There are times when I forget that I lived in the US for a year. It's probably because the year was a strange mix of brilliant events and experiences and also some maddenginly dark moments. I also forget about it because it's just one of those things that happened. I mean, I forget all the time that I have been to Italy. It was just one of those things that happened. But... there is one thing that hangs over me from that time.
Let it be said that I do enjoy fast food. The problem I have is that ever since I went to Texas, which is the home of the fast food emporium (nay all of North America), I have had an affliciton that has meant that I probably have ate more fast food that I should have done. When I came back from Texas I had put a bit of weight on and struggled to an extent to remove it again. I did so by commuting to and from work by foot, and if you haven't noticed I am not cycling to and from work to something similar.
Don't for one minute think that I am saying America and Canada shouldn't have fast food - that's a totally different arguement that is for a different time. I actually reveled in the sheer choice. Off the top of my head, here's a list of places I liked in Texas - Whataburger, Jimmy Johns, Five Guys, Wendy's, Subway, McDonalds, Burger King and the breakfast places - IHOP and Waffle House. There was Fuddrucker's, Freddy's, Sam's Deli, Cracker Barrel, Lupe Pinto's... and that is just a quick skim of my memory. The choice is mental, and doesn't even take into account the coffee places like Starbucks, Einstein Brothers and Schlotzky's... and many many more.
I once met an American from Kansas who said he'd never been to McDonald's in his life. I found that incredible. The highways of the US are rolling screen backdrops, like a old school cartoon, where the same fifteen fast food outlets repeat every mile - one road, Westhemier in Houston, is this ad nuseaum from downtown to mmy apartment for around 12 miles.
There are so many reasons why it is a terrible thing in the US for all of this to be so readily available, and is certainly why obesity is such an issue there and why I came home heavier than when I went there. And I loved it. I had a Whataburger and it blew my mind. Jimmy Johns' is easily the most lamented place that Connie and I miss. I was so excited when I went to Ready easrlier in the year that there was a Five Guys there and literally fist pumped the air when I learned that there was not one but TWO opening in Glasgow in the coming months.
Fast Food is cheap, convenient, and a short term answer that speaks to almost everything that makes humans terrible - we don't consider the problems that it causes into the future for an easy fix right now. And you know what? I don't really care. I am healthy in so many other ways - drinking is at a minimum (almost non-existant actually) and I get more that the reccomended exercise for a week each day, and I do maximse my healthy easting everywhere else sticking to home made meals, non-processed foods, drinking plenty of water and not snacking. I let my self have a treat of fast food.
But there is a limit to what you should be eating. Like drinking, all of the above only works if you're in moderation, and living in the UK there are a few advantages to this - the first being that the selection that I so love about the Us and Canada is nearly limited to just three choices - KFC, McDonald's and Burger King (with SUbway a light based fourth since it's basically just a sandwich I'd make myself). As such, a limit on the fast food and sugary drinks that I eat has been place on us as a method to enable more healthy living.
There is one deep exception to this rule - Tim Hortons' donuts and breakfast sandwiches, because of course there is. Come on.