No Junk August

No Junk August

My boyfriend John sent me this picture Thursday week ago with the words “we’re doing this”. It is a No Junk Food challenge for all of August. This came from the boy who puts cream on ice cream. Sugar on corn flakes. Chocolate topping on chocolate ice cream. I think you get the point, John loves his sweets so for him to initiate such corporal punishment for a month I will happily support!

The next day around lunch time I remembered the ‘challenge’. Then realized it was already the first of August so technically it had started. Being the OCD pedantic triathlete I am, I couldn’t quite commit to the challenge without understanding every minute detail and rules and scenario. I sent john a list of questions:

  1. Are hot chocolates allowed?
  2. Are milkshakes allowed?
  3. Can we drink alcohol?
  4. Can I cook treats?
  5. Biscuits and dip?

He wrote back; no, no, yes, nothing with sugar or chocolate, and no but veggies and dip yes.

Right, so by Friday afternoon the rules had been set. It then dawned on me that it was day one and I had actually failed twice. I had a hot chocolate with breakfast, and in the afternoon a muesli bar that was covered in chocolate. Oops. Oh well I can be stricter from now on…

Sunday afternoon I went to my sisters late morning and ate a left over croissant she had from breakfast. Chatting away, she handed me a fresh out of the oven croissant and I mindlessly ate it. It honestly wasn’t until later that day, not even in the morning after I ate it, that it occurred to me I had ‘broken’ the challenge again. Oops again…

Monday 4th August. Four days in and so far 3 red crosses to my name. After work when I was leaving the office I walked past the front reception desk and grabbed a couple of minties. I ate one and as I started unwrapping the second one it occurred to me that a mintie is a lollie. Damnit I broke the challenge again! I was starting to realize I ate more ‘junk’ than I thought, particularly mindless eating.

Tuesday was a successful day of sticking to the challenge. Wednesday was then my birthday and we had said at the start that I was allowed a day off for my birthday. But finally my body was adjusting to the challenge and I didn’t feel like any sweets! But there was no way in hell I’d waste a day off so I forced down a Bueno chocolate in the afternoon and had Italian donuts and ice cream for dessert. Delicious at the time but my body didn’t love me for it.

Then not unsurprisingly the next day after lunch I was back to my usual craving sweets. This is very typical for me, where I always crave a sugar hit after lunch, even just a hot chocolate is enough (I say it like it’s not really eating anything bad but no doubt if I checked the ingredients there wouldn’t be a single good thing in it). Nonetheless, I survived two days of being good.

Come Saturday and John was clearly cracking, we were on the 9th day and he hadn’t failed yet (but then I hadn’t told him about all my mishaps so I strongly question that!). apparently when the rules were set he had said my birthday weekend was off, not just my actual birthday. He was quickly making rules and before I knew it he had drunk a sugar-free V (apparently because it’s sugar free it’s acceptable – ermm NO!), energy lollies for riding (the judge can decide on those ones), a can of coke after the ride, and a handful of Allan’s lollies. I had a sip of the coke and V. this was all before we went to the pub for a birthday dinner and a ate a whole sticky date pudding with ice cream, and John had a whole crumble with ice cream and cream (and the crumble to fruit ratio was about 90:10). It was a shocking day for the challenge to say the least!

Come Sunday, I’m not feeling good and my apetite is low. Nonetheless I ate a late breakfast at the cottage we had rented for the weekend, of Nutrigrain cereal and white toast with jam (fail, fail, fail!). We stopped at a bakery on the way home for lunch and before our healthy-ish wrap arrived shared a sausage roll (fail). On the way out we grabbed a Big M (fail). Finally home that night we had a nice home cooked dinner, then it was suggested we should finish off that ice cream in the freezer that we hadn’t been able to eat because of the No Junk Challenge. Since we were having a ‘weekend off’ it made perfect sense. Another fail.

This challenge has made me realize a few key things:

  1. I eat more ‘junk’ mindlessly than I first thought (hot chocolates, minties, croissants etc.)
  2. I am easily influenced by those around me (or should I say, John!). you definitely need the support of your partner when doing a challenge like this.
  3. Once I’ve ‘failed’ for the day, I am easily convinced that the whole day is a write off so I might as well take advantage and eat more junk!

It’s only 11 days in, I have another 20 to go so it will be interesting to see how we go for the next three weeks! So far it has been worthwhile in just making me more aware of what I eat.

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About Priscilla Barrington

Hi, I am a short course Age Group triathlete in Victoria. I love short course because I have developed a bit of a competitive side and short course enables me to race LOTS! Like most triathletes, I like to talk a lot about triathlon... so have taken to writing down my thoughts opposed to boring my friends with my triathlon trash!

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