Monday, September 19, 2011

Dear Fast Food . . .

Yes indeed, a new day is dawning for me (this one is off Sanibel Is., FL)

Kismet is cool.  As well as unforgiving.  If you recall, on my last post I made huge declarations about getting healthy.  Yep, easy pronouncements to make.  Readers left me fabulous words of encouragement and advice.  I did actually go to the gym and yoga class this weekend.  Perhaps, with a little time, this HUGE DECLARATION could have just faded into cyberspace.  I could have quietly gotten back to my dinner of Ding Dongs in front of the NCIS marathon on TV.

However, when flailing around for a Monday blog topic, I clicked over to one of my new favorite writing blogs, Mama’s Losin’ It, where you can find the most marvelous writing prompt generator.  Here is what popped up when I clicked in the box:
  Write a letter to whatever is stopping you from losing the extra weight you'd like to lose. 
Ok, so this is where the kismet comes in because as I made dinner plans for stuffing my face with pizza and breadsticks and copious amounts of non-diet soft drink I realized that the universe and my blog readers were telling me different.

Well, I’m still going to worship at the altar of takeout pizza Sunday night since there is little in the house to cook, but here’s my letter to my food demon and on Monday I begin in earnest.

Dear Fast Food,
I loved you dearly and you have meant so much to me over the years.  You never were too busy for me or had plans with anyone else.  I could drop by unannounced and you’d instantly greet me with that cheerful hello, eager to serve me in anyway you could, no questions asked except “Do you want sauce with that?”  You always made me feel good, even if just until the final bite.  You never once mentioned my weight or suggested a light jog.

You gave me everything I wanted – grease, fat, sugar, salt.  You let me crunch and slurp and chomp to my heart’s content.  You demanded no effort of me, unlike at home where I would have to make decisions about what to buy and then what to cook.  You were easy.  No cooking and no cleanup.  Every other thing in my life was hard.  Life required planning and preparation or sacrifice or compromise.  You gave me immediate pleasure when so much else demanded delayed gratification or gave no promises at all.

The late night call of kebabs in France
9/19/11-fast food2
9/19/11- fast food3

But I often felt dirty when leaving you.  My fingers smelled like cheese sauce and ketchup speckled my shirt while chocolate milkshake stained my pants leg.

I tried to leave you behind in France, but in my lowest moments when I was tired or alone and bereft of willpower, I sought you out.  A kebab and frîtes, or in my very lowest moments enticed by that dangerous American friend with chicken nuggets accompanied by all the usual suspects.

I know that you’ve tried to change and improve yourself.  Salads.  Carrot sticks.  Yogurt.  But it’s not you, it’s me.  You are who you are.  I have to accept that.  I tell myself that we can take our relationship to a new, less destructive level.  I know better, though.  One hot apple pie and it’s instantaneous relapse for me.   One whiff of your breaded and fried scent and I surrender, seduced by my basest food instincts.  
There's a lesson in this, I'm sure
Oh, maybe one day we can have a chance encounter on a street, in a strange town, and I will be able to control my urges.  That time is not now.

It will be hard to leave you behind.  I can’t drive down a street, open a newspaper, watch a show on television without you beckoning to me.  Asparagus vs. 3-cheese nachos?  I’m afraid I’ve danced with the devil for too long.  Eventually, though, I’ll be able to walk up to you and exchange pleasantries.

Oh sure, you’ll try to tempt me by asking “Want fries with that?”  But I know that the day will come when I’ll be able to say “No” and mean it.

No great mystery why the French aren't fat
What's your own demon that you need to write a "Dear John" letter to?  Food or otherwise, share a slice of your own brush-off in the comments box. 


Teresa said...

Ugh, now, see, your letter makes me WANT fast food!! ;-) But I too have sworn off fast food. Again.

Laura@Catharsis said...

HA, Just like Teresa up there, I'm craving some fast food too! And I just had some last night! Sheesh. My demons would be lethargy. Here I am, bedridden because my chronic back condition had a flare up, this time a horrendous one. Even the ER doctors had nothing they could do for me. I need to exercise, to get to a healthier me. My letter would be to that sense of me that wants to relax after a long, hard day, that wants to sleep that extra hour instead of getting up and going to the gym.

Ruth Schiffmann said...

Julie, this is hilarious!! Good for you =)

Oh, and I gave you an award on my blog today.

Julie Farrar said...

Laura, definitely get to the gym. I've had neck and arm problems for a long time that some weeks made it even impossible to type. I may not have eaten well, but I went to my physical therapist and the gym no matter what. Not to become Mrs. Universe but to keep moving the things that need to be moving. The gym was a lifesaver.

Ruth, thank you so much. I'm so flattered. I will hop over there today and take a grand bow. Do we get tiaras and roses like on the Emmys last night?

KatBouska said...


If carrots tasted like french fries I'd have NO problem eating healthier!

Annie Boreson said...

I truly LOVE fast food, but no longer can go there. I stopped eating it awhile back and I have to admit I feel better. My brain cellulite only glows in the sunlight...and I have actually started to recognize the difference between a curve and a fat dimple. It is exciting, although my first love will always be anything with a deep fry.

Bella said...

Julie, living in Europe has also made me prone to eating Doner Kebab! They are so delicious! I mean, really, who can resist meat on a spit! However, my stomach won't let me eat too much of the greasy stuff and it acts up like you wouldn't imagine. That's what keeps me from being a full blown junk food junkie!

Jen said...

fast food - my [notso]secret love...

Anonymous said...

This is great! But is fast food really that in France? I would write a letter to carbs. That's my weakness.

Sandwiched Writer said...

Hi, Julie. Great post! I've dubbed you with The Versatile Blogger Award. If you're up for it, check out my latest post for details.

F.E. Sewell said...

Wow! You're racking up the awards today! Congratulations!

I've just given you another one. Swing by my blog for the details. :)

Julie Farrar said...

Thanks for all the great encouragement for my writing and for my diet. I'll swing by all the blogs when I get back in town. I'll be on the road Wednesday.

Sandy said...

Truly enjoyed reading your letter. My letter, though, would have to be to ice cream and brownies and cookies and Dove Dark Chocolate!! I need to get healthier. I'll never be skinny...but healthy would be nice. Bad knees are my excuse for not exercising. The more I sit the harder it is to get up and go!

Samantha Stacia said...

You had me at Ding Dongs! I LOVE Ding Dongs, they were the ONE favorite food dessert of my chubby childhood. I have spent all summer not being able to hardly move without breaking out into a mighty sweat here in Southern Az. SO no eating and exercising packed on some extra pounds I found at the Doctors office today-why do they have to weigh you everytime when you are just there for a sore throat??
Anyway, I suppose back to the fiber and fruit for me but not yet, I may have some ding dongs tomorrow! lol
Samantha Stacia

Nancy MacMillan said...

Julie, congratulations on all the Awards, and your delightful "dance with the devil." I've been to Paris and tasted their to-die-for entrees (drool). But two cultural differences were obvious. Their svelt women walked everyplace (fast) and rode the metro, which had LOTS of stairs . . . and their portions were the proper size, small.

The devil I dance with is potato chips. Willpower is good most of the time. When I can't resist, I buy one large bag, eat 1/2 of it watching a great movie, then smash the balance to the consistency of sugar . . . :)

Barbara said...

I agree that France is so much healthier than the US and I was amazed at how much weight I lost since I came here. I do indulge in a kebab with frites every once in a while.

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