Don't Eat your Greens!
People often ask me if it's ok to add other foods to the Spud Fit Challenge. Most commonly I get asked about greens - "Greens are healthy, why can't you eat them? Is it ok if I add some broccoli or spinach to my Spud Fit Academy?" On top of that I also quite regularly get attacked for supposedly advocating that people avoid eating greens, so let me just start with that first - green vegetables of all kinds (and all other vegetables too) are super healthy and absolutely fantastic for your physical health! I have never and will never advocate avoiding vegetables of any kind permanently. If you want to add in greens or other veggies then perhaps that will work for you too, if you really want to do that then I say go for it! If you want to know why I decided against that then read on...
My Spud Fit Academy was born out of my desire to treat my food addiction issues using the abstinence model. I wanted to get as close as possible to 'quitting food' and thereby mimic the way an alcoholic would quit alcohol. Alcoholics, smokers, heroin addicts, gamblers and pretty much every other addict I can think of, has a very simple job each day - don't do that thing! It's certainly not easy for an alcoholic to go a day without drinking but the idea is very simple: if you get through a day without drinking then that day is a success. I wanted to get as close as possible to that idea with the Spud Fit Academy.
An alcoholic has one decision to make: will I have a drink or not? That's it. No need for any further decisions or thoughts whatsoever. There is no new layer of decision making where they then have to choose what kind of drink is best, what kind of ice cubes, what temperature their drink should be or anything else. There's just one decision to make and that's it, the idea couldn't be simpler.
Eating only potatoes is not quite that simple because there are different ways to cook them but it is still very close. In essence there is still only two decisions to make, do you feel like eating and, if so, will it be only potatoes? Adding greens or other vegetables or anything else into this equation adds another layer of decision making and complicates the whole process right at the point in time when I think simplicity is best. Suddenly you add in more questions like "should I eat greens too? What kind of greens should I eat?" This doesn't seem like a lot but over the course of a day, week, month that's a lot of extra time, effort, energy and thought that has to go into our food choices.
Rather than asking "what more can I add in" I think we are better off asking "what more can I remove and go without". Leonardo Da Vinci said "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" so let's try to get as simple as possible with our food choices, at least for a little while. Rather than trying to find ways to make our food more interesting, perhaps we need to accept that this will be a month of 'boring' food and get on with trying to enjoy LIFE rather than just enjoying food.
It's time to start working on ways to get emotional support, comfort and enjoyment from things other than food. For every item you remove from your diet, add in something fun/interesting to do! Call a friend for a chat, pick up an old hobby or even start a new one, go for a run, watch some funny cat videos (looking at you Mandy!), knit, paint, read.
As an addict and full time dieter, I had convinced myself that I knew everything there was to know about dieting and how to eat well. I knew the right way to do things and I could tinker with and modify any plan to make it better. All of my previous decisions around weight loss had lead me to the point where I was 152kgs (336lbs) and deluded enough to think I knew what I was doing. Finally I accepted that I really had no idea and that everything I'd previously done was wrong. I decided to just trust in this abstinence model that has worked for millions of other addicts of all kinds, then I really started to make some big, important and lasting changes to my relationship wth food and life in general.
I've now helped thousands of people change their lives for the better with their own Spud Fit Academy. This process works if you are prepared to work for it and do it properly.
Trust the process and allow nature to take it's course.
More information on The Spud Fit Academy HERE
The DIY Spud Fit Academy: a how-to guide to tackling food addiction with the humble spud.