How much is too much?

The topic for this week’s Hump Day Hmm… is a pretty wide topic – Too much of a good thing.

For me, the thing I’ve always had too much of has been food. While I was in college, I had access to the dining hall, and almost always would fill two or three plates of food. I can remember having a plate filled with chicken nuggets, and eating them all. If it was breakfast, I’d have two eggs, and a whole bunch of sausage links and bacon. Generally, if it was there, I’d take it. Some days, I’d have a salad, but that was in addition to the full lunch or dinner I’d have. Along with that, I’d have a glass or three of soda, and they’d also get finished. I would also bring my own cup along so that I could fill up with soda before going either back to my dorm room or out to classes.

In my dorm room, the situation wasn’t improved – I’d have candy and snacks of all kinds available for myself, and the vending machines weren’t far away, so that I could get myself a candy bar (though it was usually two or three at a time) and take it back to my room.

Of course, my overeating goes to before college. I’ve always thought that I needed to have two of everything – two steaks, two pork chops, two hamburgers, two chicken breasts – for it to be a meal. We would have fruits and vegetables here, but it wasn’t a constant supply and I would regularly ignore them in preference to having the junk food.

All in all, it is too much food. On top of all that is the fact that I would drink way too much soda. There would be days where I’d drink four cans in a day – or more. I’d have soda with breakfast, lunch and dinner, and then have one at night.

However, there is good news in all of this – the first thing that I’ve done is weaned myself from drinking soda. First, it was two cans a day – lunch and dinner. However, I was still drinking diet soda. One day in May, I was given a couple of links that showed the effects of aspartame (the sweetener in diet soda) – Health effects and Dorway. Interestingly, one of the effects seen in people who consume aspartame is depression. Another thing that I learnt is that if it’s let to sit for long enough, Diet Coke disintegrates partly into turpentine.

From that day until about two weeks ago, I was having one can of regular Coke a day. The first couple of days of not having Diet Coke, I was a bear – almost as if I were quitting smoking after doing it for years. However, that passed within a couple of days and I was feeling better. Then, a couple of weeks ago, I was given a link to 9 great reasons to drink water, which led to me drinking more water, and now I’ve gone over two weeks drinking pretty much only water – the only other liquid I have is milk with a bowl of cereal in the morning. To think that I’ve gone from two sodas a day to none in such a short time is amazing, considering that I’ve had soda around me all my life. In fact, not 10 feet from me sits six 12-packs of Coke, purchased when it was on sale on the thought that I’d have a supply to last about two months or so; honestly, I’d now rather walk to the kitchen, fill my glass (or my bottles when I’m walking) with tap water than grab a can of soda.

Now, with the eating, I’ve started to cut back on that as well – the basic thought being that when you go to a restaurant, you don’t order two steaks or two chicken meals, and yet you leave there feeling pretty full. For a while now, I’ve had a lunch of a chicken breast with either just an avocado or a salad. Alternatively, I will have a Lean Cuisine meal. For dinner, I’ve just started cutting back on the quantity of food I eat, and so far I’ve done quite well – tonight, I had almost a whole pork chop before I started feeling full – a little while ago, it would have been two full ones, no matter how full I felt.

It’s just another step in my changes, and stepping away from too much of a good thing – changing it to good things, just in moderation.

5 thoughts on “How much is too much?

  1. Your last line is the big wisdom.

    It’s true: so much of it is how we think about it. If we change how we think, we can change how we feel and what we do.

    I think this is an awesome approach to a real issue we have, especially with food.

    I think it boils down to the complicated concepts of need and denial.

    Great contribution!


    Ravin’ Picture Maven

  2. Sephy – If you want/need a reinforcement that will keep you on the right path of your new eating habits, I suggest you watch a documentary that has appeared on TLC. The title is “33,000 Calories A Day”. I know that this doesn’t pertain to you specifically, but once you’ve seen it you will have all the will power you need. Good luck.

  3. Julie – While need and denial are certainly complex, I think that it’s simply a case of not denying totally the things you aren’t supposed to have, but just to have them in very small quantities. Sure you’re denying the excess, but it’s also satisfying your desire.

    Cugat – I mentioned it already, but that Pollan article is excellent. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thiru – Pardon my attitude, but that’s just an excuse! ๐Ÿ˜‰ As you keep drinking the water, the need to go to the bathroom often will go down.

    Morgan – I’ll see if I can catch that show; however, just reading what some folks on a site said about the show, it does sound like something very scary to think about. I don’t eat that much, but to think that there are people who can eat that much just is hard to fathom.

    Thanks for all of your comments ๐Ÿ™‚

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