So have you ever noticed that when you eat poorly for a few days or even a day that you start to feel a bit off. I am not talking about bloating and stomach aches I am talking about your mood. The bad food feels good for a little bit, satisfies that craving or stifles that emotion. After all of that though you find the constant need for a pick me up, like you can never get up without it (no pun intended). It’s a snow ball effect first comes the craving then comes the high, that guilty pleasure from eating the candy , chocolate or junk food but then (depending on how much you ate) shortly after the effects of the happy start to wear off and then comes the drop in energy , you start to feel kind of gross . You need another fix another hit of the good stuff or a coffee to try and wake up after the crash and if you don’t get it then the grumpy kind of off mood comes.
This is how it starts and then it builds, never quite feeling good. Sleep gets off, weight starts to creep up. All these things affect your mood and it starts with the bad food. Now really I get it trust me! I love salt and sugar those are my 2 favorite things in life! Salty crunchy foods and sweet after sugary melt in your mouth foods, heck I mix the 2 regularly. This is the reason I am writing about it, I love it just a little too much and now a large part of me is showing that love!
I always start my day off with good intentions, healthy breakfast (most of the time), lots of protein and coffee with no sugar and almond milk. See good intentions I even take all my vitamins (well 85% of the time). Then I get to work and 11AM rolls around and the blood sugar drops. At this point I go for one treat and convince myself that’s it is only going to be 1…well 1 turns into to 2 turns into take out for lunch that is really not healthy. So by the time I get home my mood is off because my blood sugar has dropped (again) , I have no more caffeine high and I have to stay awake to finish all my tasks I need to do like cleaning , cooking , more cleaning etc. Now I am mad at myself because I have no energy for my work out! Which upset s my husband and well now everyone is in a bad mood!
The thing is that eating bad affects not just your waist line but a little bit of everything. If you ever watched the movie Super Size Me you can see what all that food did to his body, mood and relationships. Now that is an extreme case and at least I know that I am not eating that bad. All those bad things that make you feel off and gross become what you crave and it perpetuates this awful cycle, I don’t feel good until I get it but then I feel bad within sometimes minutes of eating or drinking it. When I am sour in the morning and feel bad about my body it affects my relationships. My husband and friends notice that I’m grouchy and don’t really want to hang. I am not fun at work as small things bother me more then I should and I am edgy. This all starts with my diet and yet even with this knowledge my cravings seem to win because I hate the bad feeling so much I just want to have the quick fix. That quick fix then equals me feeling bad about my body and down on myself which then equals be having a lot shorter of a fuse.
Sometimes I can be good all week and then the weekend rolls around and being social where I end up having a few drinks and nacho’s and then when Monday rolls around bloating, kind of grumpy and lethargy hits, this passes if you clean up your diet and drink lots of water and get back into a healthy routine or your stay feeling this way because you are still feeling bad so you eat more bad food. This is when guilt hits and hits hard. Which for me makes me mad at myself for not having better self control and for some odd reason I also get mad at my husband for not saying anything to me (though I know would not have helped).
All these little things that just end up being a huge mess, I find myself wanting a quick fix that I know does not exist. I have to pull up my socks and make changes to prevent the bad mood and the bad feelings towards myself. Now I am not saying that everyone who eats bad now and then and suffers from the bad food grumps needs to have a huge life change! I am saying that knowing the cause and maybe altering a few of those habits even just a bit may make Monday’s not so bad and mornings less of a mine field for your loved ones. So here is where the excuses come – “ummm but I work hard and my treats are my reward to myself”, or “I work out so I can eat what I want” or my favorite “even when I eat healthy I feel bad so what’s the difference at least I can have the food I love”. Now I am not quoting friends I am quoting myself which is funny because when I say these things they are generally me grumbling them to myself.
So what is the difference this time? The difference is I want to not be grumpy anymore and all those excuses have become old. I am lucky enough to have friends where if I want to go out and be social and not drink or not eat poorly they understand, and those who don’t generally just make a few jokes but then let it go. I need to learn to be strong my space and know that I don’t want to feel shitty in the morning and taking a few jabs for not having more than one or 2 drinks while out with friends or co- workers is not as bad as if I did and how I would feel the next few days.
Now here is a list of things I at least am telling myself I am preventing by choosing to avoid the bad foods:
Low Sex Drive
Dark circles under eyes
All of these things happen to me when I eat badly and I have seen happen to others. Now I get its hard but there are ways to help make it easier and by no means am I perfect at it at all. I slip up a lot but I try and pick myself up and move forward. Reminding me that what is done is done and I can’t change it but I can change what I going to do. Here is my list of things that I do to set myself up for a good week.
Meal Plan – Plan your week even if you plan on going out so that you don’t feel caught off guard at the restaurant. This will also as a perk save you money! Make it fun too – I like trying out new recipes or cook books this way it helps with what to buy and keeps the boredom away.
Make a List – When you going to a store to buy food have that list from the meal planning. This will help you stay on track so that you are less likely to wonder and end up filling your cart with wants.
Never Shop hungry- My mom always told me this. If you shop on an empty stomach you will buy things you crave more then what you will need. So before you go to the store have an apple or plan it for after a meal, that way you do not feel so munchie when you go.
Carry Cash and Set a Budget – it’s hard to get lots of treats when you don’t have the money to buy them, same goes for when you are out for drinks.
Start a project – The whole busy hands thing is true. If you are struggling with cravings distracting yourself with a hobby or projects can help.
Drink lots of water – I know water is boring! Though there are ways to make it more fun by adding fruits to it to change the flavor. This will help you keep full longer and not want to snack as much … only downside you do have to pee a lot.
Tell people your goal – This one I thought was silly at first but if you tell people that you want to eat healthier they tend to help keep you more accountable.
Now I am sure there are loads of other things that help people stay away from the bad food and maybe some of my things don’t work for everyone! Just like what works for some of my friends and family does not work for me. Everyone’s journey and how they choose to do it is different and no one way is the only way.
***I would strongly recommend before doing any big food changes or health changes you speak with your health care provider! All I can tell you is what my experiences are and what has or has not worked for me.*****