Seventeen years ago I stopped eating fast food. I had a quarter pounder with cheese, super-size fries and Coke for dinner with my mother-in-law. My wife was in the hospital with our four-day-old daughter. I was tired and in no mood to cook. McDonalds seemed the right choice. We ate at the restaurant that used to be on the university hill near the hospital, visited my wife and baby, and went home to sleep. By eight o'clock I knew something was wrong. By ten I was camped on the bathroom floor.
At about 1:30 on the morning of the 29th I told myself, "I will never eat fast food again." By three or four I was able to shower and sleep a few hours before returning to the hospital where they discharged my wife but kept our daughter one more day. Leaving our daughter was even worse than food poisoning. I was still recovering from that and remembering what I had told myself.
It's no surprise I would swear off fast food when I was on the bathroom floor unable to move six feet away from a toilet. The surprise is that I've never gone back to McDonald's, Burger King, Taco Bell, or Wendy's. Not even for a french fry or Shamrock Shake. I stopped cold and I don't miss it.
I'd like to tell you I'm super-healthy now but I try not to lie here. I'm still twenty pounds overweight, still likely to finish a bag of chips once I open them, still drinking more alcohol than I should, still eating too much sugar. I'm no paragon of virtue. I've just quit fast food for so long I can't imagine eating it again.
Years ago I bought Twinkies, not having had one in years and remembering how I had loved them. I bit into the first one and chewed a couple of times before it registered: this thing is terrible. I swallowed that bite with a question mark on my face and took another. I couldn't remember ever having not finished a Twinkie. My school lunch bag always held knock-off snacks. When I got hold of real Twinkies, I damn well ate them. But the second bite was disgusting too. It wasn't stale or moldy — I doubt Twinkies can grow mold. It simply didn't taste like food. I spit out that second bite and threw the second Twinkie away still wrapped in its package. I've no desire to try again.
After seventeen years, it's the same with fast food. I just don't want it any more.
I need to figure out what day I dropped Facebook. My guess is that seventeen years from now I'll have little taste left for social media. I hope that I'm healthier for it. I really thought I'd shed a few pounds without all those quarter pounders, super size fries, and super size Coca-Cola. Damn.