Adulting Experiments: What I Learned From 30 Days Without Fast Food

For some people, thirty days without fast food is a breeze. For me, it’s a daunting experiment which fills me with sadness. Those who know me think it’s an impossible feat for me to accomplish.

I am a fast food addict: breakfast, lunch and dinner. After I finish my food, I think about the next time I will take another bite of a crispy chicken tender or juicy cheeseburger. I will not go a day without driving through a drive thru–it’s one of my favorite places on Earth. It doesn’t matter what fast food establishment you pick, I love something.

On average I spend between $12 and $18 a day on fast food. This doesn’t look awful until you add it up to between $360–$540 a month or even worse $4,320–$6,480 per year.

These numbers in addition to my increasing worry about my overall health led me to quit fast food cold turkey. I tried slowly weaning myself off the delicious, quick food, but I failed.

At first, I was on a roll. I was determined and could ride by every fast food place without the slightest thought of stopping. I didn’t need fast food and fast food definitely didn’t need my money. As I watched the money I would’ve normally been spending on fast food add up, I felt invigorated.

The days went on and I would keep reminding myself how many days it had been since the last time I had fast food. Then, I hit a wall. It was day nine and it felt like day twenty. How much longer did this have to last?

I started to tell myself that certain places didn’t count and one cheeseburger wouldn’t matter, but I couldn’t lie to myself. Week two was hard. I would pass a Wendy’s or Chick-fil-a and clinch my fists around my steering wheel. I reminded myself of the money that I was saving and thought of things that I could do with the money instead of buying a meal.

Adulting Tip: Avoid drinking alcohol during a fast food detox (especially with friends who will eat Taco Bell in front of you.)

Once I made it to week three, I felt better. I hadn’t given in to any of my attempts to rationalize why one time was okay. Nothing made me feel stronger than knowing I had said no.

I didn’t even recognize myself. I felt on top of the world. The more people expressed their shock, the more I wanted to push on.

Since I wasn’t eating fast food, I had to start cooking. I have never been one to know her way around the kitchen, so most of my meals consisted of tacos, spaghetti, chicken and hamburger helper. Nothing fancy, but neither was the fast food. At least I was saving money this way.

Week four was here before I knew it. Nothing was hard about the last week. Between the money I had saved and the thought of having a cheeseburger in a week, I was doing fine. More than fine, I was doing great.

At the end of my experiment, I planned on celebrating with a huge fast food meal, but was shocked when I realized I wasn’t even craving fast food.

I was so focused on the fact that I could eat fast food again once my thirty days were up that I didn’t realize my body didn’t even want it anymore. The more I listened to my body, the more I heard it asking for the food I was cooking.

The fact that I went 30 days without any fast food amazed me and pretty much all of my friends and family. It goes to show that when you want to do something and you put your mind to it, you can.

Whenever you feel like giving up, remember to push through. If I had given in to my cravings on week two, I would never know what it feels like to be a strong ass woman who can kick her worst habit. I even learned that cooking really isn’t all that scary and awful, it can actually be fun and really tasty. Even if something feels impossible, it’s not.

See the first adulting experiments post on 30 days of being in-between jobs.

lessons learned from giving up fast food for a healthier lifestyle - 30 day challenge for the adulting experiments series on Life Goals Mag

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