Saturday, 27 June 2015

I Gave Up Takeaway Food for a Month

Not appealing

I mentioned a month ago that I was cutting out takeaway food- particularly Chinese food, but everything else fast with it- for a month. Well, I managed, just about. This morning at about 1am, after a Social Creatives meetup, I strayed into Burger King and had a solitary bacon double cheeseburger. I regretted it immediately after finishing it.

It didn't taste as good as I remember them doing. I felt guilty, like as soon as I'd given myself an opportunity to eat fast food, I took it. But this is good- I don't feel the urge to eat Burger King again, and the pull of Man Ho Chinese chippy just isn't there for me- I'm happy to not eat it. The recipes I've cooked- few and far between though they were- have helped me to appreciate good food more, and disregard lazy options.

How did I do at the gym, considering the improvement to what I was eating? Here are some records (27/5 - 27/6)

Cable crunch with metal handle: 20 more reps
Cable crunch with rope handle: 20 more reps
Leg press: up 1 notch

Along with these gym sessions, I've also done lots of classes at the gym and boxed regularly. I've felt much sharper in all of these. I may not have got much stronger but my stamina has improved considerably.
I've done some research into dietary habits. My old pal and adviser Fluffy Oakes mentioned a year or so ago that there are ways of breaking habits.

When you get into a habit of doing something, you're doing it because you actually get pleasure from it,” he described. “When you feel pleasure, your bloodstream is flooded with endorphins, pleasure chemicals. These make the brain feel good. Healthy people get a certain amount of endorphins on a daily basis and it helps them to feel positive. However, if someone has depression, which I am suggesting you have, Matt, their level of endorphins are lower. As a result, the individual searches out pleasure from the world and may find it in a whole host of things, which may or may not result in bad habits.

Frequently, when an individual finds something that they like, the brain latches on to that particular endorphin and requires more of it. Hence, to break that habit, you need to distract your brain by offering it pleasure from a multitude of sources. That way you don't latch on to any one thing.”

He's right- I've done a lot to enjoy myself in the last year, with boxing, nights out with Meetup groups to places that I like, (rather than places that people were going to that I felt obliged to tag along to) lots of reading and writing, watching a few films, cooking a few recipes, developing typing skills... the list goes on. I didn't latch on to any one thing, I kept busy, and because of that when I cut out fast food it wasn't too hard to give it up. The first few days were tough, but I moved on well. Last night's Burger King confirmed that particular obsession is done with. I can enjoy eating healthier now for the rest of my life.

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