Wisdom brightens a person's face and changes its hard appearance. -Ecclesiatstes 8:1

Monday, September 20, 2010

Zero to 200lbs in 9.3 cheeseburgers

Just over 2 years ago, I went “cold turkey” on fast food.

A certain golden arched chain is right across the street from my work and down the street from my house. That was my go to place for a quick fix…I mean, meal. The little red-headed girl chain is close as well, so I’d frequent there too. And my waist size showed it.

I can honestly say I’ve eaten part of an order of French fries and half an Egg __muffin from one of those places in 2 years. From the other place, I’ve maybe had 3 burgers, fries and a few salads. And even then, the burgers were ordered at my lowest point…when my mood was crabby and I was stress eating. Otherwise, I’ve stayed ‘clean’.

When I was growing up, my parents rarely took us to a fast food place to eat. It might be on a Sunday after church for lunch, we’d go through the drive through. Otherwise, I only ate at those places when I was with a friend. As soon as I got my driver’s license this changed. I would skip lunch at school and go straight there after I got out and order a meal. I don’t know why. It was just so good to me. A treat.

This continued through college with late night snacks and many, many quick lunches. I think that was part of the problem; I’d eat so fast, I didn’t realize how much I was actually eating. And I gained weight.

So, when I decided it was time to get healthy, that was the first thing I cut. No more. Not even the supposed “healthy” salads. I went for over a year without one single fast food item.*

It was as soon as I gave myself the excuse that I could have something from the “red-haired girl” that I started gaining weight again. It was just a downward spiral…a gateway drug if you will. I learned my lesson.

So what if it is about speed and convenience and dollar menus? It should be about health and long-lives. The ridiculousness of what we put in our bodies from these places is a shame. No one should treat their bodies that way.

I understand that sometimes, you crave things like a quarter pound cheeseburger or milkshake. Believe me, I’m a slave to my cravings…sometimes. But did you ever think, that had you not been introduced to such things, your body wouldn’t know to crave it? Is it even your body that is craving it, or your mind? I honestly don’t believe God built us to crave things that can hurt His temple. These cravings are a test of strength against an enemy. That’s the way I see it. And I do fail…a lot more than I should.

I’m not perfect. I hope to teach my children (whenever I might have them) to eat well and treat their bodies to the natural food that God provides. But I don’t want to withhold from them something to the point that they go out and get it themselves the moment they can, like I did. (And no, I’m not blaming my parents.) It becomes an addiction…the convenience, the speed, the taste, the smell. It is hard to get away from it all. I don’t believe you can wean yourself off of it. I think you just have to quit. Just stop going there. I did it. I know anyone can do it. I’m not here to give you advice on what to do instead. Not now anyway. I just know that getting away from it is a choice you make for a healthier life. Sure, you can “treat” yourself now and then. But really, once you’re off of it, are you going to want to go back to it? And if you do want it, do you think you’ve conquered it to the point that you can have it once and only once without going down a spiral? I think not.

There is no better reason in this world to eat healthier than the person in the mirror. The next best reason is the people you care about. You need to be healthy for yourself and for those who care about you. If you can cut just one thing out of your diet, it should be fast food. Imagine if 50% of the public stopped going to these places. They wouldn’t continue popping up on every corner making it so ‘convenient’ for everyone. And people would, for the most part, be thinner and healthier.

If you don’t think you can do it. Just try it for a week. A day. Just stop going there. Drive past, not thru.

*There are two sandwich chains that are probably considered fast food, but I did eat at those places during this time.

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