Friday, February 21, 2014

Fast food is FAT food!

Good Morning.   When I saw this clipart a while ago, I just shook my head in agreement. I know there are a few exceptions and many places are starting to offer healthier options, but for the most part, FAST FOOD is better described as FAT FOOD!

  Before I began my journey, I was a fast food addict. When I lived downstate in the Flat Rock area, I had to drive by a whole line of fast food restaurants and drive-thru windows just calling out my name on my way home . Wendy’s, Burger King, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell…you name it, I had one within a mile or two of my house. As a single person who worked very long hours in ministry, I got in the habit of turning off into the drive thru every night on the way home for work. I rarely had “real food” in the house because it wasn’t practical because of my erradic schedule. ( I worked about 10 hour days, sometimes longer) during the week and went up north every weekend. It was just easier to pick up junk food on the way home. Before long, I was hitting them in the morning on the way to work as well.

When I moved up here in northern Michigan, it became more challenging to frequent the fast food chains because I live about 19 miles away from the nearest McDonald’s, but I still ate at them every chance I could. It almost became a “must” whenever I was in town and every Thursday night  when I was traveling to my college classes in Bay City. It got to a point where I couldn’t take a car trip….for any reason ranging from a basic errand to a road trip without stopping at a drive-thru, whether it was mealtime or not. It was almost a “well, I’m here and I live so far away, I better get it while I can” type of mentality.

Drive-thru windows are a fat girl’s best friend. They offered me convenience, anonymity, and privacy. I didn’t have to get out of the car. I didn’t have to struggle to get the walker or cane into the restaurant and wait in line. I didn’t have to subject myself to the stares of others in the restaurant whose judging glares pierced through my obese body. I could order as much food as I wanted; often two sandwiches (darn those buy one, get one free sandwich coupons) and supersize French fries, topped off with a couple of apple pies or a milkshake. Thousands of calories of pure junk filled my body each week. Most of their appeal came from the ease at which I could just sit in the car, by myself, just eating and eating. No one to comment on how much I ordered. No one to question my choices. No one to shake his/her head in disbelief or judgment.  Like I said, a fat girl’s dream!  But also a contributing factor in my demise.

When I began this journey, I knew that several things had to go, and there could be NO EXCEPTIONS:  regular soda, sugar, and fast food!  Giving up the fast food was probably harder than the other two because there are options to soda. I switched to diet soda for a bit while transitioning to flavored water. Sugar was easier because of the great tasting sugar substitutes on the market, but fast food, well there weren’t any options.  Yes, I know there are some that offer healthy options like salads and lower calorie wraps and such, but for the most part, they still are a no-no in my book. For the first year or so of my journey I never ate at another fast food restaurant again. Since then, I probably have gone to them less than a handful of times. When traveling, I’ll order an oatmeal at McDonald’s…without brown sugar and milk (I bring a shot of sugar free French vanilla creamer in my purse).  Wendy’s small chili without cheese and sour cream is around 300 calories I think. Burger King has a nice grilled chicken salad (I bring my own salad dressing) and Subway has several healthy choices although I rarely go there. I’m sure there are other options, but for the most part, they are just off limits to me.  I have not had a French fry in more than 3 years, and I will admit, that every now when I’m out shopping or doing errands and the wind is blowing just right, the smell of McDonald’s in the air just about does me in. But I can’t give in to that temptation because “just one little French fry” would very quickly turn into two or three, then a happy meal size, and eventually I’d be getting a super-size order.  I won’t risk it!

If you are reading this before you leave for the day, make sure you take the time to grab something for breakfast right now so that you don’t’ have to stop by McDonald’s for that egg McMuffin or sausage biscuit and hash browns.  Take the time to pack a quick lunch so that you don’t have an excuse to order out with the folks in the office for a carry-out lunch from Wendy’s or Burger King.  Take something out of the freezer for dinner tonight so you don’t have an excuse to hit the drive-thru on the way home to bring home junk for yourself or your family.  Fast food is FAT food!  You can resist it. You are stronger than a Big Mac. Your body deserves better than a Whopper.  Keep driving by. You can do it!!!!

Make it a good day today!