Monday, August 29, 2011
Lesson 12: Fast Food Landmines Are Sneaky SOB's
Well today was the last 8 hour drive from just south of Denver, CO to Billings, MT, and with it came a very hard lesson of life: avoiding fast food on the road is near impossible.
If you've read my previous posts (Weight Loss from a Psych Point of View, Eating Healthy While Eating Out, etc) you'll know that I'm pretty savvy when it comes to the world of nutrition and weight loss decision making skills. My degrees in health and psychology have proved to be a useful combination.
But I'm also a hot-blooded woman, and when I'm stuck in a vehicle for 8 hours, I get hungry...for anything.
And therein lies the problem. For the most part, I can say no to the variety of fast food chains set before me. I can choose Subway over Burger King any day, but a road trip means I'm covering new territory, and I'm presented with new "exciting" food choices, like Long John Silvers.
See, we don't have a Long John Silvers in Montana, so it's as if the commercials that are constantly flashed in my face have been packed into my brain over the years, gradually creating an overload of whatever chemical it is that tells me I want deep fried shrimp, now. The sight of their billboard causes some kind of explosion in my mind that makes it difficult for me not to reach across and pull the steering wheel toward the exit ramp. There's no time to communicate my needs, and frankly, I don't think I'd be able to communicate them in a less than psychotic fashion anyway. So when my boyfriend inquired if I wanted to stop, he must have derived from the wide-eyed, nostril-flared drooling stare that the correct answer was to be parked out front of the seafood fast-food chain. To deny me at this point, would've been more than dangerous.
Now folks I haven't eaten fast-food in...wait for it...years. And why would I? I know exactly what I'm getting; a salty over processed, overpriced, synthetic-filled, parchment-lined basket of diabetes, high blood pressure and low self-esteem. And this is just within the first couple bites.
So why is it that I think I'm magically immune to all of these effects as soon as I find myself on an unfamiliar highway? Because I'm definitely not, and I know it. In fact, I think I'm even more susceptible to them. Nausea always seems to be accelerated when riding in a car 4 hours before the meal and 4 hours after is on the agenda.
Therefore, I ended up learning the hard way the lesson that I already knew. Fast-food is meant to draw you in, but the end result is always the same: you feel like crap. Mindless eating is the enemy of any healthy lifestyle. Ever eaten at a crappy restaurant that made you sick afterwards? Sure you have, we've all done it, but do you go back there on a regular basis? No, and you know why? Because they're not constantly trying to drag you in to give them a second chance. It's advertising, and I fall for it every time.
So I guess I'm saying I'm not perfect. I was fast-food sober for years, and blew it on a generic basket of oil-soaked shrimp-shaped regret. Now I'm cranky and am going to bed. Oh well, now I know better. Tomorrow is another chance to make the right choices, so I'll just have to look forward to that!