One Month Challenge: Junk Food Free, Week 1

[Everyone’s got a vice, a bad habit, something they know they need to change. Unfortunately, everyone also has a million excuses why they just can’t do it. Not anymore. Every month we will be following a different CollegeCandy writer as she takes on a personal challenge. Last month we followed Ariel as she went a(n almost) full month sans Facebook. This month things are getting even crazier. Yes, Meredith is giving. up. junk food. Oy.]

I will be the first to admit that I put on some unwanted pounds this summer. Towards the end of August, I was having some boyfriend troubles and was coping with the fact that my dad was getting married in about a month. Because of this, I ate. To name a few favorite treats that I indulged in, I ate funfetti cake, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, fruit snacks, Cape Cod potato chips, Starbursts, Chili’s Chocolate Molton Lava Cake, and many other delicious things.

And it was good.
But no more. For the month of September, I am GIVING UP JUNK FOOD.

I Googled “junk food” just to see what I’m dealing with and the first definition that came up was, “food that tastes good but is high in calories having little nutritional value.” I’m going to stick to that for my definition. No more cake, ice cream, cookies, gummies, chips, pizza, cheeseburgers, frappuccinos…basically anything that contains empty calories. The idea is to do more than merely give up junk food, though; it’s to adopt a generally healthier lifestyle. I’m going to try to introduce more whole grains into my diet, drink more water rather than Coke Zero (one of my many horrible addictions), and work out more. Basically, I’m going to take every aspect of my life, then ask, “Would my hero, Jillian Michaels, approve?” God, I love her.

There are a lot of people out there who will give me a hard time for what I’m doing. They will say that I’m crash dieting and that every snack is okay to eat in moderation. I don’t disagree that food is great in moderation, but to me, that’s not what this is about. This is about finding a new way to cope with my problems that doesn’t involve eating sweets. I want to deal with issues by talking them out with my friends, going for a long run, or even immersing myself in schoolwork. I’m not doing this so that I never eat junk food ever again and I know that I’m never going to look like Jillian Michaels. Instead, I’m aiming for a journey more like Hayley Hoover’s (of YouTube fame). Although she didn’t opt to give up junk food as I am, she struggled with similar problems as I do. Months from now, I would love to be in the same state that she writes about in this inspiring blog.

It has already been a couple of days sans junk food and things have been going fairly well. The best thing so far has been enlisting the support of my friends. I have friends cutting down on junk food as well, friends who are giving me food recommendations, but most importantly, everyone is supporting my cause and telling me that it’s a fantastic idea. So far I really love it. I have eaten more vegetables and whole grains in the past couple of days than I would normally eat in a week, just because I’m counting on them to get the nutrients and the calories that I need. I’m not going to lie and say that it has been all easy so far, though. I definitely wanted to grab a slice of chocolate cake at the dining hall the first night. And the second night. Plus, I forgot how delicious the pastries in Starbucks look behind that glass case, especially after an early morning class.

So far, I’m staying strong and enjoying this process. Just as long as no one dares eat a bag of potato chips in front of me. Let’s hope things only get easier as this month goes on.

[If you’re curious, or looking to give up junk food yourself, you can check out my Twitter – @br8ybrunch – and track my progress…and the inevitable long list of my daily cravings.]

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Candy Dish: The Best in Fashion & Beauty
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