Dealing With Junk
I will define junk as anything we eat that does not do anything for us. The only thing that dessert, cookies, ice cream, candy, popcorn, etc., do for us, in my opinion, is make us feel good because it is “tasty”—fattening as hell, but “tasty.” So, I will now disqualify “feel good/it’s tasty” as doing something for us. It’s not doing anything for you in your quest for your Near Perfect Body. Besides, I just disqualified it.
If a piece of fish or poultry makes you feel good and/or you find it “tasty,” of course it is fine to eat. Stop messing with me! Besides, we both know that it also does help you on your quest.
This is a real watershed moment for you. If you are into eating junk, this might be one of the more difficult recommendations I will make for you. I want you to seriously think about the junk that you eat and then seriously think about how you look with your shirt off or in a bathing suit. Now, I need you to be honest with yourself. Please be honest with yourself. Is the junk worth you not looking good?
If you are not sure, then I suggest you go back to the question that I asked you earlier: “How badly do you want it?”
If you were being honest with yourself and your answer was, “I must have it!” then there is no place for junk in your life. None.
Now, my commitment is to try to make things easier for you. So, we are going to go back to your NPB Journal and add a new goal. I’d like you to write down: “No junk for three days!” Write today’s day and date and then add three days to it. So, if today is Monday, you’re not going to have any junk during that time, and then on Thursday you will revisit it.
When you revisit it, ask yourself how you feel. How badly do you miss it? Can you manage another three days without it? Write down the day and date. Three days hence, revisit it again. All the same steps, but this time make yourself forgo it for one week. Have you figured out where I am going with this? I knew you would. Just try it.
If you struggle, I have another suggestion. Earlier, I mentioned something very similar to what I am going to suggest now. This is a bit stronger than that. I am not kidding about this, either. I think it has amazing power. Take the cookie or candy (or whatever garbage is trying to seduce you) into the bathroom and take off your shirt and look at yourself in the mirror.
Then smile and look at your cookie or your candy (or whatever it is) and ask yourself, “Why do I need this?” Look back at yourself in the mirror and say, “Do I really want to look like this for the rest of my life?”
Then throw that nasty cookie, candy, or whatever (aka an obstacle) into the trashcan (where it belongs!) and go have some nice fruit, which has natural sugar, or some honey-sweetened tea, and it will help sate you. Keep doing this as long as you need to do so. You are going to win! You must have your NPB!
Congratulations! Job well done!
Rule 4: Use the Art of Substitution. I do not want you to be more than just a little uncomfortable at times during your quest. I don’t want you to sit around in a state of hunger. No, not at all.
You need to replace bad desserts and junk food snacks with good snacks that are consistent with you getting your NPB.
By doing so, you will be able to eliminate or at least reduce any hunger to a manageable and comfortable level. As time goes on and you continue to work at it, it will get more effective and easier to do.
It is another Hunger Jiu-Jitsu move. You are not going to have that cheesecake for dessert. Sorry, no. It is an obstacle. But you are going to have something in its place. You are going to have one of the following (wiggle room items):
An apple, pear, melon, or similar fruit.
Honey-sweetened tea (not sugar, please, honey). If you like, you can add some 2% milk.
And if you have been losing one or two pounds per week for three weeks or more, you can have a chocolate protein bar.
Honey-sweetened tea. For what turned out to be my quest, honey-sweetened tea was miraculous. It was and is so effective for me that I consider it to be both a Hunger Jiu-Jitsu “move” and a food warrior weapon!
As I said, I used to love the junk, and I really enjoyed desserts before I went down this path. One evening, after dinner, I really wanted some dessert. I knew I was going to struggle with it, and besides, my NPB system was in its infancy. It was developing at that time. So I sat there and thought about the dilemma I was in.
Fortunately, I came up with an idea and I figured, “Why not try it?” I have a favorite coffee mug from a festival we went to in Maryland. I use it every day for my coffee, and it is pretty big. It probably holds 12 ounces or so.
I filled it with water and put it in the microwave. Then, I put two tea bags in and let it brew. I added some 2% milk and one teaspoon (not tablespoon) of honey. Delicious! It was also hot, which meant I could not gulp it down. I had to take my time.
Are we seeing a pattern develop here? I found that I was really enjoying it. It was in my favorite mug (which helped) and it was filling, too.
I don’t know if you like tea, but give that a try in place of dessert or junk at any time. It certainly can’t hurt.
Rule 5: Controlling Your Environment is far more important than you may suspect. It can help protect you from another extremely dangerous enemy, impulse eating. It is a more subtle Hunger Jiu-Jitsu “move.”
To the extent possible, avoid places and situations that encourage eating beyond what you plan to eat for your NPB building strategy.
First, after a meal and clean-up, leave the kitchen! Don’t come back unless you are having one of the prescribed dessert substitutions. Get it, eat or drink it, and then out of the kitchen you go! You should really just leave with it! I don’t think you should be around food, the smell of food, or anything else that will draw your attention to eating.
Taking things a step further, do you really need to have junk (cookies, candy, doughnuts, etc.) in your home? Why not try removing the temptation altogether?
Get it out of there! Great idea!
OK, time to regroup. Let’s assume that you have been at this for about three weeks. Have you lost weight? (No, not a pound or two, I mean at least 3–4 pounds. If you are a larger person, even more, but not more than 6 or 7). If yes, wonderful! If much more than that, you must eat more. About two pounds of weight loss a week is OK until you reach your optimal weight, but not much more!
If you are not losing any or much weight, we need to talk. Back to the math for a moment. For anyone who has not lost (much) weight, it is because they have been taking in more calories than they are consuming, or, at least, consuming roughly the same number of calories that they are taking in.
How do I know? Come on. Let’s be serious. Absent some strange digestive system problem, this is not complicated stuff.