Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Lighter

Lately, I have felt like weight is just *falling* off me. No, I haven't seen a huge drop on the scale; I mean a different kind of weight. I never realized it until recently but I had been living with a lot of emotional burden, expectations, and anxiety that was helping to keep me fat. It was as if I was trying to walk through life wrapped in layer after layer of thick metal chains. And lately... since the funeral, I guess... I feel like the links are just cracking and dropping off. Each link that falls to the ground takes another stretch of heavy chain with it, and I can literally *feel* the relief as they go.

I used to live with a lot of fear. The what-ifs kept me tangled in indecision because of my anxiety about what *may* happen. Whatif I leave my husband and he takes the children? Whatif I go to that group meeting and no one talks to me? Whatif I stand up for myself and get knocked on my butt? Whatif I am a single mom again and can't pay the bills? Whatif I get a job and make a fool of myself and end up getting fired because I do not have a good enough knowledge base? Whatif I write something and no one likes it? Whatif I lose weight and I still don't like the way I look?

No more. I am going to DO what my integrity demands and worry about the whatifs IF and when they occur.

I've made some decisions that have firmed up my boundaries with others; now I need to draw lines for *myself* that I will not cross. Such as, I will not do things that cause harm to myself. I will not make excuses about who I am or why. I will not mistreat my body anymore, and I will show myself the respect I deserve. If I demand it of others, it seems only right to demand it of myself.

It is DISRESPECTFUL to put junky food into my body without regard to my health. Even though I *know* certain foods are bad for me, make me fat, make me unhappy, I still have been eating them. Even though I have *seen* the nastiness that hides in the fast food kitchen, I go get it anyway. NO MORE.

Years ago I used to go through the drive thru of Taco Bell a LOT. Hey, it's cheap tacos when you're in a hurry on the way home from work and school, just picked up the kids from daycare, and need to get them fed ASAP. So I'd throw my dollars at that pit of salt and fat so they could give me "food" that was not only slowly killing me, but also giving my children a taste for crap. One day I was sitting in the parking lot of the Taco Bell eating my second Chalupa supreme of the day, when I bit into something that seemed *out of place.* It had the consistency of a superdry pork rind, but when the smell and taste hit me I recognized it instantly as the smell of Something Dead. I retched and spewed into my wrapper and watched as the dark, dark brown and black chunks came out of my mouth. I opened the car door and threw up on the pavement. I was rinsing my mouth with Pepsi and trying to get every last particle OUT of my teeth. I went home and complained, but of course they told me it was just a little "overcooked beef." Overcooked beef my ass.

I never went back to Taco Hell. I drive by it every day but there is NO WAY I will EVER eat anything from there again. For a year, the mere memory of that taste in my mouth made me gag. Do you think I am the only one? Do you think there hasn't been something nasty in YOUR food?

The other day I was driving my daughter home from preschool. I had a coupon for a free vanilla ice cream cone at McDonald's, so I thought I'd treat my daughter. So I got her that and got myself the usual double scoop of chocolate peanut butter ice cream. Driving home I am sucking away on this ice cream cone, having an intimate experience with this cold creamy delight when I see a tiny black dot. I wonder if it is dirt. Or maybe a chocolate chip. I pick at it and it pops out from where I was just licking. IT IS A DEAD FLY. OH MY F&^%$&#$ &*%*~!!!! I AM NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER going to McDonald's again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm still throwing up in my mouth a little thinking about this. And is that a fly wing I feel in my throat? Gah!

As the links clatter to the floor, I AM lighter. I will show MYSELF the respect I have deserved all along. I won't go back to eating cheap garbage made by teenagers who pick their noses and don't wash their hands after the toilet, who don't care about the cleanliness of the JOKE of a "food" being served. I won't serve my body TRASH anymore. That's what this whole journey boils down to, anyway: self respect. You can't have self respect if you are picking a bag of half-eaten cookies out of the garbage can because you are desperate for some sugar. You can't have self respect if you're stuffing your face at a buffet or a party or if you hide in the bathroom eating candy bars and putting the wrappers in the trash underneath all the used Kleenexes so no one will know. It is time to behave with some dignity.

It really is time for a change.

29 comments:

Pepper said...

OMG Lyn! Seriously? That's so gross. What do you think it was in your Chalupa?

About three years ago I decided to stop eating "processed" meat, i.e. no fast food animals. I've never regretted it since then.

A MickeyD's ice cream cone, however...well, I love them.

This made me laugh in a totally shocked-and-disgusted kind of way, but the sentiment was not lost.

Sometimes it's just better not to know what's in your food. Otherwise I might never eat again.

Amy H. said...

The way you wrote the fly in the ice cream scenario made me laugh. I'm sure it wasn't funny when it happened, but very entertaining story. I haven't had McDonald's ice cream and now I probably never will. Gah, indeed.

Rae at 24:01 A.M. said...

OMG I can't believe there was a fly in your ice cream!!!


Well, I just got "food poisoning" from Taco Bell (Hell) the other night so I don't plan on eating there anytime soon.

Friend of the Bear said...

Hi Lyn. Sounds like you're doing amazing on the self respect front.

I'm always worried about places which employ teenagers who really don't give a sh*t. They only employ them because they get a lower minimum wage than adults. But undervaluing people always leads to a poor value product.

I'm glad you're not going to undervalue yourself anymore by eating that rubbish.

Best wishes,
Bearfriend xx

Karen In Tennessee said...

Lyn, I think those falling chains are going to lead to lower numbers on the scale very soon. You are so much stronger than you know.

Go Lyn Go!!!

Shh said...

Kinda makes you want to pay someone to sabotage all the drivethru's moments before you get there, huh?

Obese Swan said...

Good for you! I know that those chains being dropped are making you feel great!

rmslil said...

i have a Taco Bell story too. I had ordered one of the combos that has a hard taco. That is what I saved for last. My last bite I felt something chewy and spit out. It was either intestines or brain. Disgusting. It took all my might not to upchuck because I will do anything for that not to happen.

My brother who used to manage a TB tried to tell me it was my imagination. NOPE. I know what that was and it was disgusting.

This was years ago and I have not been back.

Betsey C. said...

Lyn, yikes! I love this post -- I wish every American who eats fast food as their daily diet (and there are millions of them) could read it. Most fast food is unhealthy trash, and Americans are hooked on it. I used to be one of them, but I broke free. And you are right, this junk is made by teenagers who barely care.

It takes more effort to eat fresh food every day, but it is worth it. I haven't had any fast food, other than the occasional coffee on the road, in several years.

I'm so happy to hear you say that you are never going back to McDonalds. It may be a fight with your baby at first, but stick to your guns.

Deb said...

I had a friend find a cricket in a McDonald's shake. I refuse to go to that McDonald's. Too bad there are plenty of others I am still willing to go to. :-/

Boundaries...oh so important. I am just learning myself that I have a right to boundaries.

rachel said...

I have only recently quit giving in to my fast food addiction. After 2 weeks of eating at home (ok, 2 times at subway..) i have lost 13 pounds. Ahhh-mazing! That junk kills. Your stories made it even easier to just say NO. (btw, who hasn't gotten a funky bite here and there? SO GROSS!)

Amber said...

Blech! So gross!

This makes me wonder what kinds of disgusting things I must've unknowingly swallowed while inhaling fast food in my car.

I'll think about this post next time I think about hitting up the drive thru!

Anonymous said...

Lyn - w/o reading any of the other comments i want to tell you how proud i am of you - you have reached a milestone where you won't put up with crap from cheap people and/or food. you desrve more than this and you know it. you are lucky than a lot of us - you've realized this as a breaking point in your life and you know what you'll look back in a year and say wow - i've come a long way.. xoxo Patty

Deanna - The Unnatural Mother said...

I LOVE THIS: It's disrespectful to put that junky food in my body without regard to my health. Well said, well said.

Dee said...

WOW!!!I'm in shock after reading this....I knew fast food wasn't all that clean but to find BUGS in your food is just unbelievable!! I'm so sorry you had to experience that. I really feel you on the disrespect thing. Way to go!!

Dee~

DownsizingDoc said...

I've been catching up on your posts. I really love your blog - you're honesty about your struggles and your positive attitude and commitment to change. Great example and inspiration! Thank you

Vickie said...

really good posting. they are always good and very honest - but this one in particular is right on point. you could do the world a marketing favor by 'planting' foreign objects in fast food to put everyone off their junk feed. particularly parents who (as you said) hook their kids on the habit. the habits we are raised with are SO hard to break. . .

Vickie said...

did anything 'happen' after yesterday's post?

Diane, Fit to the Finish said...

You are a really good writer! Fly on the ice cream! Not funny for you, but certainly funny to read!

I used to work fast food, and that's probably part of the reason I am hesistant to eat in any restaurant!

Malavandria said...

I've worked in food service for almost ten years now, and I've done my fair share in fast food places. I have to say, though, that it is unfair to generalize all fast food restaurants as unclean places with people who don't wash their hands. I worked at Wendy's for three years and every year we were awarded as the cleanest store in our district. We had lots of different cleaning expectations and were reminded every fifteen minutes to wash our hands. We were not allowed to touch any kind of ready-to-eat food with our hands and kept raw foods separate from everything else. I worked all shifts during my time there and I know without a doubt that no one picked their nose and made a sandwich. We had quite a few teenagers there, yes, but to say they were all lazy would be a lie. We were all there to work and make money. Fast food places are some of the only jobs a teenager can get since everyone else wants experience. I understand everyone has different experiences. I myself found a screw in a Burger King sandwich, nearly broke my tooth! We all know it's not healthy food, but don't belittle fast food employees, or any kind of service employees, and please don't generalize them all. You might see things differently if you have to spend a few years working behind a counter.

Heather said...

While this post has humor, it also has anger and power. Good for you for reaching the point that you want to respect your body. I really enjoyed this post. I gave up fast food years ago (will occasionally go to a Panera, but that's it) and now just the smell turns my stomach.

*~* Jenni *~* said...

Yes, you are totally right. It is maddening the poor level of cleanliness and care they put into operating a food establishment. I have decided it was a sign from above to NOT EAT ANY MORE FAST FOOD when I went to McDonald's the other day and managed to pull a 8-inch long gray hair out of my sandwich.

I about tossed my cookies right there, and that was before I'd even taken a bite.

I won't go back to McDonalds.. and I am hoping that experience soured me on all fast food establishments completely.

Leslie said...

You have totoally validated and solidified my decision to give up fast food forever. I think I'd rather not eat anything than put fast food sh*# in my mouth. If I recall your post here, I'll never be tempted, either! Thanks!

I'm so sorry for your loss of your friend. But isn't it interesting how this transition has proved so valuable in your own life already? I believe your friend would be very pleased to know that his passing has helped you move closer to your own truth. Thanks as always for great food for thought (damn, an inadvertant food metaphor)>

Lyn said...

Malavandria~

Good point, you're right. I am sure not *all* fast food joints are dirty and careless. I have teenagers myself and I would *hope* they would not be as gross with the food as the teens I saw working at McD's when I was a teen. Kudos to the ones who are clean!

I still am not going to take anymore chances, lol :)

Paula said...

My teenage kids used to work at a Taco Bell... they stopped eating there themselves... They used to call it TACO SMELL. Anyways, I'm excited for you... change is scary but it can be exciting as well. I've been where you're at... Sometimes we hold onto things like a wet blanket and we just need to release those things that are weighing us down and interfering with our emotional well-being. I identify with where you are at. Take care and have a great day.

an ambrosia life said...

uuggghh...thanks for that, I threw up a little in my own mouth reading it....think I will skip dessert~

Melissa Venable said...

GROSS.
i am a former fast food junkie as well. i haven't had any in 3 weeks. i kind of like it that!

screwdestiny said...

Okay, I had to laugh out loud at that McDonald's story. Even though I'm sure it was not funny at the time, you told it pretty funny. Whatever helps kick the habit though, right?

Tammy said...

Oh.
Dear.
God.

I now must say thank you for killing my appetite/interest in fast food.....forever. Thank God there is nothing on my stomach right now or these dry heaves I'm having would be a lot nastier. lol

I gave you the Honest Scrap award on my blog tonight. You rock. :)