Fast Food Lied to Me or Did I Lie to Myself?

I got up one morning a few months ago and tried to zip up my jeans.  Tried, being the operative word.  I did not succeed.  Yes, I had given in again and now I paid the price for it.


It was only a burger.  Well, not just a burger, a double-burger with cheese and fries and a diet coke.  Sure, I ate all of this crap and downed it with a diet coke.  Was the diet coke supposed to negate the rest of the food?  No!  I was just deluding myself as always.  I actually told myself at the time, “Good job ordering the diet soda” like that made the difference.


I am a fast food junkie.  Yes, I will sell out anyone or anything to get a fix from any of the major fast food restaurants.  How did I get here and where is the exit to turn off of fast food highway?


When I was a kid, we would occasionally have fast food, but it was not too common.  One, we could not afford to have it that often and two, mom always prepared our meals.  At the time I never gave fast food that much thought.  Advertisements were on TV and a few billboards, but not at the rate it is today.


In high school, I ate a little bit more fast food, but not too much once again.  I lived in a little town that did not have much as far as fast food went.  I also did not have any means (read: no money) as well.


College started a new life for me.  I was out on my own and my own boss.  I could eat what I wanted and whenever I wanted.  So far it seemed ideal.  Then again, as I soon found out, appearances can be deceiving.  People nowadays talk about the freshman 15 whenever their child leaves for college.  Young girls are worried about it, dread it and many gain it.  I did not even know about the freshman 15 when I went to college, and furthermore, I seriously doubted it would have affected me.  I packed all of my belongings into a suitcase or box and moved into my own place.  I acquired furniture from family and friends and started anew.


What I didn’t know at the time and now regret, is that I had no common sense, and certainly no idea how to manage money effectively.  Oh I knew how to spend money (read:  impulsive), but I did not focus on saving money for a rainy day.  I had no respect for money.  I also had no clue about self-control and how to be responsible for ones actions.  I stocked up on nutritious groceries (trying to put myself on the right path); however, every time I opened the fridge, I never saw anything good to eat, so I made a trip to a fast food place to fill my belly.  Burger King lured me in by telling me to “Have it my way”!  McDonalds waved their French fries in front of me and I went crazy.  Years later, Taco Bell had me running for the border (I had no clue where the border was, but I knew there would be food once I arrived:  Crunchy, crispy, oh-so fattening food.).  I was being brainwashed by the advertisers of fast food and willingly followed them.


There was no doubt that soon food became a crutch for me.  I wanted food, but I did not want to toil over a stove or oven to cook it.  I wanted it right when I craved it.  To simplify it further a new concept came out of this:  food could now be delivered to me.  No more having to get dressed and run out to get the food, now I would just make a call and it would be delivered within 20-30 minutes.  I could order any time of the day or night and get food.    How great was that?


Yes, I had at my fingertips all the necessary tools for getting food fast.  But I had to weigh the consequences of this decision.  Fast food was convenient, reasonably priced, and easily accessible to me.  It was not food that was prepared with one’s health in mind.  It was processed and full of empty calories that only added further troubles down the road.  I wanted that “gotta have that food now” mentality, but I overlooked at what I was really getting instead.  Sure they lured me in, but I was the one who made the decisions.  I was the one who took the path of least resistance and caved.  I was the one responsible for whatever was coming down the pike for me in my near future.  I silenced those concerns and kept up with this unhealthy lifestyle.  I reasoned I was too busy to take the needed time to make sure I was eating right.  Well, due to those bad decisions or lack of caring, I now have time on my hands to ponder this.  I lost my health in the process and no amount of money or regret can get it back.


I now have diabetes, weight issues, circulation issues and other problems that most likely stem from these poor choices.  I write this now because maybe someone is thinking of turning onto Fast Food Drive and experiencing all of those “made to look so appealing” products, but failing to see how deceitful they are.  Oh yes, it will taste good going down, but it is the coming back from these bad decisions that will test your will and your strength.


I just wanted to reach out to anyone who relies heavily on fast food to survive.  Fast food has nothing to offer but convenience.  It will not benefit your health or your body.  Eating fast food can become a slippery slope.  You can start out small and it gets out of hand too quickly.  Take a look at people around you today.  As a society we are becoming obese, our food portions are getting bigger and the prices are just right.  They were planned to be economical so we can spend more and eat more.  Our younger generations are risking their very lives to eat fast food.   They feed off of this false advertising.  They are at risk of dying at an early age and for what?  For processed food we think is delicious, but instead it clogs our arteries and slows us down?  Combine that with a sedentary lifestyle and they are now heading down a very dangerous path.


It may be too late for me to reverse the damage I did, but I want to be vocal and speak to those who are just starting down this path.  Occasional eating out at these places though not ideal, are natural.  There are going to be times in which you need to eat on the run.  However, never look at this like a crutch or as an old standby.  Take the time to find out about nutrition, ways to prepare ahead of time, ways to circumvent eating all of this processed food.  Your body needs good fuel to run properly.  Fast food will not get you there.  You will be sluggish and eventually you will break down.  The cost of repair will be expensive and it may cost you your life.  You need to make yourself aware of what is going on around you.  Be informed so you can make better decisions.


I learned the hard way and it was not pretty.  I now look to the future and I am determined to make a difference.  I fight each and every day to change my habits.  I am better and I am eating a lot of good nutritious foods, but I still have the cravings for fast food.  I am forcing myself to make the meal myself and to add new flavors to whatever I am preparing.  I need to rely on my inner strength and will to get through this.  I would like to say I have it all under control right now, but I do not.  I have become a food addict and it will never be fully under control.  There is no cure.  However, the ball is in my court and I have to decide what I want more.  Do I want to be healthy and live or eat bad processed food and die?  I have to make a conscious choice each day to not eat it.


I may not have found all of the answers, and it took me a long time to get to where I am now, but my intent is not just for me any longer.  I want to be a hand that reaches out to others before it is too late.  I did not have that during my trying times, and maybe it would have saved me from a lot of pain.  Allow someone to save you…please.  Do not believe the lies they (fast food) are trying to sell you.  Nor should you lie to yourself to justify a means to an end for a moment’s pleasure.  Drive past fast food highway and turn onto Balanced Meals Expressway instead.  Examine this issue thoroughly and then choose wisely.  Please.

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