you may put over your family, or even serve as a God. This is a sad state that many people have fallen into in this day and age. Food is not thought of as what it is meant for; which is to repair our bodies and give us energy. Instead it has become your friend, possibly even closer to you like family, or maybe it is to the extent of where it has become your God and you unknowingly serve it. “What? Mike I wouldn’t risk my life for food!” Every single time you eating junk food you are destroying yourself at the cellular level, and creating a habit out of eating bad. So in a way, yes you are risking your life by eating it. That is why you never feel like you won the lottery after eating junk. Instead you feel like the junk you ate. After all, you are what you eat.
So it’s not that you can’t stick to eating healthy, but it also isn’t that you don’t want to. Deep down you say you want to but know you can’t. This is because you need the junk food. If you don’t have it would feel like betraying someone. So when you go to eat healthy, it goes well for a little bit; but then that strong emotional connection kicks in. Have you ever heard those voices in your head when trying to eat healthy? I’m sure you have because we all have. Those voices are the emotional connection to the junk food. They are the voices that start giving you negative thoughts when you are eating healthy and on a roll. It is a parasite feeding on you and it wants to stay alive, and when you are eating healthy it is getting weakened. So it starts putting all of these negative ideas in your head to give you any excuse on why eating healthy isn’t necessary or is just plain stupid.
- “Come on man you are trying too hard. You don’t need to eat this healthy.”
- “It’s just one burger, it isn’t going to ruin your whole life.”
- “You are overdoing it. Is eating this healthy really worth it, if you need to stress constantly deny these other tasty foods?”
- “What is everyone else going to think if you don’t drink at the party? You should have one just to make sure they don’t make fun of you.”
Do any of these sound familiar, or at least something that resembles them? These voices and these questions don’t make sense, but the emotional attachment to them makes it seem like they do. Let us quickly attack each of the voices above to show why the voices are wrong:
- The first statement is false because if you want to be the most awesome person you can be yes, you do need to eat this healthy. Every time you eat bad foods it becomes a part of who you are. It throws off your hormones, makes you tired, and can put you in a bad mood. Your work suffers, school suffers, athletic performance suffers, you are more likely to snap at your children. It can lead to all types of disease, and every day science is linking more and more disease to diet related aspects (eating added sugar for example). And if you get a disease your life may never be the same for you or the people around you. If you eat like junk and trigger the growth of cancer,not just you, but all of your loved ones feel it as well. Not to mention what you are eating right now will have an effect on the genetics of your children…and their children…and many generations down the line.
- This one you may tell yourself, or worse someone else has told you this. And if you look into it, it isn’t just one burger. That is like telling someone who is trying to recover from a drug addiction that it is just one time. That individual time may not be too bad physically, but mentally, it can really mess someone up. That one burger gives strength back to that parasite within, and it makes it so much easier to fall back off again the next time. However when you say “No, I’m not eating it” you gain a sense of pride. You know you are one step closer to your goal, and that emotional connection to food weakens and you gain back your independence.
- Really? Is it really healthy to eat this healthy? Is it healthy to give your body what it needs to perform at its best? Is it healthy to feed your brain the food and fuel it needs for you to kick ass in everything you want to do? Is it healthy to be in control of what you put into your body so you can ensure you are filled with vitality and ready to do awesome things for the world? The obvious answer should be yes. What isn’t healthy is thinking that you need to eat toxic junk food or you are “overdoing it”.
- This last one is a tough one. Not because I question if it is right or wrong, but tough in the regard that other people can have a huge impact on us. That is why when we look at this one we need to say “Hell no!” I’m not going to do it because of what they will think! No, because you are not doing it for them or what it means to them. You are doing it because of what it means to you! What it means for you to eat healthy! You are doing it for how it feels when you overcome this destructive emotional connection to food and you break your old habits, and now you are in charge of your life. How amazing you feel when you are healthy. It simply just doesn’t matter what they think, because you are doing something awesome for yourself and you should never feel bad about it, or be embarrassed to do it.
We’ve looked at how emotionally attached to food you may be and how it could be ruining your ability to eat healthy. How it has become a disease, a parasite feeding off of you not allowing you to take the independence back so you can eat to live and not live to eat. We have seen how it talks to you. How it tries to convince you that eating healthy is stupid, and that you are overdoing it. The question is how do you fix it? Well as a matter of fact, it’s simple. Very very hard in the beginning, but simple. You need to do what I did above. Every time that voice comes into your head trying to convince you to eat something bad, look at the consequences of eating and not eating it. You can’t just push the negative thoughts aside and power your way through it because you will eventually burn out. And that parasite is too strong and has been getting stronger your whole life so you can’t just push it to the side.
For example let’s say there is a piece of cake:
A positive of eating the cake is that it tastes good for five minutes. The negatives are that you are putting toxins in your body, it’s going to throw your hormones out of line, it is going to bloat you, make you tired, maybe give you pimples, make you moody, and maybe even more.
Positives of NOT eating the cake are that you don’t get any of the negative reactions caused by the food. You feel so good about yourself after because you said no, stayed on course and now you are one step closer to your goals. You strengthen your habit of eating healthy and weakened the parasite and bad habits associated with eating in a way that destroys you, instead of building you. The negative is that you don’t get the taste for five minutes and maybe somebody says something negative (or they could say something positive which would be great!).
How does that cake look now? It may still look kind of pretty, but not worth it. The results of not eating it make you feel incredible, and weaken the grasp food once had on you. If continue to do this, you will keep weakening that emotional connection, and you will break old habits while forming new ones. Eventually this little war won’t be a war anymore. Eating healthy will be a walk in the park and unhealthy foods may even start looking gross (which realistically they are because it isn’t really food to begin with). So if you can’t eat healthy, or every time you start you seem to fall off I urge you to try this. You can’t break an addiction by pushing it aside or those voices will never go away. You need to face it head on, tell it that it is wrong and that you are going to take control of your eating habits and take who you are as a person to the next level.
Author: Mike Cuccio