Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Fast Food Flashbacks

I have mentioned from time to time that I used to eat a lot of fast food.  By “a lot” I mean, in the five years (or more) before I overhauled my lifestyle in June 2011 to reflect healthier choices, I went through the drive-through anywhere from 10-12 (sometimes more) times each week.  Most days Monday through Friday, I would pick up breakfast to eat in the car on the way to work, and then run out again to get something for lunch.  Saturday lunches were handed through the window quite often too, especially during our busiest seasons of rehearsals for our drama productions at church, and many Sunday mornings found me in line yet again to get breakfast on the way to service.  It’s hard to write about this, because admitting your bad habits is never easy, especially in a public forum.  My hope, however, is that by sharing my experiences, other people can find that change IS possible!  The fast food addict is who I used to be, but it is definitely not who I am today!

As I look back, I’ve realized that my addiction to all things served in a paper bag began years ago, when I was still a teenager.  With the independence of driving and having a little money in my pocket came the ability to eat a burger and fries just about any time I wanted to.  It was easy enough to dispose of the trash before coming home, so my parents never knew just how much junk food I was consuming.  As someone who has been involved in music since I was 12 and theatre since I was 14, I’ve always had evening rehearsals and performances to attend.  Once I started going to those on my own, I developed a terrible habit of getting things like milkshakes and fries late at night on my way home.

Since I’ve been in rehearsals for “The Music Man” for the last few weeks, as I’m driving to and from the theatre, I pass by 10 different fast food restaurants (that I can readily think of to count right now), and typically I don’t give them a second thought.  One night recently though, I had what I call a “fast food flashback”.  It was a little thought that I could pull into one of the places for a “snack”.  Now, what’s totally absurd about this is the fact that I have only eaten something from a fast food restaurant 4 or 5 times in the last 19 months, and those have been when we were traveling out West and literally had no other options, and then I only got simple fruit cups or plain grilled chicken and we went inside and sat down (to avoid the drive through itself).

As quickly as the thought came, I was surprised by it, but immediately pushed it aside.  I smiled at the strength I felt as I drove on by, knowing that I truly have no desire for that kind of food anymore.  What it made me realize even more, however, is that temptation will rear its ugly head now and then.  The key to overcoming it, I believe, is threefold.  First, I am determined to see my commitment through to my goal weight and then continuing on to live a healthy lifestyle for the rest of my days.  Second, I did not entertain thoughts of giving in to the temptation.  I didn’t start thinking about how good it might be “just this one time” or how much I “miss it” (I really don’t miss it, and actually, the smell of fast food makes me sick to my stomach if someone around me has it these days).  Lastly, I opened up and told someone I’m accountable to about the temptation.  Even though it was no more than a fleeting thought and I felt no desire to actually run through the drive-through, I told both my husband and my sister about it.  Talking about it with someone I can trust helps strengthen my resolve and re-emphasizes my commitments. 

Have you ever had a "flashback" of a prior habit?  How did you overcome it?

(Just a reminder/disclosure…I am not a medical professional or certified trainer, so anything I write in this blog is not intended to be taken as advice, guidance, or recommendations.  It is simply a journal of my own personal experiences.  Thanks!)


  1. So happpy to have found your blog.
    Well --offlate i am not working out..thats one prior habit I wana get rid of.
    I'm trying to shed kilos as well.

    1. I'm glad you found it as well! :)

      I lost my first 97 pounds before I started working out regularly. Although I've known lots of people who added in exercise from the start, I felt like I had to get my eating under control first and it felt a bit overwhelming for me to overhaul both areas at once in the beginning. Now, I actually crave working out, which is something I never dreamed I would say!

  2. I definitely have remembrances of past habits and often remember the times where I used to be a regular at fast food restaurant drive-thru lanes.

    Isn't it great to not be dependent on those foods anymore?

    1. Yes, the freedom from past bad food habits feels absolutely amazing!