It took me a long time to learn that food that is really good for me doesn’t move easily. What am I talking about?
Fast food, of course.
Here’s the scenario: You’re in your car alone. The CD is playing, the air conditioning is on, the traffic isn’t too annoying. Did I mention that you are alone? For me, driving alone in a car was open season on fast food drive thrus. There was something about driving by myself that made me hungry. And I was never hungry for carrots and celery. No, I wanted something “good.” I wanted something “bad!” I knew I shouldn’t do it. But it was as if the car had a mind of its own. Before I knew it, the turn signal was on, the brakes were applied and I was turning into a fast food restaurant.
It didn’t really matter what kind of restaurant it was, although I did avoid tacos and Italian food because those were hard to eat while driving. After all, I might spill something on myself and have to explain the big red stain on my clothes.
Even avoiding that type of food there were still many choices, and once I pulled up to the restaurant of the day, I had to decide whether I was going to order one meal or two. Sometimes I wanted two orders of fries, but I didn’t want to cashier at the window to think I was going to eat both fries myself, so I’d often just order a whole extra meal hoping she would assume I was “taking it home” to someone else. After receiving the correct number of meals, I hardly waited to pull away from the window before I was reaching my hand into the bag and stuffing my face with fries, etc. I would inhale the food so fast you would think that I hadn’t eaten for days, when the truth of the matter was, this was an “extra” meal. Not just an “extra big” meal, but a whole different meal for me. It didn’t matter what time of day it was, if I was alone in the car, I frequently visited a restaurant.
Women I speak with now, share how they too, frequent fast food restaurants when they are alone in the car. No one knows how much they purchase, or how much they eat. This habit can easily cause quick weight gain, as fast food restaurants have some healthy offerings, but you do have to be very careful in your choices.
Personally, I was consuming thousands of extra calories every week by this habit alone. I never told John I had eaten an extra meal. I would pull into a gas station on the way home, and throw the bag and drink cup away. Sometimes if I was on my way to pick him up, he’d get in the car and say, “It smells like Chick-fil-A in here.” I would just look blankly at him like I had no idea what that man was talking about. He wisely didn’t pursue the subject!
If you find yourself often eating in the car, here are some suggestions to break that habit:
- Don’t pull in.
- Always have something healthy to eat in your purse or in your car.
- Like Vickie has shared, keep your purse locked up in the trunk.
- Keep track of how much money you are saving and buy yourself something special.
- Always have a cold beverage with you so you won’t fall into the trap of “I’m just here for a drink,” and then find yourself holding a bag of food.
- When you do visit a fast food restaurant, know the nutritional values and order the healthier options.
- If you “accidentally” eat an extra meal of fast food, confess to someone! Don’t be a secret eater like I was!
It won’t always be easy to resist the aroma of grilled burgers and fries, but each time you pass that restaurant without giving into temptation, the more confidence you will develop in yourself. And the more confidence you have the easier your journey may be.
Question: Were you ever a drive thru addict? How did you break the cycle? Diane