Imagine, for a moment, that delicious aroma of McDonald's french fries. Everyone knows what they taste like. If I'm hungry, I can not only smell them - I can probably taste it even now. I know that if I walk into a McDonald's, that smell is going to trigger me into buying them. They will taste great, especially with ketchup, (or Sweet and Sour sauce, if you're like me!) and will go wonderfully beside my Big Mac and giant soda. The meal will be cheap, it will be tasty, and I'll be full.
I will be full of salt, grease, and whatever else is mixed into their 'food'.
I know McDonald's is bad for me. I know this. I don't need anyone to tell me, and I don't need to read the nutritional facts to figure out that there is a lot of salt in everything they serve.
Yet, I eat it anyway.
I would love to claim that I haven't eaten fast food in a week now, but I'd be lying to you. No, I didn't go for it today - but the opportunity was there. Twice, really.
Last night - I neglected to prepare for today. I didn't cook breakfast, and I didn't make anything for lunch. I was exhausted after an evening CrossFit session and a failed attempt at using a hot tub (it was cold! What kind of atrocity is that?!), so I came home and went straight to bed.
When I woke up at 5 AM, I was very tempted to go back to sleep. Knowing I have my puppy class tonight, however, I can't make it to the 6 PM class - so I pulled myself out of bed anyway. I was tempted to just grab my gear and go - I can get any variety of fast food for breakfast! Chik-Fil-A's chicken, egg and cheese bagel! McDonald's sausage, egg and cheese biscuit! Krispy Kreme! So many options just on the way to work - but am I really working out this hard to burn off those calories, to eat fast food?
No. I got dressed in a hurry, and in about ten minutes, I scambled three eggs and some chicken sausage, put it into my lunch box - and I had breakfast to go. In another five minutes, I put together a turkey sandwhich, a peach, and some greek yogurt for lunch. It took me 15 minutes to prepare for today. 15 minutes.
Those 15 minutes not only saved me from putting a lot of junk into my body, but I saved about $4 from what I would have spent on breakfast, and probably $10 from what I could have spent on lunch. $1 a minute to eat healthier? Yes, please!
Oh, but dear readers, I have a second obstacle in the day. It's not always as simple as bringing a lunch with me. You see, I sit at a desk, all day, every day. In an office, with no windows. I have no break room at work - in fact the only place to sit and eat is the table outside in the smoker's area - and I am really not going to try to eat while having smoke blown in my face, or ciggarette butts all around me. As if that weren't temptation enough to get out of the office - I'm incredibly social.
My lunch hour is my opportunity to be with my coworkers, several of whom I would consider dear friends. When they bring their lunch with them, perfect! Everyone's happy. But when one of them doesn't - they were busy, didn't have time or just plain didn't feel like it (not to throw anyone under the bus, I do this all the time too!), then the next suggestion is to simply go out and get something. Often times, I end up going right along with them - even when I've brought my own food. That temptation to go out and socialize over hot, delicious food is often times too much for me to resist!
Within a 5 minute drive radius of my office - I have an Outback Steakhouse, Red Elephant, 7-11, Tijuana Flats, Beef O'Brady's, McDonald's, KFC, Publix, Starbucks, Marco's Pizza... oh, and Jimmy John's delivers. There's more than that, but that's all I care to think about - very tempting, you know.
Today, my resolve was strong. I stayed in my office, eating my food. I'm choosing to write about this process instead of engaging in it. Perhaps being honest about my struggles with food will help to remind me about making the right choice in the future. Maybe being public about my weaknesses will shed light on them so I remember to stay strong.
I'm not perfect, and I make bad choices all the time - but I will keep fighting the good fight. Every time I make a good choice in food I'm making my body stronger and healthier. I'm learning to establish better habits - and I have no idea how much money I would save by simply brown-bagging my lunch every day.
It's a struggle and a journey to find one's path on the road to fitness. What works for some doesn't work for others. What works for me one day doesn't work the next.
Never give up, and if you fall down, get back up again.