My name is Neale Bacon. I have lost (so far) 200 pounds with no pills, potions, shakes, short cuts or surgery. Join me for tips and tricks I learned on this journey. There may even be a laugh or two along the way.

Do you remember GIGO?

GIGOBack in the days when we were playing with DOS on our computers, there was a phrase that came up when we made an error of some kind. IT was GIGO or Garbage In Garbage Out. Remember that one?

Well even if you, gentle reader, are too young (or won’t admit you are old enough to remember) to remember it, it still applies. Only now it applies to what we eat on a daily basis.

I remember back when I was running a drop in centre for a famous Christian church and organization (here’s a hint – it probably “rings a bell” at Christmas) and we had a volunteer who was always telling me she couldn’t figure out why she couldn’t lose weight. The problem was that while she was telling me this, she was finishing her 3rd slice of chocolate cheesecake. We used to get a lot of sweets donated.

I tried to suggest that her diet would be a large part of the problem, but she knew that wasn’t it. She only ate the occasional treat or so she claimed. Are you fooling yourself with the same denial? When was the last time you looked closely at your eating plan, especially the extras.

I have a problem with snacking when I am bored or inactive like watching TV at night. I admit that and therefore I need to change what I snack on. I also know what I call my downfall foods. I don’t believe in labels on food like good or bad. There are healthy choices and less healthy choices. I am not white washing, but as soon as you label a food “bad” there attaches a certain stigma or judgement about eating it. The guilt – pleasure – guilt cycle begins again. It is because of this I call them downfall foods because I know these are not healthy for me, but it is a slippery slope and I can easily over do.

What is my solution? I don’t have them in the house. If they are not in the house, I won’t eat them. Makes sense, right? Yet for some people, they will find a hundred reasons to have them around.

good foodInstead of banning these foods completely, I just ban them at home. For example, with diet soda I try not to have it in the house (and I do say try) but will allow myself to have one when I am dining out. If there are healthy snacks in the fridge, then I will snack on healthy food. I love apples and cheese, or baby carrots, or celery and peanut butter for snacks. I never thought I would see that day believe me!

This is so simple, but people have a hard time with it. There is an assumption that healthy snacks don’t taste good. There are thousands of healthy snack recipes you can find online so we know that one is not true.

The other part of this issue is what I call immature taste buds. Some of us have the taste buds of children and we fall into those child like patterns. If I have never had it, I won’t like it. I won’t eat vegetable because I was made to eat them as a kid and I am a grown up so I don’t have to eat them. Yeah boy that will sure teach them a lesson.

Sometimes it was how you were raised with them. I love my mom dearly but she used to follow a recipe with cooking vegetables. Boil until there is no flavour and then serve. No wonder I never liked veggies growing up, but my wife has gotten me to try and enjoy many vegetables I swore I would never eat again. She even got me to eat Brussels Sprouts. I used to no-junk-food-signrefer to these as boiled socks.

I have said this before but it comes down to choices. We have to choose to eat healthy. Why? Because we are also choosing to FEEL healthy. It is not easy to switch our thinking on this. It took me a long long time to realize that when I ate crap, I felt like crap.

Back in the day, I would think nothing about polishing of a large pizza by myself. Today I have 1 or 2 pieces and I am done. I have given up some foods that were a staple in my diet like onion rings.

To this day, if I go out and have an unhealthy meal somewhere, I pay for it with bloating, gas and other nasty and socially unacceptable side effects.

Our food choices have to be a conscious decision but we have to know why. For me, it started with not wanting to die, wanting to be a good dad and husband, and now I keep on track because I want to be here for my grand daughter. I plan to be that old guy dancing at her wedding. I plan to live a long and happy life with my wife. A life where she doesn’t have to worry about my health every day.

What are your reasons for avoiding GIGO? Are you just sick and tired of being sick and tired? I would close off this blog today by throwing down the gauntlet. I challenge you to open your fridge and your cupboards and toss anything that would be considered an unhealthy choice. I am not saying you should become the food police, but you need to make the change in habits. Instead of letting the garbage in your life, it is time to toss the garbage out of your life. THAT is how GIGO SHOULD work.

Until next time, have a healthy and happy day!

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