Some days are just harder than others. Some days, no matter how much my head is screaming no, my taste buds are screaming louder, and they're screaming for junk. Even knowing the reason why doesn't always help. You may or may not know, but we are actually physiologically addicted to processed foods. The food industry has strategically planned this by adding things to foods that don't need anything added to them. For instance, today I noticed that my Pepperidge Farm Stuffing mix has high fructose corn syrup in it. Why on earth would my stuffing need to have added sugar (and I'm being very gracious with the term "sugar" here)?? Without looking at the ingredient list, who would even think there was "sugar" in it? It sure doesn't taste sweet! I don't know about you, but when I get a craving for sweets, I certainly don't think, 'mmmm, a big bowl of stuffing would really hit the spot right about now.' The reason there is high fructose corn syrup in my stuffing, as well as in just about any other item on the shelf, is because it's one of these additives. It doesn't need to be there, so why is it? Because it's making you addicted to that product. The food industry is using it to get you hooked on their product so that they make more money (and their main weapon is corn because of the government, but that's a discussion for another time). These companies do not care about me. They do not care about you. They care about their bottom line.... ((gasp))
But unfortunately, knowing this doesn't help. Addictions are strong. Addictions are hard to kick. Which is why last night, even after burning the popcorn three times, I still continued to make it until I had bowl of unburnt popcorn to which I could add M&M's (I'm a sucker for salty and sweet). To my credit, I poured the M&M's out into the trash can immediately following to ward off any such encounters from getting the best of me again. (Yes, I felt it was best to actually pour them out as I know I won't go through the trash for individual M&M's, but if the craving was really strong, and the trash was more paper products or not completely disgusting, I maybe just might go through it for M&M's that were safely untouched inside of the bag. Don't judge me. I said maybe.) The addiction is so strong that even some of my most motivating posters on my Healthy board, like this one, didn't save me:
Of course afterward, I not only felt immediate regret, but I had the physical side effects of heartburn and a stomachache to remind me of my bad decision.
If any part of this story reminds you of yourself, then I'm here to tell you:
It won't be easy, especially in the beginning. Trying to break addiction is never easy, but it is possible. Right now it's hard because our minds are constantly focused on it, but it will get easier. They say you crave what you eat. This is so true. I think back to certain candies I loved as a kid and I can't imagine eating them now. Once you go for awhile without something, it becomes easier to see it for what it really is, JUNK. The same will be true for the processed foods we're so addicted to now. One day we'll ask ourselves, 'how could I have ever eaten that??' But for now, if you fall off the wagon, it's ok. Just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, determine to do better next time, and hop back on.