Can you give THIS up for one month?

My stomach is growling. My leg is shaking. I keep looking around for something I can’t find. I can’t think straight.

I feel like an addict going through withdrawals, eager for a fix.

Except the drug isn’t heroin, crack, or any number of pills. It’s Captain Crunch…

and cookies.

and ice cream.

and white bread.

and pizza.

and spaghetti.

and all the other sweetened, processed foods that make up my diet.

I’ve given them all up for February.

Well, at least that’s the plan.

I’ve only been awake a few hours, and I already feel like I’ve been stranded in the woods for weeks, with nothing but berries and animal dung for sustenance. I am NOT that rugged dude on the reality show who gets dropped in the middle of nowhere and thrives on nothing but his wiles and whatever he kills. I am the opposite of him.

Pretty pathetic, eh? I am a sad, fat man.

WHAT AM I DOING?

I wouldn’t even be doing this if I weren’t challenged by Sean Platt, my writing partner, a healthy bastard, who likes to torture himself do a “system reboot” every February where he gives up sugar and processed junk for the full month. He suggested I do the same, because hey, misery loves company.

And how did he pitch it?

“You’ll feel like hell for the first two weeks!”

Awesome! And?

“You’ll be cranky, your stomach will be growling, and you’ll wish you were dead.”

Sweet, and I can do this for FREE?!

“But… after that, you’ll feel better than you ever felt in your life! You’ll have all this energy, and you’ll be crazy productive.”

I was hoping Sean would forget that he challenged me to do this with him. Because let’s face it, my diet is that of an eight year old with a credit card and access to the grocery store to get WHATEVER HE WANTS WHENEVER HE WANTS IT!

Want pizza for breakfast? Go ahead.

Cookies for lunch? Why not?

A pre-dinner dinner of chicken nuggets? Hell yeah!

Two bowls of ice cream for a late night snack? Who’s gonna stop you?

I’m used to eating good (the stuff most people call junk) food whenever I want without a whole lot of thought of what it’s doing.

But hovering (no blimp pun intended) around 350 pounds, this can’t go on forever. I’m 6’4” so thankfully, I look more like an out-of-shape former linebacker than a guy who simply hates veggies. Not that I’m sure out-of-shape linebacker looks all that more impressive, or any different from, an out-of-shape couch potato.

But the reality is, I NEED to get in shape. I’ve needed to for many years. I have a 4 year old and a wife who I want to be around for.

So, thankfully, Sean’s wife, Cindy, called me out, challenged me too, and even sent me a list of foods and a sample diet based on foods they knew I liked.

And today, the hell  diet “system reboot” begins.

Here’s what I’m eating today.

Breakfast – banana, one spoon of natural peanut butter, whole wheat toast, at least 4g protein
Lunch:  Sliced Turkey deli style as much as you want and one piece of wheat bread and tomato soup. NO CRACKERS no WHITE FOOD : )
Dinner: Turkey Tacos (without the actual shell that makes it a taco!!). Ground Turkey, Taco seasoning, shredded cheese, black beans, corn. Applesauce with Cinnamon or sliced apples with cinnamon and lemon juice. Add Stevia and all natural sweetener to it if it helps.

I’ll likely be adding another banana for a snack before bed if my blood sugar is low, but that’s it. That’s what I’m eating today.

If that seems appealing to you, congratulations, you skinny bastard. To me, it looks as appealing as eating cardboard. In fact, I think cardboard might taste better, given my cat’s penchant for chewing on it.

I look at that menu and see only what it isn’t. All the good food.

It’s gonna be a looooong month…

If I can stick to it.

Do I sound defeated already? Like someone ready to throw in the towel after a few hours? Yeah. But I’m gonna push myself. Because as much as I am a slave to my cravings for sweets, I am also a logical person who sees this as something I should be able to master. After all, I control me. My cravings don’t control me. I decide what I put in my mouth, not my out-of-control Captain Crunch obsessed inner child.

Right?

I’ll just keep giving myself that little pep talk and hope I can believe it.

Oh shit, I just realized the Super Bowl is this Sunday. A Super Bowl without pizza, chips, dips, oh hell no!

I think I’m gonna go cry now.

To be continued…

Can YOU give up sugar and junk foods for a month? Have you? Share your story or nightmare below.

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David Wright is the co-author of the post-apocalyptic serial thriller series Yesterday’s Gone, now in its second season! Get Episode 1 for free at Amazon. Or get the full first season here. Follow him at Twitter at @thedavidwwright