My (Dietary) Confessions

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My (Dietary) Confessions

September 10, 2012
Do yourself a favor and freeze these babies!

Do yourself a favor and freeze these babies!

These are my confessions.

I’m going to have to ask Usher to share the podium for a few minutes here. I know many of us fitness folks like to act like we have perfect diets – we always eat “clean” (or what have you), we get in our daily gallon of water, and we hardly ever have slip ups. I wouldn’t be surprised if I gave many of you readers the same impression about myself. I want you to all to be aware, however, that despite having a solid dietary foundation, I still have my quirks.

And I’m here to lay them out for you.

I have the world’s most serious sweet tooth. I have it down to a science. How many Splenda packets goes into my morning iced coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts? 4 for a small, 7 for a medium, 10 for a large. Yes, I know it’s disgustingly excessive, but that’s the way I like it. Granted, I stick to Stevia as my sweetener of choice when I can, but when I’m in a bind, Splenda will do. My affinity for candy is no better. Werther’s caramels, Swedish Fish, Almond Joy – if you leave it out in front of me, there’s a good chance the rest of the day will be shot. I’ve never tasted anything that I thought was “too sweet”; I’m usually making it even sweeter. There was a time during my childhood when I would routinely open the fridge and chug sweetened condensed milk straight out of the can. My knees buckle at the sight of ice cream (real ice cream, mind you) and I can never get too many toppings on my froyo.

I’m all or nothing when it comes to gum. Which is why I’m trying to quit it cold turkey. The worst period for me was my senior year of high school, when I was grinding through 8 full classes, a handful of extracurriculars, and getting in two workouts everyday. I chomped through over a pack of gum a day – not unlike a bad smoking habit – to deal with the stress. My gum of choice has been narrowed down to the 5 green (aka spearmint) and Extra (mint chocolate chip) flavors. I’ve so far been successful for the past three weeks in staying away from all that masticating (sounds dirty, doesn’t it?) and opting for more teeth brushing sessions, but only time will tell whether this will be a permanent lifestyle change. I’ve been known to crave gum so badly to the point of driving to a gas station in the middle of the night just to get my fix. Addictive personality – who, me?

Do want.

I drink a Diet Mt. Dew everyday. With my new working hours as a strength coach at Tyler English Fitness, I’m awake by 4a.m. every morning. I’m sipping on my first coffee an hour later, and usually within the next 3 hours, I’ll crack open a can. I’ve already been accused by fellow coaches – and clients alike! – of “hiding” the can in my arms as I walk around and coach. What, hey… I can’t help it! Okay, okay, yes I can. I don’t know what it is about this particular soda that I like so much. It takes everything in me to cap it at just one can a day; otherwise I will gladly chug through at least three. This is one little dose of happy-in-a-can (quite literally) that I refuse to give up.

Sometimes I go days without consuming any veggies. I’m a little ashamed to say this, but I’ve resorted to purchasing frozen steam bags of broccoli and green beans just to make sure I get my daily greens. I’ve encountered far too many instances in the past year when I’ve bought produce and left it to rot in the fridge for weeks, only to have to throw it all out at the end. I figured frozen is at least better than nothing, and now I make an effort to eat at least 2 cups a day. It’s weird to think that there was once a time when I was an absolute fiend – and I’m talking heaping piles of butter lettuce, cucumbers, bell peppers, and broccoli. Today, I have to throw spinach in my shakes and trick myself into eating more leafy greens.

A giant bowl of broccoli and carrots. This was one of the good days.

I like eating crap food. I mean I really, really like it. If I could get away with living off a diet of sliders (with bacon, please), onion strings, buffalo wings, and french toast, I’d be all over that in a heartbeat. As it is, however, I gain weight at the blink of an eye (not to mention all the not-so-stellar health consequences), which means I always have to keep my diet in check. I like oats and beef just fine – hell, sometimes all I really want is an oversized chicken salad – but there’s nothing quite like a succulent, cheesy burger oozing with grease. And buttery pancakes. As Julia Child herself noted, “You can never have too much butter!”

All of us have glitches in our dietary habits that make us human. And you know what? I’m not embarrassed to admit them. The last thing I want to be is someone who never strays from her diet and misses out on a social life and loving, fulfilling relationships just because I’m worried about one breath mint that I now feel compelled to burn off (I’m sure we can all think of a few people we know like this). It’s not. Worth it. I’ve been there, done that. And that shit sucks.

When all is said and done, I’d estimate that around 90% of my diet is pretty bang on. I’m always willing to leave that last 10% as cushioning for so-called “imperfections” such as the ones listed above. Unless my habits degenerate into serious, debilitating problems, I’m not going to worry about them too much.

These are my confessions. What are yours?

20 Comments
  1. BlackoutTrainer 7 years ago

    I fit into all of these categories.

    Love junk food. Like love.

  2. Troy 7 years ago

    I’m going to guess that a lot of people have these same confessions, Sohee (or very similar anyway). I know I do. Many of these foods are designed or engineered to be just that, addicting as h*ll.

    My biggest weakness is carbs. Bread, pasta, rice, grains. Prior to March, I would have said that Diet Coke was, but I managed to shake that monkey after a *lot* of years. There were days when I’d stop at the convenience store and get a 44 oz. Diet Coke, along with a 1L bottle to refill it during the day. Then drink more when I got home. No longer though. 🙂

  3. Todd Leafman 7 years ago

    You are not alone. Not even close. I freaking devour candy. I am pretty sure most people that know me think I only eat candy. This is why I can not go into a 7-11 or gas station anymore.

    • Sohee Lee 7 years ago

      I can’t go into a gas station without stepping out with at least one pack of gum. I don’t remember the last time I’ve been inside one for that very reason.

  4. Fiona 7 years ago

    I definitely have a huge sweet tooth too. I’m all about anything sweet.

  5. stubbysticks 7 years ago

    Chocolate Chex is my crack. I’ve managed to restrain myself enough to only go through 1 box every week or two, though. I’m not the greatest about veggies either, even worse with fruit. I have to check myself with diet pop, as long as I’m conscientious about the water then I don’t want it as much. Better not to have it in the house at all! Seems like when I drink diet pop, I want more sweet things, so that’s another reason to stay away from it.
    I figured life is too short…like you said, who wants to go through life being “that” person who doesn’t allow herself to enjoy food at a social gathering? I try to limit my crap days to 1 a week, with occasional crap during the week IIFMM. I’m eating a billion times better than I was 86 lbs ago so I figure I’m doing alright. Plus you can’t help but DOMINATE in the gym after you’re fully loaded with carbs from a night at the bar, lol!

    • Sohee Lee 7 years ago

      My trick is to just not bring any of that junk into the house at all… otherwise it’s game over.

      Totally agree on the awesome training session following a carb-heavy meal. Carbs = rocket fuel.

  6. krista 7 years ago

    I eat chocolate off of chocolate covered anything and throw away whatever the chocolate was covering. I love junk food.

  7. Naomi(onefitfoodie) 7 years ago

    haha totally agreed on the gum!! I do try to cut it out for a few days every now and then and I have to say my stomach thanks me…but I LOVE GUM!! regarding the junk food…our bodies need to chill once in a while and enjoy those cheat meals and foods that we crave. It helps us stay on track, keep glycogen levels in check and also keep us MENTALLY happy. I would not at all call this an imperfection! I would call this being a happy human!

    • Sohee Lee 7 years ago

      I don’t know if I’d say our bodies *need* the junk food, but I think psychologically it does us a world of good. I’m planning on pancakes this weekend 🙂

  8. Brian 7 years ago

    In college when I needed to stay up all night I would buy an package of double stuff oreos and a 1/2 gallon of milk … by morning it would be all gone.

    So delicious.

    And of course ice cream must have every topping on it – sprinkles, oreos, chocolate chips, m&ms, etc etc etc …

    And my local bakery makes the most delicious frosting. All the sugar actually makes your teeth tingle. I can’t get enough of it.

    And … I’m ashamed to say … I may have had whipped cream straight from the can. Multiple times. 😀

    But on the other hand I haven’t had caffeine since high school (beyond 3 cans of coke, total), and I never drink, and I generally eat healthy every day now. So … yay! 😀

    • Sohee Lee 7 years ago

      I may have chugged sweetened condensed milk straight out of the can growing up. Same boat 🙂

  9. Jim 7 years ago

    Great post. I love the honesty here. I know if I buy a bag of salt and vinegar chips or cookies and cream ice cream it’s over.. lol

    • Sohee Lee 7 years ago

      There’s a reason why I keep no junk food at home! 😉

  10. Dimo 7 years ago

    Ok, seems it’s gonna be me to admit it for all of us sinners out there – I love drinking alcohol. Beer and fries, wine with the steak, whiskey and nuts, you name it! Sugary longdrinks and cocktails at parties, oh yes please! A admit I overdo it sometimes and get a hangover, but some greasy junk food brings the smile back on (:

    And I hate when fitness gurus that have never been much of a drinkers are telling us to quit it, or “maybe just a glass of red wine at a very special occasion”. F that! So thanks to people like Sohee (despite not admitting it in this particular article;), leangains Martin and TT Craig we know that it is possible to have your “cheat drink” here and there and still be a fitness buff.

    P.S. don’t forget to drink responsibly and all that

    • Sohee Lee 7 years ago

      That’s funny – I’ve never liked the taste of alcohol. But when I go out, I GO OUT. And yes alcohol can absolutely fit into a fit lifestyle.

  11. Dora 7 years ago

    I love this 🙂
    Does anyone know of a healthy pancake recipe, my hubby and I do pancakes on the weekends as our treat, but Im trying to keep a clean diet.

    • Sohee Lee 7 years ago

      Dora, there are plenty! I don’t know any off the top of my head but a quick Google search will yield you MANY results. 🙂

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