Why it’s so hard: Cravings, Temptations and Self-Honesty

Fast Food

As I watch TV nightly, I am amazed at how many food commercials are on. For example, as we watched one 30 minute program the following commercials appeared during the epsiode: Taco Bell Smothered Burrito, CheezIts, Little Caesar’s Pizza, Arby’s, Sonic Pretzel Dog, Hershey’s Chocolate Sauce and Burger King. On a second hour long program we saw the same thing: Taco Bell Cool Ranch, Klondike Bar, Outback Steakhouse, TGI Friday’s Ribs, Nature Valley Granola, Pizza Hut, Domino’s Pizza, Taco Bell, Klondike Bars and Panera Bread.

Too many fast food ads?

Actually, its not just Fast Food. It is also Steak places, Pizza, restaurants (like Applebee’s and Chili’s), etc. We are barraged with them and they are made to hit our emotions, tempt us, get us to come in and indulge. Heck with common sense and health. Over the past few months I have done a good deal of reading and I have also really had to take issue with my weight and health. I have had to learn to be honest with myself (which is normally easy until it comes to food and health!!) and sometimes this is not easy.

Ten Commandments of Food

Those of you that know me know I am a religious person. I try to live the commandments as best as I can. I don’t steal, I am faithful to my wife and family, I work hard to earn my money, I don’t kill, I attend church. Like all people, I do slip up and I do “sin” for which I need forgiveness. But, now that I am trying to convert my eating lifestyle, it is almost the same feeling as a sin if I dwell on wanting to eat something outside of the “vegan” regimen. Is it really a “sin”? Sometimes Julianne notes that she “feels wicked” when we stop at a fast food place or drive thru for a Baskin Robbins Ice Cream cone. Is that really “wicked”?

Sin Eating?

This is where being honest with myself comes in. I know what is good for me and what can make my health improve. I have done the reading. Julianne asks me at times “Are you suffering?” and I must admit, that the food she prepares is predominantly very tasty and definitely very healthful. Sometimes the juices and green smoothies are not the most appealing or satisfying. On the other hand, some are very tasty and refreshing.

“Reboot with Joe” Mean Green Juice

The Mean Green Juice above contains cucumber, celery, apples, kale, lemon and ginger. It is fairly bitter. This recipe was featured in the film Fat Sick and Nearly Dead by Joe Cross and does pack a good healthy punch!! But, there is a part of me that still thinks I am drinking some kind of slime….

TV Gets Me

So, back to the TV issue….

I have learned over the years that I am very obsessive/compulsive and, as I get older it gets worse. I think that this also leads me to be much more prone to addictive behaviors. And, I must confess I really do believe I am addicted to certain foods. Avoiding them to eat what I am having is one thing. But, being barraged on TV by these foods really makes it difficult.

I Like Pizza

Perhaps my biggest temptation and the thing I miss the most is a good slice of gooey cheesy pizza with sausage, onions, mushrooms and black olives. I have not had a slice or even a bite of pizza in over six weeks. I think that is a record!! Is pizza good for me? Well, I KNOW it is not good for me physically. But it sure is comfort food. And the constant advertisements I see for Papa John’s, Pizza Hut, Domino’s and Little Caesar’s sure don’t help much in my trying to avoid the temptation.

I Want Taco Bell

Then there is my addiction to Taco Bell, something I have had since my teens. Nothing like a good old burrito from Taco Bell. Being on this vegan regimen has led me to make alternative selections. So, the other day I was really really craving Taco Bell and convinced Julianne to let me go. I got two bean burritos Fresco style (with a Fresco salsa instead of cheese). I thoroughly enjoyed them (but would have loved a 5 layer beefy cheese burrito too….). Julianne then proceeded to inform me that even Fresco style they were 400 calories apiece and had 12 grams of fat each. OUCH!

Hardee’s Ad

Carl’s Jr. Ad

There is also a part of me that really likes a good burger. McDonald’s DOES NOT make a good burger. The Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr. chain, on the other hand does make some really good ones. But, their advertising also flaunts breaking away from what is really good for you and focuses on what is good TO you… All those hot sexy models eating those huge burgers in ads on TV and on the internet? Yeah Right!! They wouldn’t look that way if they REALLY did eat that way. They would look like me…BIG and SEXY… HAHA!!

Fat Free Mexican Food

Honestly, I love good tasty food of all kinds. Julianne has made some wonderful “alternative” dishes for me, such as the almost totally fat free vegan enchilada meal shown above, complete with fat free refried beans and rice. The only fat was in the avocados and this tasted wonderful with the home made spicy green salsa!!

Cosi Veggie Pizza

There are also healthy alternatives at restaurants. We can get a “pizza” at Cosi that has all veggies on it and no cheese and only the fat contained in the black olives. It is very tasty but I can still not imagine it as pizza. And that is part of the problem. I think pizza — I think cheesy gooey tasty. I think cheese sauce on broccoli…I think cheesy gooey…not cauliflower sauce that looks like cheese sauce (don’t get me wrong, the cauliflower sauce tastes good but it is not really a substitute).

Smashburger Spicy Baja Black Bean Burger

You can also get really tasty alternatives elsewhere. The Smashburger chain offers a Spicy Baja Blackburger that contains a dollop of avocado on it with some jalapenos and spicy jack cheese. You can get it without cheese. Nonetheless, it is 670 calories and has 36 grams of fat (maybe a little less without the cheese) — compare it with two bean burritos from Taco Bell…just saying…

Scary McDonald’s

Fast food and restaurant and pizza ads, as well as other ads for other food chains, all are some of the leading causes of the obesity epidemic in this country. Yes, I have hypothyroidism and perhaps some other metabolism issues that make it more difficult for me. I also have that addictive compulsive nature that is so addicted to these tasty foods. But, they have left a mark on me that is difficult.

Eating Addiction

I do suffer the dilemma of feeling like I am in “Food Prison” at times. When you are limited to what you can eat you want to eat those things that you can’t eat. But, my body is in prison too…. I have so many limitations due to my body size, and knee problems. Finding clothes is an issue. Getting a good swimming suit is an issue. Poor circulation in the legs has made my legs look terrible. The list goes on and on.

So, it is back to the “Sin” question. For all “religious sin” there typically is a natural consequence, if not a legal one. But, I think I need to look at some of the food desires as sins if I am ever going to be able to get over them. Let’s face it, there are consequences to my “eating sins” and I am suffering many of them now. Only when I can cleanse my body of these “eating sins” and be honest with myself whenever I face the pizza, Taco Bell, Hardee’s and Steak house temptations, will I ever free myself of the ills I already have as a consequence of the continued indulgences of those things I have enjoyed all these years.

Fight Compulsion!!

Ultimately, it is day to day process…no different than the alcoholic. One step at a time….

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