Just over 3 years ago, I quit fast food. My definition, to make it easy and clear myself from any unnecessary guilt: anything with a drive-through!
I lasted for over two years, without entering one McDonald's, Culver's, Taco Bell, Burger King, all of my old favorites.
It was amazing. We were eating healthier. I was feeling energetic, less sluggish and without changing anything else, I was losing weight. Oh, and we were saving money! I never realized how often we were eating out, until we stopped!
Now, don't get me wrong. This was NOT easy. It took a lot of planning, preparation, thinking ahead and WILL POWER! The food that is served at these "restaurants" is addictive! Know WHY this food is so addictive? Because the food is mass produced and needs to be cheap, so the flavor comes from the food being pumped filled with flavor enhancers, sugar, fat, and salt. It's actually been scientifically proven that fast food is as addictive as heroin (UndergroundHealth.com)!
So, after breaking this addiction, habit or whatever you want to call it and being successful for such a long period of time, we began our search for a house to move out of state, to Michigan. The many long drives back and forth (usually by myself) with a baby and two dogs became a battle that I started to lose. It was exhausting and my priorities became convenience, time, and expense.
I started rationalizing a meal on the way there or back wouldn't kill me. This was my son's first ever experience with fast food, a Happy Meal from McDonald's. He didn't even really seem to enjoy it. But, that one time, became each time, or whenever we were running around and hungry, or tired or whatever excuse we had.
If my husband (who still eats fast food quite frequently, on the road) would suggest it, I'm the first to say "fine!", even if I don't want it.... just because it's simple and easy. My choices always seem to come down to
1) I have to plan the meals, grocery shop, prep, cook AND clean - in order to eat healthy
2) Ask my husband what he would like for dinner and we end up eating out, usually fast food and spending way too much money - which leads to guilt, laziness and exhaustion.
A few weeks ago, I realized this was happening. I was losing the battle, while 34+ weeks pregnant. I realized that while I was pregnant with my son, I was SO aware of what I was putting into my body. I wanted to make sure I was as healthy as possible, because I needed HIM to be healthy! Somewhere, somehow, something had changed. While being pregnant this time, I knew all of the same information, in fact probably more now. But, I was making poor choices WAY more often.
At my 35 week doctor's appointment, I was upset that I had gained as much weight as I had. So, my emotional and illogical response of course, was to leave and go through a drive-through for breakfast afterwards. GENIUS (I know)! As I was sitting in my car eating, I got so grossed out. I parked, got out and threw the bag away. In that moment, I realized I had taken too many steps backwards and it was time to give it up again.
At that moment, I QUIT fast food... again! It's been two weeks and again, it's been difficult. I find myself driving around, rationalizing why it's okay to have one meal. Or that I'll get the small fry and share it with my son or get the chicken, instead of the hamburger... but it's all lies. I know that I won't do it, that's just how I convince myself it's okay to go!
Today, I did just this. I convinced myself I could go to Culver's. I planned out my grilled chicken sandwich, with the side salad (no cheese). My Son would get his hot dog with applesauce, we would sure a small fry...
Last minute, I checked my side mirror, review mirror and switched lanes to turn right. I knew I couldn't go there. I promised myself I was done. If not for ME.... then for my son, for my daughter! They aren't making these choices, I AM! I don't want to be responsible for instilling these habits into them.
I knew I wasn't strong enough in that moment to drive PAST Culver's, so I drove around it. No joke.... I've realized that if I am having an internal struggle like this, I won't win if I go past it. I'll drive a route that takes an extra 10 minutes, just so I don't have to see, smell or go past a fast-food "restaurant" that I'm craving in that moment. It might seem a bit extreme, but it's what works for me. If you think it will work for you too, TRY IT!
The power you feel, when you realize you've won that battle is amazing. You are worth it. Stay strong and make the choice you know you should, not the choice you FEEL like at the moment.