I was that person. The one who would order a “hunger buster” value meal (Big Mac, cheeseburger, large fries, chocolate sundae, large soft drink) and ask for a diet Coke with it.
I can be really dumb sometimes.
My logic was that I could easily avoid the calories in the drink, but I still wanted my junk food. It was non-negotiable.
Then I’d get on the scale at the end of the week, and wonder why I hadn’t lost weight.
Things have changed. These days, when I get a craving for junk, I go a cheeseburger or a whopper jr. That’s it. And it’s enough.
I make sure I always have a water bottle on me, so I don’t need a drink. And when I don’t need a drink it seems a bit pointless to have a meal deal (add-on fries and soft drink) when I don’t need or want half of it.
What I realised is no matter how much junk food I ate, it was never enough.
Junk food is not about portions with me. It’s about getting a fix.
I knew – when I began to be honest with myself – that no matter how much I ordered, I’d always want more. I’m perfectly capable of eating two hunger busters, probably. Maybe three. That hole inside me never seemed to get full, no matter how much junk I shoved down my neck.
I realised – and admitted – that I’m an addict. Just like an alcoholic can’t control their booze intake, I can’t control my food addiction.
However, if I only have a burger, by itself, I seem to not go so nutso on the junk food.
I can’t control having large amounts, but I seem to be able to manage small amounts.
Plus, to be honest, I really believe the addictive part of junk food isn’t the burgers. It’s the fries and drinks.
That’s the case with me, anyway.
So these days, if I go with friends to a junk food place, I just order a small burger. Nothing else. I enjoy the experience, and my eating stays in check. I get my fix – because I’m still an addict – but I’m happy.
A whopper jr contains 340 calories. A McDonald’s cheeseburger contains 313 calories. That’s about right for a lunch for a woman who is trying to lose a few.
Compare that with the calories in a McDonald’s “hunger buster”: 1587. Or a Burger King whopper meal: 1620. Either is my whole day’s calories in a single meal. No wonder I wasn’t losing weight!
I know it’s not socially acceptable to believe we can eat the occasional burger and still lose weight.
I know it’s also true that some people are so addicted that they can’t even have just a burger yet avoid going nutso.
I find that this works for me. Maybe it will work for you too 🙂
I have an eating plan these days that works for me. Knowing what I will and will not eat really helps in getting on top of the overeating.
My plan is usually something like this:
BREAKFAST: Two eggs (if I feel like it, often I don’t), and I’ll have a piece of fruit mid-morning instead
LUNCH: A sandwich and a piece of fruit.
DINNER: Meat and vegetables or salad. Tonight I’m having 2 pork riblets and some mixed vegetables.
As well as my food plan, I try to do a reading, and an hour exercise. I’m doing well with the readings – they’re happening virtually every day now – but the exercise is a work in progress.
Finally, I try to listen to a podcast or attend a meeting every day.
Every week I feel like I’m getting a little bit better at all this. Change is hard. But knowing what I should be doing and eating really helps control my behavior.
Having a plan makes me happier too, because my life is more organized. I have a path forward. I feel like I may even succeed! My weight is going down, too, about a pound a week, but what makes the bigger difference is learning that this is not about my weight. This is about my mind, my behavior, and my spiritual wellness.
I’m starting to believe that I will recover from this thing called overeating, and I believe my weight loss will follow as I gain control of my behavior.