Monday, July 12, 2010

My McDonald's Epiphany

My McDonald's Epiphany crept up on me over a series of three visits to that famed fast food restaurant.  I wasn't looking for any new understandings about myself and food.  In fact, I had made a few changes in my diet and was exercising so I thought I was good.  Boy, was I wrong!

The first nudging happened on a road trip with a friend.  We were driving home after 24 straight hours of girl talk, laughter and caffeine.  After sitting in traffic on I95, we decided to take a restroom break and grab supper at one of Connecticut's rest stops with a McDonald's.

I ordered my usual:  Big Mac, medium fries, medium Coke.  If memory serves, my friend had a regular hamburger, small fries and small drink.

For some reason my friend's order struck me as odd.  We were on a girls road trip and hadn't eaten much since lunch (it was now supper).  Wasn't she hungry?  We (make that I) had eaten a lot of junk food over the last 24 hours so I shrugged it off as maybe she was tired of junk food.

Fast forward a month.  The kids and I met my friend and her children at a McDonald's (with a play land) for lunch and a play date.  I again ordered my usual.  She again ordered a regular hamburger, small fries and small drink.

And, yet again, her order struck me as odd.  Now, you should know that my friend is about my height but is several jeans sizes smaller than I am.  I couldn't help but wonder why she ordered so little food.  For some reason, I didn't think to ask her that question.  Maybe because we were too busy discussing other topics, I don't know.

Anyway.  Those two events sort of settled in the back of my mind.  They never became a conscious thought but they just sort of wiggled around back there.  Do you understand what I mean?

Then came May.  And another trip to McDonald's.  This time with just my family.  As we ate our food (my usual Big Mac, medium fries and medium soda), I read the paper they put on the tray.  For some reason, it was turned to the side with the nutrition information.

All of a sudden the two experiences with my friend came to the foreground of my mind.  Hmmm... I wondered how many calories her meal was.... 495 to 645 (she might have had a Diet Coke, I can't remember).  Then I wondered how many calories my meal has... 1230.  1230!!!  One THOUSAND two hundred and thirty!!!  That's only slightly less calories than I should be taking in during an ENTIRE day!

And that's when my McDonald's Epiphany occurred -- I will never get fit and healthy by eating high calorie low nutritional meals.

Why do I allow myself to consume calories that have so little (any?) nutritional benefit for my body?  Truth be told, they don't even taste all that great to me any more.

I think it's out of habit.  That's just what I normally eat and so that's what my emotions and body think I need to feel full.  I also think it's because that's what I've been trained to eat.  For some reason I've developed the subconscious idea (feeling?) that to order a regular hamburger means you are a silly calorie counter {insert scoffing condescension} or poor.

Regardless of the why behind it, I am changing my eating habits (and subconscious thinking).  I am determined to be a healthy and active mom that my kids will be proud of.  I am determined to be a healthy and active wife that my husband will be proud of.  And I am determined to be a healthy and active woman who is comfortable in her own skin.

So, if you see me at McDonald's I'll be the woman savoring her regular hamburger, small fries, and water and feeling good about her smaller sized jeans.

What about you?  Do you need a McDonald's epiphany?  Want to join me in my journey to be healthy and active?


mer@lifeat7000feet said...

Wow. I've never done the math, but that's a LOT of calories.

I don't frequent McDonald's too often because I think it's gross, but on those road trips where our options are limited, I'll usually order a happy meal. It's plenty of food for me! in fact, I usually order a kid's meal when we do drive-thru meals. After reading this, I'm really glad!

Wherever HE Leads We'll Go said...

Right there with you! I have been working out for about an hour a day, 5 days a week for about 8 weeks now. Do you know how much weight I have lost? About 4 pounds. I have been frustrated about why and came to the realization the other day - it is my eating! I have avoided candy, I have avoided desserts, but I have not really tried to avoid fatty foods in general (like burgers, tacos, buffalo wings). What was I thinking?

It is no wonder that I am not losing weight or jean sizes! Definitely time for a change! I am tired of trying to squeeze into my clothes (that are already a size that I don't want to wear). I am tired of being self conscious about the way I look. I am just plain tired of it!

Big changes are coming for us and I think my eating would benefit from a major overhaul!

Carrie said...

Well. We don't do McDonald's.

But after doing the 30-Day Shred for 2 weeks and actually GAINING I realized it's the food intake. We typically eat pretty healthy. I'm just eating too much of it. I have a hard time figuring out calories so I'm trying to adjust my eating to suit (and managed to lose enough weight to get back to where I was when I started the shred.)

Ann said...

I had a similar epiphany about a year ago. I actually ordered a Big Mac for the first time in a year about three weeks ago. I just wanted that "yummy" sauce enough to go ahead and get it. It wasn't even good - lesson learned, again.

Amy Haynes said...

Funny! You know, we often share a hot fudge sundae after we eat! :) Caring for my family has caused me to learn nutritional info...sometimes it's helpful and other times I just wish I didn't know!!!

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

Mer, it is crazy when you actually do the math! Kid's meals are a smart way of limiting calories.

Dawn, way to go exercising!! I'm impressed! I'm sure if you adjust what you're eating you'll see more results. Join me in this journey, my friend!!! :)

Carrie, my kids love McD's because it has an indoor playground. During the long winter months, that playground is my sanity saver! I'm with you on eating too much. I think (when compared to the average American diet) WHAT I'm eating is not so bad. We seldom have chips, snack cakes or fried food - but I'm obviously taking in more calories than my body needs. My biggest focus for the next couple of weeks is to learn what a real serving size is.

Ann, I had that same experience a couple of weeks ago with a Dr. Pepper. I've been allowing myself 1 a month but the last one I had was so sweet I didn't even enjoy it. I've been drinking water so much that I crave it now. Never thought that would happen!!

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