I was THIS close to just letting the hunger headache stick around and annoy me all day rather than eat. My habits and my tastes have gotten THAT bad, people. THAT BAD.
I’ve written before about not wanting to eat anything because all I seem to get is fast food and stuff that flat out isn’t good for me. I kept thinking about the fact that I needed to eat and started thinking about where I could go to get food, and if I should go to the store, and what I should pick up.
I’m disgusted because I got plenty of fruits and salad fixings in the fridge a few weeks ago. They’re still in there because I haven’t had a chance to get a garbage bag and throw them out properly.
I knew I needed to change things for the better, but perhaps I went too far too fast. I glanced at the food in the fridge, didn’t pack anything, and relied on fast food to take care of me.
I agree with many medical doctors when they say that fast food is meant to be addicting, and breaking the habit of fast food is like trying to quit a major addiction. My depression’s been total, my energy is shot, my desire for food is practically nonexistent…and yet my taste buds tell my brain to pull in any time I go by a fast food place.
I’ve not known what I’ve wanted to eat a few times, and just stayed hungry til I figured something out.
This is the first time I can recall, though, having a hunger headache three days in a row and forcing myself to eat. The problem was, on Saturday, I ended up some place that I swore I’d never go to again, and sure enough, I felt bad after eating the food. It just tasted off, and I finally remembered why I didn’t want to go there anymore.
But in the moment, I was so hungry and had to drive to work, that the further I went, and the closer to fast food I got, there was this howling need to pull in and grab something.
I ended up getting sick on it, and drank a lot of water and ran some errands. When I felt I could handle food again (and I brushed my teeth a few times), I ended up at a really good sandwich place I’d been to before, ordered a Cuban sandwich with some chips and tea, and sat down to read a book and slowly digest.
I felt good after that, and it was filling enough that I didn’t get hungry much, if at all, during my night shift. It wasn’t the healthiest thing, I’m sure, but it wasn’t loaded down with cheeses and mayo or sugars.
It tasted nice and fresh and my mouth and stomach didn’t feel like I’d just downed half a chemical lab.
And in a couple hours I was at work for the night shift.
Usually when I’m stuck staying awake all night, I get the munchies for chips. Thankfully, the guys already ate them all. I made sure to drink lots of water and make myself walk around more often than usual to check things out (it helped that I had to restart the computer a few times for updates and wasn’t gonna sit there and watch a gray screen). I think I had a Coke only when I was getting really tired (and walking wasn’t enough) and two cookies.
When I left in the morning, I was startled that that’s all I’d had over the night. I didn’t overindulge or eat and eat til I wanted to purge it. I just had enough to keep me going til I could leave and get real food.
However, McD’s was down the road, and guess what I had for breakfast to quiet my stomach down so I could sleep when I got home (I was 30 minutes away and had to take the dog out, so it’d take 45 minutes or more between finishing breakfast and sleeping).
Still not good timing, but I wouldn’t be cramping from hunger in the middle of my sleep time.
And then Sunday afternoon, I really felt that hunger coming in. I wanted to leave the house and go get some pizza, or some chimichangas, or something fried to eat.
Thankfully, I took a quiet, thoughtful look in my pantry and freezer and found a simple meal to fill me up. It’s not the healthiest due to sodium and all, but sometimes for a meatless option, I’ll get a cup or so of frozen mixed vegetables and combine ’em with Rice a Roni long grain and wild rice, cook ’em together, and I have a one (big bowl) meal.
I know a big part of my problem is quantity. I haven’t been very successful with small portion sizes and smaller meals throughout the day because that quickly turns into grazing, and I wonder why I’m so miserably full at the end of the day. It’s too easy for me to lose track.
The downside is, when I get the hankering for fast food (taste buds in the driver’s seat), things aren’t any better. It gets more intense because I start anticipating my taste needs more than listening to how much food I really need. I even get some sugary dessert or something so that I “won’t overindulge later.” The dumb thing is I don’t have anything remotely sugary at home (unless you count those icee-pop things that are stored in the pantry til you freeze ’em–that’s all I trust myself with these days at home). So, where would this “overindulgence” come from? I don’t even buy sodas for the house anymore.
But I’ve noticed in the past couple of weeks, when I get fast food, I’ve started getting sodas instead of iced tea.
No wonder I’ve gained so much weight this summer!
I’m lethargic, my head’s in a fog, I have no energy and depression keeps chugging along.
And enough’s enough.
This week is going to be an interesting trial and error period. Because of my work schedule, I’ll have kids with me during the lunch break and monitoring them, so I can’t just leave and go get something–I’ll have to pack it and bring it with, or get it and store it in the fridge.
Since my finances are on the low-end, I’m trying to rule out as many trips or treats from Starbucks as I can. I have enough coffee creamer and a big ol’ thermos to take coffee with me every day this week, so that’s something. I just have to remember to wake up nice and early and make it!
Also, I haven’t had a chance to go to the grocery store. Strike that–I’ve avoided going to the grocery store the past few weeks (another reason I’ve had nothing but fast food). So, there’s not much I can really bring with me for work today, but I can go into the store nice and early and get some good salad bowl and a sandwich or something to have ready to go come lunchtime. Then after work I’ll shop for the week.
I know, how could I sabotage myself so badly? I didn’t want to shop (and only have shelf or freezer staples because they’re easy to make). But more than that, I realized today that I didn’t want to shop because I’d just be wasting more money, letting things rot while I ate fast food.
Even as I shopped, I knew I’d probably let all that stuff rot.
So, time to go the not-so-clean route and try something.
I have plenty of to-go containers I can put salad stuff in or sandwiches. I have no shortage of those things. But right now, I think I need to focus on eating right more than prepping it.
That’s where I went wrong buying all that produce–I didn’t wanna take the time to prep it, and so it just sat there. I don’t like being in my kitchen most of the time because dad’s usually watching stuff I don’t want to see and it gets frustrating trying to tune it out.
So, it may result in more trash waste (which I’m not happy about), but it’ll be a good reminder to eat.
I’m going to use this week to have pre-portioned items ready to go. I know where I can get individual salad bowls for a decent price (and they taste good for the most part–just have to watch the fatty dressings and maybe bring my fruity vinagrette to replace what’s there in the spinach one. I’m not a fan of balsamic, especially after coffee). Also, chunks of fruit in cups. I don’t like the expense, but if it’s already cut up and ready to go, I know I can do well with it.
Well, that takes care of lunch, now I need to think about a responsible, reliable breakfast that won’t make me overindulge. This is where, especially if I forget coffee, Starbucks may come in handy. I usually only get regular coffee as it is, but I haven’t had their spinach wraps in a long time. I liked them because I didn’t start my day with a lot of fatty breakfast meat and with enough coffee, I was good til lunch.
I think that’s where I’ve failed the most: not eating “just enough” to make it to that next meal. I’m not a freaking squirrel, or a camel, storing what’s needed in my space or body for a moment of need. I’m a human being, and I can eat better than this, and just enough for the moment.
I’ve never really learned how to listen to my hunger pangs and treat them right. Time to work on it now and do a good job with it.
2 thoughts on “This Week’s Experiment: getting away from fast food for a week… and hopefully forever.”
Good Luck and success.
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You’ve thought it all out, and now I wish you luck and success in carrying out your plans. I always had problems planning, cooking, and buying meals when I worked full time. I also had more problems with my weight than when I started part time work. I found a solution that worked for me by cooking like a madwoman on the weekend (usually Sunday afternoon–all afternoon) then putting one person portions in freezer bags or in the refrigerator (We have a good one.) and warm up during the week. You DON’T have it as easy as I, and what works for me might not work for you.
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