Not being able to eat french fries sucks. A lot.
I don’t know how people can walk around with a smile on their face when they don’t allow themselves to put a long, hot, slab of deep-fried junk in their french fry hole. I mean, what else is it for? The list of things I want in and around my mouth is limited to french fries, insane amounts of coffee, and a bit of banoffee pie. Okay, maybe a lot of banoffee pie.
I’m only human.
I remember it like it was yesterday.
It was a fine day in May and I was feeling exceptionally optimistic about my food choices. There were salads, oatmeal, chia seeds, and more nuts than I could handle. I was going out for walks and I had even started doing a few minutes of meditation. I mean, that makes me the epitome of health and wellness, right?
It was one of those I-am-a-child-of-the-Earth moments when I decided that I was going to go all in and attempt Junk Free June. I did have a brief flashback of last year. Driving to the supermarket and buying an inhuman amount of cookies, candy, and chocolate milk. I told myself that I’d have ‘just a little’ and that was the beginning of the end. The cookies, candy, and chocolate milk were devoured in secret and gone within three days. And that was the end of Junk Free June 2016. Before I knew it, I was telling my mum and sister that I was going to give Junk Free June another go. I was going to try to be the health goddess that I just knew I was. 2017 was going to be my year.
June 1st rolled around and I kissed goodbye to cookies, french fries, and – shock – white bread for a whole month.
The first few days were easy. Too easy. It gave me a false sense of security and I was like ‘Mmmhm I got this in the bag’. I was feeling like a health goddess and it was only day three. Then it was day seven. Then it was day sixteen and I was absolutely killin’ it.
I mean, french fries? What are those?
It all unravelled when I stayed with my grandfather. I happened to mention that I was craving chocolate milk. Well. He showed up with two litres of Lewis Road Creamery Chocolate Milk, a packet of Paddle Pops, and triple chocolate chunk cookies. It didn’t help that all my friends were talking about Five Guys. You know, the food chain.
I’m sorry, Junk Free June, I really tried.
I don’t regret it one bit, but it did teach me a thing or two.
You have to do it. Forward planning is key to healthy eating. The days that I did meal prep were incredibly easy. All I had to do was grab something out of the fridge and go. The days that I decided to wing it is when it all fell apart. I found myself staring into the fridge and snacking whilst looking for something that I really wanted to eat. Whoops.
It has to be about more than just cutting ‘bad food’ from your diet. Junk Free June is a fundraiser done in support of The Cancer Society in New Zealand. 100% of the money raised does directly back to The Cancer Society. I did Junk Free June for the hell of it. I wanted to improve my own eating habits and drop those last few pesky pregnancy kilograms that were hanging around.
I know people mean well, but those “You look good…You know, considering you just had a baby four months ago…” were getting old. I know it was meant as a compliment, but what does it really mean?
Does it mean that I look like a hot mess, but everyone has to be nice because I have a
love demon child who is demanding every second of my time?
Does it mean that I look like I’ve had one too many pies? (Not that I’d complain because pies are amazing.)
Does it mean that those dark circles around my eyes actually complement my skin tone?
MAKE TIME TO EAT BREAKFAST
Simple, but obvious. Occasionally, I don’t get to eat ‘breakfast’ until 3pm. Like yesterday, for example. That means that I am absolutely ravenous and will consume 12243543453434 calories in the space of an hour. All while looking for something that I really want to eat.
I use the “I’m never hungry in the morning” excuse. It’s a half truth. I’m not ready for hash browns, bacon, eggs, and spaghetti (aka the breakfast of champions), but I could go a small bowl of oatmeal or a banana and peanut butter or overnight oats if I’m really on top of things. (I’m never on top of anything. Ever.) Also, bouncing a child on your knee whilst eating a bowl of lukewarm porridge doesn’t make for the most relaxing (or appealing) breakfast.
I started getting up earlier so I could eat breakfast before I had to look after C…and it made the world of difference. Some days I still ended up eating 12243543453434 calories, but I almost always made a healthier choice. (You know, excluding the time I drank the two litres of chocolate milk.)
IT’S OKAY TO INDULGE A LITTLE
I’m not saying that I’m going to devour a whole cake in one sitting or decide that every day is a ‘cheat day’. I’m just saying that you aren’t going to go to ‘I’m a health goddess’ hell by eating what you want every now and then. I remember feeling so bad for eating a Paddle Pop after surviving for weeks without ‘crap food’. I really beat myself up over it. One little Paddle Pop. That was the point when I said ‘fuck it’ and threw Junk Free June out the window.
Was the Paddle Pop worth it? Hell yes.
As was the chocolate milk, triple chocolate chunk cookies, and more Paddle Pops that followed.
‘Failing’ at something has never made me so happy.