[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. And this month Meredith is giving up junk food. Yes, really. Her first week was good. Great, even. Then life got in the way. She began turning things around last week, and now it’s time to see what this month taught her.]
It goes without saying that this month didn’t go according to plan for me, but interestingly, I think I learned a lot more than I had originally expected.
I created this challenge for myself, as I stated in week one, to figure out a way to cope with my problems that didn’t involve eating junk food. Going in, I was struggling with boyfriend and family problems that had been causing me to eat random sweets that I’m not sure I was even enjoying. I wrongly assumed that this pattern would continue. Instead, I lost my interest in food completely when my boyfriend and I broke up.
This has been such an interesting journey for me in so many ways, especially because I went through different phases throughout the month. I started with a sweet tooth, then I transitioned into a complete distaste for any food, but now I am accepting the fact that I have to work food into my daily routine. This is why I will not be giving up junk food again. I have a very different perspective on it now, mostly because now I’m not dreading my cravings. They are what they are, and if I make the right choices most of the time, those (wonderful) moments with mozzarella sticks won’t be such a big deal.
Last week, I challenged myself again to go from eating rice cakes, celery, and Cheerios to actually eating healthy meals. I’m not going to say that I ate well-balanced meals three times a day, but I definitely did better this week than last. Or any week before. In fact, I am just returning from a dining hall meal that included vegetables, beans, and rice! It doesn’t sound too exciting, but it’s a step for me, especially the protein, which has been the most difficult thing to incorporate back into my diet.
By next Friday, I will be allowed to eat junk food again. I’m not sure if I will (wait, yes I am), but I do know that if I have a craving, I won’t deprive myself. People often say that life is about balance and that could not be more true than with my diet. I definitely need to make a change – something I knew before this challenge began – but it needs to be one that realistically fits in with my life and the way I deal with it.
So, yeah, I guess I “failed” at my original challenge to give up junk food, but this month ended up being a win. I learned a lot about myself, about how I deal with things and about how I can deal with things in the future. I’ve begun to really think about the food I put in my mouth and am now more conscious of the choices I make. Even if those choices are fried or dipped in chocolate.
New month, new challenge! Come back next week to follow Emmy as she goes vegetarian!