My Year Without Junk Food

My Year Without Junk Food!



choc brownies


You may have read my brutally honest story of my binge eating years (CLICK HERE to read it now), and I often get asked what was the first thing that started my recovery.


The truth is there is never ONE thing, just like a recovering addict of any type you can have a hundred “wake up” moments where you are sure that you are done for good only to fall back into old patterns once more.


But there was definitely a very decisive choice that I made that started my road to recovery. This was a decision that came to be known to everyone around me as my “year without junk”.


I started it on the 1st July 2011 to coincide with the start of the new financial year, and the idea was to cut out all the foods that were my worst triggers. This was very specific – “the big 4” (otherwise known as McDonalds, KFC, Hungry Jacks and Red Rooster), ANYTHING deep fried or cold packet potato chips, donuts and cookies of any sort. Now this may not sound like much – but it was the biggest portion of my daily food.


Rarely a day passed without Maccas or KFC, hot chips were constant, and each trip to any food source resulted in more cookies or donuts. Yup – I had issues. And for more info on why I was still a size 12 and not obese click the above link for my diary blog.


So I knew, I had to tackle the biggest problems, all at once. I always knew how much smarter the disorder can be then me sometimes – so I had to trick it.


This was the trick. I told myself- it is purely an exercise for one full year. Out of all the years I have left, what’s one. At the end of the year – I could go back to eating everything and anything I want (more on THAT day later!)


The other trick was that I could still have other food – you know, chocolate, pizza blah blah blah. Yes I still ate those things – but they weren’t my kryptonite (though they certainly featured a lot more once I said goodbye to the others!)


So began my year without the above foods. I felt ready, I kept repeating to myself it is just one year. I told all my friends and family so that they didn’t even bother offering it to me, and I carried on.


Now I wish I could tell you that this changed my life, that I lost the last 5-10kg and never looked back.


But this is an honest story – the truth.


And the truth is it was hard. I developed a love for ice cream that I had never had – purely because I couldn’t have the cookies anymore.

I craved hard. There was a night towards the 9 month mark where I panicked, drove through Maccas and ordered my old nemesis The Big Mac only to park, burst into tears and throw it out because I knew I’d come too far.


It wasn’t even until after that I realised what this meant.


I could have eaten it – no one would have seen, no one else would know.


But instead I went home and told my partner about nearly caving and he told me how proud he was – and it hit me – that was the first time I hadn’t wanted to hide this disorder!


It was always so private, no one could know about it – but this time I wanted to tell him, this disorder no longer had that “special private” place in my heart.


I hated it and I wanted it gone.

So did I do it?


Well, yes – yes I did!


I went a full year without those foods, and true to my word, on the start of a new financial year I bought a Big Mac and took it home. And in front of my sister and partner I bit into my first mouthful of the devil in over a year.




Well… something unexpected happened. I threw up.




I didn’t even get through more than a couple of bites, and up it came.

My entire body was now rejecting this.


And in that disgusting moment the last year flashed before my eyes and suddenly I remembered all the little moments that were signs I was changing and I hadn’t even realised.


Like those times around month 4 that I drove past KFC or Maccas and felt sick to my stomach at the stench coming from them.


Or how at about month 6 I had completely forgotten where these places were – having once been so AWARE of every single time I would pass one – now I suddenly had no clue where the closest one was.


And it all hit me like a ton of bricks.

I had been a woman of my word.

And I could now eat all the junk I want.

All the junk I WANT

And there it was – none of this junk was what I wanted anymore.


Not only the thought but the reality of eating this stuff made me throw up!


That’s not to say the occasional donut or cookie doesn’t cross my path, and I love a small handful of hot chips on occasion, but I can truly say I have not had the “fast 4” since the day the 1 year challenge started, and I don’t miss them in the slightest.


I’ve had friends sometimes ask me “but what do you do when there isn’t anything at home and it’s the only place that’s open?”


And you know – in almost 3 years that has never occurred to me. That those places even exist anymore. They are so far out of what I would ever want to eat that it’s like knowing the brothel is open at 2am when you’re hungry- yes it’s open but you would never go there to get food and it just wouldn’t occur to you. Simple as that.


And you all know how I feel about what we have in life – it is what we settle for and believe we deserve.


I believe I deserve to nourish my body with vital nutritious food and that I am worthy of the extra half hour it takes me each week to prepare some of it so I am NEVER in a situation where one of those places “is the only option”.


Simple. Now time for some more truth.


Did I still binge sometimes after that? Yes

Was it anywhere near as much? Not even close.

Do I honestly not ever miss that food? Yes – god YES!


My journey to recover from this took a little longer – and I slowly had to realise that there will never be such a thing as perfection.

Expecting to never over eat again because I shouldn’t because it’s a disorder was stupid.

We all over eat sometimes – at a family party, out celebrating at a restaurant,and you know what? It doesn’t mean you have a disorder.

So coping with the idea that I might occasionally have a bit more and NOT think I am diving back into my disorder was a big challenge for me.


But I got there.

That year changed my life, and made me aware of all that I am capable of. And all that my body naturally wants – to be loved, appreciated and nurtured.



Ana sign off



PS. Want some more info about how I could help coach you if you’ve been battling this kind of food addiction yourself? CLICK HERE 




Be Sociable, Share!

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.