The Mind is Mightier than the Fork

A random thought I had today is that people seem to be slaves to the food they eat. The mere thought of giving up a food or drink that is harmful yet delicious seems akin to asking people to change their religion or their political party. Not impossible, but nearly impossible. I couldn’t think of why people resist logic and data until I realized that people don’t realize that what we like and don’t like is all in our mind, and within our power to change.

People seem to accept cravings and preferences as some sort of message cut into stones and delivered by a prophet as being the only things they can ever consider eating. I hear it all the time: “I could never give up bread or chips” or “Not eat rice and beans? Are you kidding me?” or “I need my beer after work or I can’t relax.” That last one is indicative of bigger problems; seek help if that’s you. But the others? That’s just being closed-minded and stubborn for the sake of being stubborn. In other words, it’s not rooted in reality, logic, or fact. It’s just someone being reluctant to face the hard facts: the diet they are on is not conducive to good health. It takes some effort and adjustment and they don’t want to go through the transition period of discomfort, so they find it easier to eschew any advice regarding changing diets and would prefer to continue as-is regardless of the harmful effects to their health.

OK.

So, are you the person who is bigger than their appetite, or are you going to continue to be a slave to your cravings? Those cravings, by the way, are caused by sugar in your diet. Removing sugar from your diet literally stops the cravings. No, I didn’t say it stops hunger. Hunger is a natural feeling that we get when we need to add fuel to our bodies. The problem is that sugar causes false hunger because it sends signals to the body that we need to procure more energy quickly. That’s a very over-simplified explanation of what happens, but it’s the easiest for me to understand. Remember, I’m just a Marine.

You control what goes into your mouth, and through that portal, your body. When people tell me they can’t stop eating corn chips, bread, pizza, pasta, etc, what they are really saying is one of the following:

  • I’m not willing to go through any discomfort to change my diet regardless of the health benefits.
  • I’m not willing to accept responsibility for my health, condition, or well-being and would rather blame outside forces acting on me.
  • I’m too lazy to expend any effort to make proper meals because I have better things to do with my time (like watch TV, play video games, read…)
  • I’m not willing to consider a healthy diet because I’m not one of those people.
  • I’m afraid of never eating delicious food again.

Some of the items on that list might sound a little judgmental. Well, I don’t judge people for being overweight or not wanting to eat healthy. I just feel sad for them. Everyone has within them the power to make decisions for what goes on their fork and then goes into their face hole. Everyone, without exception, can find the power within them to force the change. Sure, it’s not easy. It takes time, and yes, there will be some failure involved. But that’s life. There’s nothing different about changing one’s diet and lifestyle than learning any new skill. Perseverance is key.

If you are reading this, you either have already made the changes, or are seriously considering them. If you’ve already made the switch, BRAVO! Keep on keepin’ on! If you stumble; it’s OKAY. We all do. Brush yourself off, get back up, and carry on. We learn from our mistakes.

If you are considering it but haven’t yet made the change in your diet to a healthy one, know that it’s completely doable. It stinks for a while when you make the transition from unhealthy to healthy, but the rewards are so great! The best part is you start reaping them very quickly after making the change. For me, the positive benefits were actually something I could feel within three days of kicking sugar! Two and a half years later, I feel better, younger, and stronger than I did twenty years ago. And yes, it’s mainly due to what I eat.

Your mind is mightier than the fork you use to put food in your face. If you would just use some motivation, dedication, and willpower, you can accomplish anything. Maybe even lose some weight.

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