I live in one of the most obese cities in the fattest country in the world (take a quiz here). It is no surprise that everywhere I look, beautiful pictures of high calorie, high fat, high carb, low quality, “food” crowd my view. With all the temptation, it is amazing I haven’t blown up like Mr. Creosote from Monty Python’s Meaning of Life.
Since I have climbed back on the ground chuck wagon, I have found that healthy is hard. I should have remembered this from the last billion times I abandoned vegetarianism for meatatarianism because of my cravings for greasy, fatty flesh. I can promise you that every time I have gone back to meat, I have done so with pledges to only eat lean meat, only a couple times a week, and only in small portions. I am in breech of contract with myself. Just this weekend two of my three meals on Saturday were double quarter pounders with cheese from McDonald’s - I later gave myself a quintuple bypass.
Samantha and I swear that McDonald’s is addictive. Sometimes the craving is so strong, it is all I can think about. I can imagine the Big Mac recipe actually looks like this:
Two all beef patties (crack), special sauce (heroin), lettuce (coke), cheese (meth), pickles (opium), onions on a sesame seed bun (nicotine).
Today, after my weekend binge, I had to get a quick bite in between teaching lessons. My options were plentiful - Waterburger (which is how I always pronounced it as a kid), Sonic, McDonald’s, and Chick-Fil-A. On my way to the Chick-Fil-A drive through, because it is healthy (yeah, right), I passed the McDonald’s. The next thing I knew, I was ordering the number 3 - Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese (oxycontin). My rationale was that the line at the Fil-A was too long. I think the real situation is that McDonald’s has a tractor beam and I was caught in its snare.
As I was gorging myself on the half-pound of beef, I couldn’t help by notice the caloric content on the empty fry carton - 380. That got me wondering about the burger. I hadn’t seen it on the sides of the carton or the top. I had to finish the burger first in order to flip over the greasy box. How many calories was it? 780. Throw in my Dr. Pepper and I basically consumed the combined daily calorie intake of the Victoria Secret Angels.
Regardless of the restaurant, fast food is not quality. One of the methods nutritionists suggest using to figure out which foods are good for which body part is to see what they look like. Walnuts look like the brain, carrots the eye, celery the bone, etc. What does a smushed up patty of ground beef look like? Nothing I remember from anatomy. The only thing that comes to mind is the by-product excreted by one of our body parts containing indigestible portions of our food along with solid waste from our cells.
If I were a cow, I would be mad that this is how I ended up. I guess the only solace the expired cattle can take is their eventual revenge: heart disease is the number one cause of death in the US.
Unfortunately, despite all of this information I have at my disposal, am I done with fast food? Probably not. It is too easy, too convenient, and too cheap (but not so cheap we don’t trust it). While I can make claims, promises, and pledges to do better, my addiction to Fatty McHeartAttack will sneak up again and steer me in the wrong direction - right into the drive through line at the local McDonald’s.