Two weeks ago, at our church’s quarterly Ice Cream Social, our oldest son asked for permission to go to the restroom. I told him this was fine, but that he needed to hurry back. A few minutes passed by and he was nowhere to be seen.
Just before I left the table to track down the wanderer, a man from our church took a seat and began to laugh as he told me exactly where our son had been. One hand held the can of Reddi-wip up to an open mouth. The other formed a dam of sorts, holding in the glorious flow of whipped cream as it proceeded from the can so as not to allow even the smallest drop to be lost.
“Don’t look at me,” he said in defense. “Blame it on the sweet tooth.”
As I heard the story that night, and as I relay it now, I recognize the fact that I’ve been guilty of the same self-indulgence for years. And it’s not just the Reddi-wip can. I don’t even like the stuff. But there has been plenty of substitutes: Hotdogs, bacon cheeseburgers, pizza, deep fried ptatoes, deep fried cheese, deep fried cheesecake, regular cheesecake, cheescake milkshakes. You get the idea.
As hard as going to the gym six days a week has been, eating right the rest of time has been the hardest adjustment of all. I have been told that roughly 80 percent of my success will be a direct result of what I eat and drink. I’ve learned that you will never starve yourself into shape, and you will never workout enough to offset a bad diet.
So, I’ve stopped thinking about diet in the context of following any given meal plan, or lack thereof. Instead of following the latest diet fad, I’m simply trying to eat real food, and in reasonable portions. To borrow from the words of Greg Glassman, I try to limit my intake to “[lean] meats, vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar.”
There are times when I have my own “Reddi-wip can moments.” But these are certainly the exception, not the rule. And I’m working hard to not let those “cheat meals” derail me from the ultimate goal. Next time, I’ll talk more about some of my unhealthy food habits that I’ve changed and am still changing, but for now, here are the three things that have helped me thus far. Perhaps these can help you get started as well.
- Be Accountable. Early on, I began using a notebook to write down what I was eating and drinking, and how much sleep I got. Now I use the Wodify app to do the same, but for each system I would check in weekly with Ryan to review those logs. Knowing that someone will be looking at what I ate helps me to stay on track. It has also provided chances for conversation and exchanging ideas about what works and what doesn’t.
- Be Consistent. One of the biggest lies we tell ourselves is that we understand portion control. You may be one of the few people that do, but I certainly did not. Get a food scale and a good set of measuring cups/spoons. Diligently measure everything you eat. My wife drives me crazy sometimes with this (Love you, Honey! Mean it!), but I can tell you it helps. Over time you will begin to see just how conditioned our modern, American minds and bellies are to overindulgence.
- Be Prepared. Whether you’re a boy scout or not, this old scout motto has been my secret to bypassing junk food and drive-thru options. This one step has helped me the most: Preparing a week’s worth of meals ahead of time and storing them in the fridge or freeze. When I haven’t done this, I find myself sitting in drive-thru lanes, waiting on another MacHeartAttack burger and side of Type-2 diabetes.
What tips or tricks have helped you to eat healthier and reach your goals?
Click here to watch the Fox 8 story done on David Newtons Journey