Livin’ [Mickey D's] Free

Up until about 7 months ago, I was a McDonald’s marketing success story. When I was a kid, I owned a Happy Meal toy collection then at some point graduated to “Mighty Kids” meals. In high school, after the announcement of the “Dollar Menu”, french fries became a go-to snack item. And in college, McDonald’s became a comfort food; I remember making late-night trips down Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley to the 24-hour drive-thru during stressful midterm seasons. After a long night of partying, I’m pretty sure I’ve KO’d next to a 20-piece Chicken McNugget meal.

Yes, that was the old me, under some kind of fast-food spell! I am happy to say that I have not eaten McDonald’s since one gloomy day in October… I was in New York interviewing for jobs and after one of my interviews did not go as well as I hoped, I felt pretty down. I started craving McDonald’s and what do you know, I look up and see those Golden Arches (they are never hard to find). Sure, the “meal” gave me temporary satisfaction but afterwards I felt terrible–there is nothing nutritious about a #5. And the fact that I turned to McDonald’s to make me feel better was pretty damn ridiculous. It was on that day I decided the madness must end.

Once I realized I ate McDonald’s compulsively, it wasn’t too hard for me to stop eating it; there was no way I was going to let myself continue to get played by Ronald McDonald. Now, not only do I find it unhealthy, I’m not quite sure it’s even food. There was one stressful day at work where I felt tempted, but coincidentally I stumbled upon this Huffington Post article. It talks about Sally Davies, a New York photographer who monitored the decomposing process of a Happy Meal cheeseburger through daily pictures. Check this out:

Day 1

180 days and the burger looks the same! What’s really in it?

While this may not be unique to McDonald’s, seeing this reminds me to think twice about what I choose to eat. Practicing food awareness and fighting compulsive cravings may not be the easy, but it definitely feels good to know you are doing good for your body!

Photo Credit: Sally Davies

9 thoughts on “Livin’ [Mickey D's] Free

  1. I know exactly what you mean..I haven’t eaten McDonalds in over 5 years..and I don’t think I will any time soon!
    I used to have a friend that worked there..and you would go in..order one thing..and she would often times give us other things for free *terrible I know* and after that weekend..I remember I threw up for 2 days..and haven’t had the appetite for it since then..thank God!
    Great, informative post!

  2. this post could not come in a better moment from me. I think that all of us have our own ‘McDonalds’, i.e. stuff that you feel compelled to eat/do, althought you don’t REALLY have to. It is not a law or must or something (and deep inside you don’t even have a physiological need for it – it is all in head). I had my own slip today, but then I am trying always to think in those moments “do you remember how you felt last time”. The positive feeling of gratifications comes right after and last few moments but then this bad feeling stays way longer…

  3. This is a great post. I’ve seen a lot of documentaries and numerous articles talking about just how bad fast food really is for us. I think it’s great that you have decided to stop eating at McDonalds. I’m definitely on board with you.

  4. I like this post. I like how you changed . It is good how healthy food is good for us. Exercise is also a vital part . You Run now . That is great . What do you enjoy the Most? I think my favorite sport is horse back riding . I have a place where I can do it. It is not so expensive so i want to go soon . I am also happy about my work and i see a purpose in going there and thinking about how I can improve things. That is fun .i am happy to get to know you. I am happy i am here and working on myself . I think you äre amazing because you can do what you like . All Tee best, Manuela

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