Pizza is a magical food.
I could safely bet that I would beat just about anyone in a pizza eating contest. In fact, I’d put money on it. I’d be like one of those tiny little Asian dudes you wouldn’t expect to pull their weight but then BAM, I’d put you to shame. I’ve been known to eat a whole pizza in one sitting. Pizza is my jam. And the thing about pizza is, it doesn’t stop tasting good after one or two slices. Oh no. It continues to taste freaking delicious way past the point of fullness. Pizza is kind of an asshole.
In the past 28 days, I’ve only had 2 cheat meals. But today I craved pizza. Not a slice of pizza, but like, an entire pizza. Thick crust. Extra cheese. All the toppings. My mouth started to physically water thinking about it. No matter how many stupid almonds, dates, scoops of peanut butter, protein shakes, organic veggies, stir frys, homemade roasts or other clean, whole meals that were available to me, I still wanted a goddam pizza. Because, well, pizza.
You might be thinking “Just eat your goddam slice of pizza then, you animal.” But it’s time I put my foot (or, fork) down.
A Little Back Story
I was a binge eater growing up. Not to be confused with purging. I never purged. I would just eat and eat and eat until I felt like I wanted to vomit, only stopping if I couldn’t physically swallow one more bite. That habit carried into adulthood. I’ve learned to overeat at every meal, and not feel “satisfied” until sick to my stomach. This has gone on for about 15 years.
Cigarettes & Coffee
Luckily, cigarrettes and coffee always had my back. For every time I overate, I could spend a few hours fasting and expediting my digestion with nicotine and caffeine. I’ve never been overweight, maybe a little chubby, but never fat. Although my dad hid snacks from me a few times growing up, no one ever really commented about my eating habits. I was tiny, which meant I was “healthy.”
Kicking Out the Crutches
Almost 2 years ago, I quit smoking. I also quit caffeine. The tradeoff was lots more eating. I turned to food every time my mouth got bored. Which was pretty often. I averaged about a half gallon of ice cream every day for at least 6 months (ask my roommate at the time). I gained 20 pounds over the course of a year or so, which is a lot for my 5’1″ frame. I’ve maintained that weight, although quite a bit of it has since turned into muscle. I grew a booty for the first time ever, yet still managed to squeeze my buns into most of my old clothes, whether they liked it or not. I embraced my new curves, and was adjusting pretty well to my new lifestyle…
Poppin’ Buttons & Splittin’ Pants
…Until a few months ago, when my clothes actually stopped fitting. When no amount of shimmying, pulling, twisting or grunting would make those bad boys button. I got super depressed. Not because I had gained weight, but because I knew that all the exercise in the world would not make me healthy if not paired with responsible eating habits. Crap food undoes everything.
Every Diet Ever
Last year in an attempt to reform my diet I tried being on paleo for a while. When I inevitably got sick of meat I tried being a vegan. I tried eating raw. I tried a few juice cleanses. Nothing really spoke to me. In fact, I’ve come to kind of hate food. I’ve watched every food documentary in existence and have learned that, in short, 90% of what you find on grocery store shelves is bad for you. It’s horrifying.
Finding My Food Identity
I’m still a work in progress but I’ve started to develop a food identity. I enjoy clean, whole foods. Organic when I’m able. Unprocessed foods and if I can avoid it, no added sugar. I avoid dairy, though I allow it in moderation. Same with gluten. I don’t identify with paleo, vegan or any other labels. To my knowledge, I don’t have any strong intolerances or food allergies. I’m not hard on myself if I accidentally shove a large piece of cheesecake in my face, although I’m aware that’s no longer the lifestyle I want to be living.
Why I Told Pizza to Piss Off
Pizza and I are still totally bros. We cool, we homies. But I didn’t give in to my pizza craving today. You know why? Because I knew it was simply a craving. Similar to nicotine, food/sugar/carb cravings are sneaky little bastards that sit on your shoulder and whisper naughty things into your ear. But I’m bigger than that. We’re bigger than that. WE’RE BIGGER THAN PIZZA. Bigger than cravings.
Once you get to know your body without processed, sugary crap in it, you gain a much clearer awareness of how different foods affect you. Although I was drooling day dreaming over pizza today, I realized the only reason I was having massive carb cravings was because of a reaction to a high dose of bad (sugary) carbs I had yesterday.
So instead of going out for pizza, I made myself an epic stir fry with quinoa, tofu, tri colored peppers, onions, squash, zucchini and homemade marinade. It wasn’t pizza. Not even close. But it filled me up and got me over the hump of almost eating someone’s face off.
Now that my cravings have subsided, I have most likely cycled the bad carbs out of my system from yesterday and will be able to get back on track for next week.
Life is Better Without Pizza
That’s a crazy statement. Almost unbelievable, I know. And I won’t totally deprive myself of pizza. I’m sure there are plenty of pizza eating days in my future. But today I made a choice. A choice that is helping me break bad habits and develop a sustainable healthy lifestyle.