Studies show that over 100 million people in the United States suffer from obesity. In recent years, this number has increased significantly due to the poor diets and lack of exercise of the average American. When I graduated from high school I was slightly overweight. While I wasn’t obese by any means, I had a thick layer of fat around my mid section that was hard to get rid of. In retrospect the reason for my extra ten pounds was very obvious, but at the time I couldn’t figure out why I had trouble loosing weight. Back in those days I would eat fast food constantly because I was always in a hurry and too lazy to cook. On my way to and from school I would swing into my local fast-food restaurant and grab the healthiest thing on their menu.
At the time I was under the impression that a salad or a chicken sandwich from one of the big fast food chains was a healthy alternative. I had been convinced by Madison Avenue public relation firms that GMOs and other highly processed ingredients had no possible health side effects. In fact, I was so brainwashed at the time I didn’t even make the correlation between food and the way I looked or the energy I had. At the time I was dating a young lady who refused to eat fast food. She was the primary reason I began cooking more at home and cutting out my daily trips to the fast food restaurant. I can still remember times when I would drive into my favorite fast food pit stop and she would refuse to eat anything on the menu.
As a broke college student drive thru’s and dollar menus are the perfect option because they are quick and cheap. With a limited budget I could only spend a few dollars a day on food so dollar menus were a must. When I was living in downtown Portland I remember going to a major chain for breakfast almost every single day. I was very addicted to their breakfast sandwiches and cheeseburgers.
One day I decided I would turn it around and start eating healthy so I switched to buying salads instead of eating burgers and fries. At the time I saw this as a healthy alternative and my it slowly became my new routine. One day I was reading an article about “healthy” options at fast food restaurants that basically explained that these options were not so healthy. The article explained that many of the salads and these fast food establishments were loaded with sugar and other unsavory ingredients. That is the moment I knew I had to stop my daily fast food habit and start living a healthier life.
I started grocery shopping at my local store and began cooking more meals at home. From there, I moved into packing my food for the entire day so I wouldn’t be impulsed into swinging through the closest drive thru. I made in a rule in my life that I would avoid fast food at all costs and to this day I have. I’m a big coffee drinker and I even made it a point to never get coffee at a fast food restaurant. No matter how cheap the food may be, I decided it wasn’t worth my health. Today, I’m at a perfect weight and I haven’t driven through a drive thru in over 2 years.