By Brittney Bergen
Have you ever been in any of these scenarios?
- You’re on a night shift and your company has a Choco-Closet (an unlocked vending machine for employees that operates on the honour system)
- You’re at home visiting mom, and her house is better stocked with candy than a 711-convenience store
- You’ve made it home after an exhausting day, and your significant other brings in a grocery-bag of packaged goodies
I feel you, and I want to give you my top four tips for staying strong when cheap, packaged treats are all-too convenient and accessible. (I write this as a woman who used to keep a bulk pack of Kit-Kats stashed in my cupboard for when I wanted a break.)
The best strategy is to bring your own food and eat it (occasionally with feelings of “Why the EFF am I doing this? I would rather be eating a ________ (insert fav chocolate bar here).”)
- Munch on veggies while your partner chows down on chips
- Enjoy your stir fry while your fam crushes candy bars
- OR bring your own nutritious treats to enjoy without touching the processed ones. (My fav combo is dark chocolate with natural peanut butter on top.)
There are lots of healthy, less-processed alternatives for you to enjoy while feeling good about the work you’re putting in to achieve your goal. AND, a lot of these alternatives were made with the intention of creating a healthy product for your consumption, rather than with the purpose of producing a cheap, addictive candy bar.
This leads to number two.
- Remember Your Why
In those moments where you wish you were crushing food from the Choco-Closet, envision your why. Is this a picture of…
- A lean, energized you on the golf course making your best round ever?
- A jacked and tanned you in the stands at the CrossFit Games, rockin’ six-pack abs, amongst the fittest fans on Earth?
- A healthy, powerful, and flexible you pressing your strong hands into your yoga mat and elevating your legs over your head for a 60-second handstand hold?
In your weakest moments, recall your reason for starting this lifestyle change in the first place.
- Enlist an Accountabilibuddy
This idea might seem juvenile, but it WORKS. I remember in my weaker moments leading up to my first Powerlifting National Championships I would text a friend: “Everyone here is double-fisting drinks and eating deep-fried errythang, while I’m sipping on tea and ordered a steak and salad – dressing on the side. Why am I even doing this?”
She would reply, “Yeah, but are those people going to compete at a national level in the sport that they love?”
Instantly she brought me back to my why when I was wallowing in self-pity.
Your accountabibuddy will remind you of your WHY when you feel weak.
- When you’re working a night shift, text your friend when you’re feeling tempted.
- When you get home to mom’s and she busts out the candy jar, send out an SOS.
- When your lover pulls out the box of Oreos and jug of chocolate milk, give your buddy a holler.
You’ll realize you’re not alone and you have people who believe in you and want you to achieve your goals.
- Get Over the Craving Hump
This may sound like a different language right now, however, by focussing on whole foods, eventually you’re going to be faced with chips, pop, and cheap chocolate bars you will have NO desire to indulge. (This will become true 98% of the time. You’re human, and you’ll still want that stuff 2% of the time, and that’s okay).
A good way to speed up this process is by increasing your education about processed foods. I like the documentaries: Hungry For Change and Food Inc. for this. They’ll get you turned on to whole, unprocessed foods and away from the packaged stuff. (And Hungry For Change will also teach you why the diet pop you’re drinking is increasing carb cravings and causing all kinds of other problems.)
As you ADD whole, nutritious and delicious foods prepared with love and intention to your diet, THAT’s what you’ll crave over cheap, packaged stuff designed to make a buck. Your taste buds AND your mental and emotional cravings will change as you change.
Wrapping It Up (Kind of Like A Chocolate Bar?)
My fav “treat” isn’t a Kit-Kat anymore, it’s a piece or two of 90% cacao Lindt chocolate with some nut butter on it (I like the nut and seed butter from Costco, or Adam’s crunchy peanut butter).
Remember these four tips to get back your willpower:
- Bring your own food
- Remember your WHY
- Enlist an accountabilibuddy
- Stay the course until you get over the craving hump, and
Before you know it, that Choco-Closet will have NO power over you.
Photos by Emma Love Photography