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I almost gave in to the arches….



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I just went out to get my hair cut and my nails done and was feeling all good and on my way home. The angel and the devil were on my shoulders and the devil had me convinced that I could eat just a few French fries and it wouldn’t be too bad cause the portion would be small. Well thankfully they were busy because before I could get up to order the angel voice kicked in and reminded me that it was this way of thinking that sabotaged every diet I have been on up till now and I pulled through without ordering. I am curious though. Am I the only one that’s come this close? Is this an ongoing battle for others that are still In weight loss phase? What about those in maintenance. Part of me is just sharing to help keep myself accountable but part of me wonders if others have almost given in as well.

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You’re not alone. If I go grocery shopping or pretty much any store/gas station if I haven’t eaten in a while, EVERYTHING looks good. I have to tell myself “eat something good before you eat something bad.” I’ve found it’s a good idea to carry around Water or a healthy snack for when I’m feeling this way.

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I eat fast food all the time. But I make better choices. At McD's I'll eat an egg mcmuffin and a coffee with cream and splenda. At Wendy's, I love their grilled chicken strawberry salad and eat about 2/3 of it. At KFC, I've been known to eat two chicken legs, original, no sides...and an ice tea. At Burger King, I'll eat half an Impossible Whopper.

For some people....stopping at fast food is too triggering and leads to free for all binging melt downs.

For me, I've found that I need to face my triggers to feel in control of my eating habits.

I purposefully go to fast food places for lunches (not always, but regularly when working) and order sensibly. I know exactly the number of calories I'm eating and make sure the rest of my day fits. I read the nutrition information before I order, make a plan, and stick to it.

Fast food places don't bother me anymore. I don't feel threatened with feeling out of control anymore. I feel like I can eat there and still eat responsibly.

I like fast food. In moderation. With my eyes wide open.

I like feeling like I've slayed that dragon and it holds no control over me anymore.

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You are definitely not alone. Every time I am alone in my car it wants to steer directly to a fast food place. Doesn't matter which one but I steer my brain to the end game instead. It is definitely tempting.

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You gotta just keep driving. Some days it is much harder though.

Unfortunately, the cravings do remain you just learn better ways to manage them or discover healthier alternatives. During the losing phase, you can reduce their power too. There’s a absolutely delicious patisserie where I shop. Every time I was there to buy groceries I had to tell myself to just keep walking. The desire to go in is no where near as strong now & it’s pretty easy to ignore it & walk past.

Maybe in the future when you’re in maintenance you can include the odd treat from a fast food place like @Creekimp13 does. You’ll work out what you can eat & what is better for you to avoid. There’s no right or wrong as long as it works for you.

Good luck.

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I think one of the reasons I really felt I had to take control of fast food....were the conversations I had with my therapist about how I used fast food in the past. It was a huge reward/comfort/coping mechanism (read binge trigger...disordered eating symptom).

If I was having a challenging morning, I'd promise myself to make it easier with a Mc Big Breakfast on the way to whatever difficult day awaited me. 766 calories of what felt like self nurturing, but was really self sabotage.....particularly when paired with the rest of the day's stress eating.

If I had that day when I had a million errands and the dreaded task of buying groceries.....I rewarded myself, justifying that after carrying in groceries and putting everything away, woe is me Cinderella....I DESERVED to have the monster bucket of KFC with all the sides for dinner....because it was self nurturing to let someone else make dinner. (self nurturing turned into 850 calories of chicken meal, plus ice cream...oye)

Anytime I had to do something unpleasant...I'd build in the silver lining. A doctor's appointment isn't so bad if you get fries and a fancy coffee afterward. Even after seeing the veterinarian, I had to stop to get the dog a plain burger as a reward for being good....and of course, something for me for undertaking such a task.

You can justify fast food with hospitality and generosity. Oh, I knew Suzy hadn't eaten, so I stopped for her. If you're being considerate to others it's a perfect excuse to reward (sabotage) yourself. Hey, I'm being a good doobie, good for me, I deserve fries, too.

Sometimes the fast food was an enhancement to happy times. How many times have I celebrated a little good news with fast food or a donut? Take the kids to the zoo, everyone's tired, let's get a burger and make it an extra fun afternoon. And of course you get fast food nonstop while traveling or on vacation to bring a little of home with you. Oye.

Fast food was a huge emotional reward. It represented medicating stress, it represented enhancing pleasure. It represented nurturing that I needed and wasn't getting.

And it represented a metric feck ton of over budget calories and addiction behavior.

So yeah...fast food is complicated. There's a reason we crave it and it's not all about it tasting good. Sometimes after surgery we feel tired and overwhelmed and want that comfort habit, that celebration, that medication for stress. And that is NOT the way to eat any food if you want to break the cycle of disordered eating.

Promise yourself other ways of nurturing yourself. Try to avoid food rewards/coping....but at the very least, if you do a food reward...make sure the calories and nutrition can be balanced. Make part of nurturing giving yourself a nutritional win.

Also...if you nurture yourself with food, learn to ask for help with nurturing instead. At my house...whoever does the grocery shopping now is exempt from cooking that night. Someone else has to cook...which makes the grocery buyer feel appreciated and cared for....and keeps her from bringing home junkfood. Do other stuff that makes you feel good. Have yourself a deep bath, order a good movie or book, schedule a massage....do something nice for yourself that gives you a similar warm fuzzy feeling without the colossal calories.

At the end of the day.....fast food isn't the problem. It can be consumed sensibly if we're ready and understand why it's dangerous. Lots of places are offering some healthier options.

The real problem is unmet need, stress that needs soothing, celebratory traditions that are ingrained but unhealthy.

I did a lot of talking about fast food and modifying fast food traditions with my therapist. It genuinely helped.

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I don't know that that ever completely goes away. I largely avoided fast food when I was in weight loss phase, although on road trips I'd sometimes have Wendy's chili - or Panera's turkey chili or some of their Soups. In maintenance, I still do the chili - and/or sometimes a half salad at Panera. At McDonald's (which is rare - and only on road trips) I'll get an Egg McMuffin since they have them available all day now. They're 300 calories and have lots of Protein, so they're fine for a maintenance program.

I can't do fries or fatty things - and I haven't eaten ground beef in probably 20 years. Highly fatty meals don't sit well with me AT ALL. I could probably handle a grilled chicken sandwich - or half a one, anyway.

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Not sure if this approach will work for you, as it depends in your temperament and nature, but here goes:

What helps/helped me was understanding/accepting that nothing is forever, and implementing a sort of MO of Delayed Gratification.

While I didn’t really want to eat “fast foods”during weight loss phase, I did start to want Desserts near the end of it. So I was all, Yeah, that cookie has 300 cals in it, so it’s probably not a good choice NOW, but maybe I can have it LATER.

In maintenance, I still do this. And in maintenance I eat a much wider variety of food than before (including dessert!) If I want to eat something when Im not actually hungry, OR if I want to eat something that is ridiculously high in calories when I am, I wait 30-60 mins or so and see if i still want it, and if I still do, then i eat it!

The majority of the times I end up not eating it (or just have a couple bites)…it also helps ME that I track everything I eat/drink. When faced with that 300 cal cookie, a quick peek at MFP will likely determine if i goes in my mouth or not.

On another note, sometimes if I know I’m going to be eating alot of cals at some event or other, i’ll lower my cal intake either before or after…it all evens out in the end.

so this is my long-winded response to say that in my opinion only, fast food/desserts/whatever is not bad or the devil or anything. Its the impulse-control/regulation that needs tending. The easier-said-than-done-trick is to take a PAUSE. Which sounds to me is exactly that the OP did in her drive-by of McD’s (the store being busy notwithstanding, lol) Consider that a win!

No need to shame oneself for wanting it, nor demonize the thing you want. Faced with a dilemma, you chose wisely for your given situation . That deserves a pat on the back ❤️

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16 hours ago, Creekimp13 said:

I think one of the reasons I really felt I had to take control of fast food....were the conversations I had with my therapist about how I used fast food in the past. It was a huge reward/comfort/coping mechanism (read binge trigger...disordered eating symptom).

If I was having a challenging morning, I'd promise myself to make it easier with a Mc Big Breakfast on the way to whatever difficult day awaited me. 766 calories of what felt like self nurturing, but was really self sabotage.....particularly when paired with the rest of the day's stress eating.

If I had that day when I had a million errands and the dreaded task of buying groceries.....I rewarded myself, justifying that after carrying in groceries and putting everything away, woe is me Cinderella....I DESERVED to have the monster bucket of KFC with all the sides for dinner....because it was self nurturing to let someone else make dinner. (self nurturing turned into 850 calories of chicken meal, plus ice cream...oye)

Anytime I had to do something unpleasant...I'd build in the silver lining. A doctor's appointment isn't so bad if you get fries and a fancy coffee afterward. Even after seeing the veterinarian, I had to stop to get the dog a plain burger as a reward for being good....and of course, something for me for undertaking such a task.

You can justify fast food with hospitality and generosity. Oh, I knew Suzy hadn't eaten, so I stopped for her. If you're being considerate to others it's a perfect excuse to reward (sabotage) yourself. Hey, I'm being a good doobie, good for me, I deserve fries, too.

Sometimes the fast food was an enhancement to happy times. How many times have I celebrated a little good news with fast food or a donut? Take the kids to the zoo, everyone's tired, let's get a burger and make it an extra fun afternoon. And of course you get fast food nonstop while traveling or on vacation to bring a little of home with you. Oye.

Fast food was a huge emotional reward. It represented medicating stress, it represented enhancing pleasure. It represented nurturing that I needed and wasn't getting.

And it represented a metric feck ton of over budget calories and addiction behavior.

So yeah...fast food is complicated. There's a reason we crave it and it's not all about it tasting good. Sometimes after surgery we feel tired and overwhelmed and want that comfort habit, that celebration, that medication for stress. And that is NOT the way to eat any food if you want to break the cycle of disordered eating.

Promise yourself other ways of nurturing yourself. Try to avoid food rewards/coping....but at the very least, if you do a food reward...make sure the calories and nutrition can be balanced. Make part of nurturing giving yourself a nutritional win.

Also...if you nurture yourself with food, learn to ask for help with nurturing instead. At my house...whoever does the grocery shopping now is exempt from cooking that night. Someone else has to cook...which makes the grocery buyer feel appreciated and cared for....and keeps her from bringing home junkfood. Do other stuff that makes you feel good. Have yourself a deep bath, order a good movie or book, schedule a massage....do something nice for yourself that gives you a similar warm fuzzy feeling without the colossal calories.

At the end of the day.....fast food isn't the problem. It can be consumed sensibly if we're ready and understand why it's dangerous. Lots of places are offering some healthier options.

The real problem is unmet need, stress that needs soothing, celebratory traditions that are ingrained but unhealthy.

I did a lot of talking about fast food and modifying fast food traditions with my therapist. It genuinely helped.

I am guilty of some of these habits (pre surgery). I have an appointment scheduled with a disordered eating therapist next month and I hope I can get as much out of it as you seem to have through all your work. I dream of someday having a healthy relationship with food. I really wish the therapist I had seen would have identified these behaviors and had me do this work BEFORE my surgery but I guess it’s better late than never.

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Thank you all for your responses and suggestions of how to deal with this situation. It means more than you know to just hear that I am not alone. I don’t know how I would do all this without such a great group of people that truly understand and don’t judge. 🙏🏼

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