A few months ago I stumbled across a blog that really spoke to me called the Healthy Tipping Point. In the book The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, the Tipping Point refers to a “moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point,” or “the levels at which the momentum for change becomes unstoppable.” The Healthy Tipping Point is explained as when we stop trying to live healthy and it just happens.
This means to me, in a nutshell, a habit.
This has really hit home to me. I feel like healthy eating is tricky because it can seem overwhelming, there are so many different diets and conflicting information out there, and it’s difficult to know what to do. For me, it is finally starting to be a habit, but it took a long time (um, 27 years) to get to this point, and to become educated on what I should be eating. Although please keep in mind, no expert here! I can only tell you about my own experiences, and hope that you can relate.
I was working at Dairy Queen the first time I thought I should try to “watch what I eat.” Pretty ideal environment for healthy eating, I know (hehe). I didn’t really know what to do or where to start, so I thought I would probably lose weight if I ate a Lean Cuisine for one meal a day.
Bad. Idea. I worked at Dairy Queen, and thought I could get by on basically a noodle and a carrot for lunch, while serving customers delicious-looking ice cream all day (a weakness of mine).
I know Lean Cuisines are easy and lean. I don’t know what makes them “healthy”, but I can tell you that one of those little Lean Cuisines would tide me over for approximately half an hour before I either hid in the freezer and ate copious amounts of frozen brownie chunks and cookie dough, or stuck my face under the soft serve machine…and then the hot fudge pump to counteract the brain freeze 😉 ( <- the winking smiley face means I could be exaggerating, if any of my former bosses are reading this).
Obviously Lean Cuisines are not the ideal solution for me. I felt deprived, and I just don’t get down like that.
My next “diet” was buying a foot-long sub from Subway each day I worked (choosing one of the under six grams of fat options), eating half of it for lunch, and saving the other half for dinner (and probably a cookie too, because I can’t resist Subway cookies).
I actually tried to do this five days a week. Aside from the fact that this particular diet probably didn’t meet my daily nutrient/caloric requirements, eating a sub for each meal every day is boring. Who was I, Jared? I love Subway, but it was too much. This worked for almost a week before I got sick of it. Variety is the spice of life, my friends!
My dieting phases have all been short-lived. And I now know that diets will not work for me. I’m an eater! I need to eat! Food makes me happy and excited, and I don’t want to change that, or feel like that’s bad. It is a part of me, and I like it.
I know that putting together a healthy dinner can seem like a daunting task, and for sure it is more effort in the beginning, because you definitely do have to educate yourself on what your body needs. I hate that feeling of getting home at 5 or 6pm and needing to throw together something for dinner, and feeling lost and helpless when you look in your fridge (I know the feeling well). But I’ll tell you now, I can put together a delicious and nutritious dinner in 20 minutes (less if using my crockpot), and I am not some sort of crazy chef. I avoid long lists of ingredients. I like easy, quick, and yummy.
In the beginning, I almost had to force myself to find nutritious things to cook for dinner. And then it started to come more naturally. And now I just do it. It has become a habit. For me, the momentum for change became unstoppable. And these days, I have a genuine interest in healthy eating. I don’t care so much about how many calories I’m eating, but I kinda get into making sure I’m eating the right kinds of calories for my bod!
What I want to know is, what is the strangest/stupidest/craziest diet you have ever tried, and how well did it work out?