Tuesday, October 30, 2012

No McDonald's November (our fast food fast)

Found our Halloween costumes!
Over the past year or so, Mr. G and I have been taking gradual steps to improve our diet. Instead of focusing on weight or appearance, our goal has simply been to eat better so that we are working with our bodies instead of against them. Also, we figured that if we start these habits now, they will carry over when it really counts and our metabolisms take a dive.

We have steadily incorporated more fresh veggies/fruit, whole grains, protein, organics, etc. and decreased our intake of sugar, fat (trans fat especially), high fructose corn syrup (HCFS), refined grains and just processed food in general. This is not an easy process, and it is a steep learning curve, but taking it a step at a time helps. It also helps that I work in a health-conscious office and can solicit advice from my coworkers, who just happen to be nutrition specialists and personal trainers. :)
The good news is: our pantry and fridge are often stocked with fresh produce, lean meat and low-fat dairy, and we cook tasty, balanced meals almost every night.

The bad news is: eventually this food runs out -- usually when we are too busy/tired to shop or when we're trying to hold out until the next paycheck.

Thus, we have one major indulgence that continues to hold us back: fast food. Particularly McDonald's. Mr. G has a love affair with the place, and I have to admit that I really enjoy their angus snack wraps. And those fries! If he suggests it, I rarely have enough self-control to say no. Other culprits include: pizza, Chipotle, Taco Bell, and occasionally, Chinese takeout. Even though I know these things are terrible for me, I eat them because they are cheap and convenient, and it is usually caused by one of the following scenarios: I am too tired/busy to cook, we've been out running errands or at the gym until past 8 PM and are STARVING, we've been eating really well and think that we deserve a "break," or we are traveling to/from somewhere (like the cabin) and need a quick meal. At work, we call these moments "inflection points" because they cause your willpower to deflate so that you give in to bad habits, even when you know better. Mr. G and I typically have these moments a couple times a month, and that's when we end up at the drive-thru window or the takeout counter.

So, in an effort to start limiting our fast food consumption, Mr. G and I have decided to go an entire month without eating any fast food whatsoever. We're calling it No McDonald's November. Why shave hair when you can shave calories? (ha.) While I realize that there are healthier food options at McDonald's and most fast food restaurants, I know that I personally won't choose them, so it is better for me to avoid these places altogether. If you have the self-control to make healthy choices at a fast food joint, more power to you! Also, eating fast food once in a while isn't a crime; once it becomes a habit and a crutch, you have cause for concern. I think even eating it once a month is too much, but only you know your body.

The key to all this is taking it one step at a time. This is the last big step for us, and it's a tough one to overcome. But I am confident we can do it. We even shook hands on it -- after agreeing on a Chipotle compromise. :)

Wish us luck! (or join us!)

<3 Mrs. G

P.S. In case you were wondering, Halloween candy is NOT on the banned foods list! Except it probably should be, since we've already eaten an entire bag and had to buy a new one for the neighborhood kids... Whatever, it comes once a year!


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