Back when I was a kid, a family friend once told me that, “too many people sow their wild oats and then pray for crop failure.” Sometimes I live that phrase but I’m getting much better over the last decade. Like the other day when I was out for lunch and on the menu the burger really looked tempting but instead I chose the salad with grilled chicken.
I can give you a laundry list of failures, and many of them recent, but I’m getting better and better day by day and when I have a setback or make a bad choice, I don’t make it worse by continuing in that sort of behavior. That gets us to the title of this weeks blog, Garbage In, Garbage Out.
I’ve been getting lessons lately from our new head of IT who has to explain everything technical to me like I’m a 2 year old but I’m learning why we do what we do in the computer and software areas. Just like you teach a 2 year old by using small words, when you are trying to get control over your eating, you need to start with little steps.
Smaller portions, better choices, less salt, less sugar, choosing greens and less meat will lead you to a healthier and longer life, all things being equal. Just like putting good fuel in your body will lead to good results, putting bad fuel in your body will harm your body. Everyone knows this but continues to shovel donuts, bacon, cakes, cookies, and ice cream into their body with little concern about the results.
If this is you, that’s okay. You can get better. You can start by limiting your portions or eating one fewer donut. It didn’t take you a single day to start eating unhealthy and you will not be able to stop eating junk in a single day. Although I’ve heard about people who have done just that after a major event like a massive heart attack, there are two downsides to that approach.
One, you are much more likely to revert your behavior when you try the old “willpower” routine instead of changing your habits gradually. Two, if you do beat the odds and change overnight, you still have done the damage to your body and have to live with the consequences like heart disease, diabetes, and sometimes worse.
Instead of looking at food like you are rewarding yourself or indulging, try looking at food like it is fuel because that is exactly what it is. If you put good food into your tank, your engine will run cleaner, more efficiently, and with less effort. If you put bad food into your tank, you are going to make your engine run dirtier, less efficiently, and with more effort. You will wear your body out much quicker if you run it with bad fuel all the time. Every now and then, a treat won’t hurt the system just like a lower quality octane gas won’t ruin a modern engine but you must make good choices over the long pull if you want your body to last. Just like my old friend said, “if you sow your wild oats, you are going to end up with a crop that you don’t want.”