Thursday, April 1, 2010

I'm A Quitter

I guess all of us have vices. Some of us like to smoke or others may like to drink or do crack or whatever. Does one "do" crack? I suppose one smokes crack. Anyhow. I am a pansy and so I do not have a good vice. I do, however, have a propensity to do some things that, all else being equal, I'd rather not do. In that vein, there are three things in my life that I have managed to leave behind in recent days (Edwina, had a feeling....but it wasn't until recent days...sorry...You know, an explanation of this whole sordid mess would make a pretty good blog post). Two of them were easy, the third was not.

The simple ones. I have lamented in the past on this blog about how somehow, in spite of myself and my better judgement, I was an avid watcher of Grey's Anatomy and similarly a watcher of American Idol. I am proud to report that I have quit both of those shows. If you add this to the time I quit 24, then I've really been paring down my TV watching. I think the only new shows I've picked up recently have been Modern Family (which is awesome) and Parenthood (which is really really really good). I have to say I don't miss American Idol even a little bit. Also once I stopped watching Grey's Anatomy I didn't really see a need to start again. I happened to miss an episode and decided to take advantage of that and just make a clean break. Both of these, no big whoop, but I'm happier because of them.

On to the tough one. If you know me, then you that it's sortof a big deal that I have quit McDonald's. The last time I had McDonald's was on July 22 of 2009. I know the date because it was my birthday. (Full disclosure: I go to the McD's drive through at like 6:15am once or twice a week and get coffee. Only coffee. I do not consider this cheating.) The reason I quit was because I realized that I was just making deals with myself relative to my McDonald's consumption and I wasn't actually doing myself any good. I had struck a deal where I was going to limit myself to McD's once a month only. That would turn into once a month and also if I was in a real hurry somewhere or if it was already late and no one wanted to cook or some other reason why it's so much easier to eat McD's than anything else.

Here's the thing. I can count the number of times I've been to Burger King and Wendy's combined since 2000 on my fingers, but my relationship with McD's is different. I have an odd psychological relationship with McD's that is somewhat difficult to explain. I know that it's bad for me and everything like that, but I love it. Not like, "Yeah, I love that movie", more like "You love him and you wanna have like 10,000 of his babies." (what movie?) I have, in prior blog iterations, lamented the fact that I needed to let McDonald's go, but found it hard. (That post has the same title as Where's Luke's most famous post. I didn't realize that until just now. Also, I should update that post, as I, in fact, have even more Adidas now.) That post also sheds some light into the McDonald's sign that adorns this post. (Also, interestingly, that post reads fairly similarly to this one, despite the fact that I didn't even really remember writing it until I was looking for the image of the sign.) Whatever genius was in charge of the McD's marketing in the late '80s got into my brain and planted a seed of love from which I have never fully recovered.

So with that being said, after I ate McD's on my birthday last year, I decided that would be my last time. Not for a month or anything, but forever. Here's what I've learned since then. McDonald's is ubiquitous in American culture. If I had a dollar every time I drove past a McD's, I'd be rich, as would everyone else in America. The other thing I've learned is that quitting McD's is both easy and hard. Literally every time I drive past one I think to myself, "Wow, I love McDonald's." But at the same time I'm never actually tempted to stop. There have been many times in the last few months where I definitely would have gone to McD's if I hadn't decided to just quit altogether. And that is precisely why I quit. If the option is just off the table, then there are no deals to make with myself. Now I'm not comparing this to quitting smoking or anything, but I will say that I do understand the notion of psychological addiction.

Also, to be filed under "correlation does not imply causation", since July 22 of 2009, I have lost around 20 pounds. The McD's thing is obviously part of it, but that decision was part of a larger decision to just eat better in general. And the best way to do that was to just cut out those trips to McD's. That's not to say that I've only eaten healthy things for the last few months, but mostly (He's only mostly dead). The few times where I felt like I simply had to have something decadent I have gone to a diner or to 5 Guys (not really any better than McD's, I know) and gotten a cheeseburger or some such thing. But I don't really see those as loopholes because I don't have a specific relationship with those places like I do with McD's. And also those times are much more infrequent now.


Open Bar said...

Circa 2002, I was living in suburban Connecticut and my diet consisted wholly of McDonald's and Domino's (and beer). Sometime after that year of superhealth, I somehow phased out fast food from my diet entirely. Not sure how that happened, but after realizing I had done that, I decided to get a burger at McDonald's. You know, for old time's sake.

That thing sank like a rock in my stomach and basically immobilized me for six hours. My system, apparently, was no longer able (or willing) to deal with that kind of "food."

In the last seven or so years, I can count the number of times I've eaten McD's/B.K./etc on one hand, and it's never been a good experience.

So that's how I lead my life: don't eat fast food, don't smoke, and only drink in moderation.

(Oh, and fuck you for dropping that "10,000 babies" quote in there. I WILL IDENTIFY IT -- AND WITHOUT GOOGLE, DAMN YOU.)

Evan said...

No, I will identify it. I think...

10,000 babies quote = American Beauty?

What do I win?

ChuckJerry said...

Look at the big brain on Brad...I mean Evan.

You win this bit of trivia. Did you know that Colonel Fitts was gay? You might have only caught it if you watched it twice.

jenn said...

@openbar: lol! "only drink in moderation." A subjective scale no doubt.
But, good work on the smoking. kudos.