Oh HAPPY Day!

So for the past two or so months, I’ve been harboring a massive craving for a McDonald’s Happy Meal.

I’ll be honest … the only times I’ve set foot in a McDonald’s in the past six or so years have been on road-trips (rest-room break) or for a small vanilla cone (delish!).

Yet over the past few months, I have not been able to get the craving for a McDonald’s Happy Meal out of my head!

The first time I told my husband about said craving he looked at me like I was nuts, like” “Who took my wife and where is she?!”

I told him I was totally serious (recognizing surely it was the pregnancy speaking and not Miss-Former-“EW/Gross”-Fast-Food speaking) but I never actually made the move to go for a variety of reasons: too busy on weekends, plans at night, then during the work-week I’m on puppy-duty so it’s hard to go out at lunch …

So today I decided to bite the bullet and do drive-thru and bring it home at lunch.

I ordered the cheeseburger Happy Meal with extra pickles and a side salad, and enjoyed every bite!

While I was a little bummed they didn’t add the extra pickles and the cheese was neon orange, the taste of the onions on the burger more than made up for it! I ate the cheeseburger slowly and savored the taste.

The fries were pretty good too, though much saltier than I remembered (or maybe my palate has changed?)!

Anyway, I ate half of those and gave a few to Rocco ๐Ÿ˜‰

And I felt completely content with my meal. No regrets. NO GUILT.

As a side-note/observation, I was very pleased to see that McDonald’s now has nutritional information on everything, so I knew the cheeseburger was 300 calories and the small fries, 230 — not necessarily info I desperately needed right now, but as a future mom, very good to know that the info is readily available should the occasion arise … or if ever I had another craving ๐Ÿ˜‰

While the average American might not think twice about eating fast-food and probably does it a few times a week, this was HUGE for me on a few levels.

1) It meant deliberately eating something that is “junk food” but still savoring it.

2) It meant putting a “want” in front of a “need” — and being OK with it.

3) It meant giving myself permission to enjoy something I would have shunned a year ago.

It wasn’t eaten mindlessly or because of emotions; it wasn’t eaten in shrouded secrecy; it wasn’t eaten rushed. It just was EATEN. I call that progress ๐Ÿ™‚

It probably goes without saying but for new readers, but I feel like I should add that by no means do I intend to imply that the rest of my pregnancy will be spent at McDonald’s — quite the contrary.

But I have to say, I am really proud of myself for removing the borderline-orthorexic mask of my past and letting go a little.

It’s good to remember that one kid-sized meal at McDonald’s isn’t Morgan Sprock’s month-long McDonald’s “Super-Size Me” spree. Nor do I think it’ll set me off on some fast-food bender.

In actuality, it’s fairly simple and though I talked about it at length, it truly requires little analysis: I had a craving, I enjoyed it, and that’s all there is to it.

How about you? Food in moderation is just food; it isn’t meant to be feared. Is there a food you fear? What is the root of the fear, and how can you tackle it head-on?

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21 thoughts on “Oh HAPPY Day!

  1. Yay, I’m so glad you listened to your craving! I think there is something so empowering about that. I fear my cravings sometimes, and I try to answer them with a modified version of the thing I crave, though that never really does the trick. Sometimes, i think you just have to go for the specific thing you want, no matter what it is. It really is just food. I still have fears of “junk,” though I know logically that “junk” is just a label and it really is JUST FOOD. I’ve been working on that.

    1. Thanks, Kim–that’s just it. I tried to make burgers at home, the healthy way, but I really just wanted the McDonald’s kiddie cheeseburger and nothing else was going to do!

      Exactly–it’s JUST food.

  2. So funny! I HAD to have an Arby’s roast beef sandwich with curly fries when I was 15 weeks pregnant. It was all I wanted and as soon as I had it the craving passed!

    Good job, girl!

    1. I don’t like Arby’s curly fries (well, last time I had them I was like 14 yrs old) but have ALSO been craving a junior roast beef and cheddar but will probably indulge my hubby with that request ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. You know I love it, and I will so be linking back soon!

    I love that you listened to your body, went to Mickey D’s and enjoyed every last bite…and I hear they actually have some pretty decent salads as far as fast food goes, but yeah, the burger and fries sound much better. Now, if I can just go there without getting the McFlurry as well. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. Nice work! I bet it feels awesome to provide yourself this self care. (We all know McD’s isn’t the healthiest – whatever. What IS really healthy is to know what we might want/need and to be able to satisfy ourselves in a non-restrictive/not excessive way. That is AWESOME.)

    Last weekend a girlfriend of mine stayed over for the entire weekend. This is a really rare thing for me to have company for several days, and of course there were several eating occassions to navigate. I felt so proud at the end of it to realize that I didn’t sneak chocolate from the cupboard or from my purse after our meals – I just ate what I ate with the full intention of being seen by whoever. It was a “normal” eating weekend, and it made my time with my friend so much more real and vibrant. Each day we live well, we are well! :0)

    Thanks for this post!

    1. Thanks–and GO YOU! Isn’t that a wonderful feeling, LG?! Great job! Little by little, we’re understanding what “normal” really means. And it’s kinda nice ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Good for you! When I was in an ED treatment program, we had a weekly session called “Fear Foods”, where the staff brought in a different food every week and we ate it and discussed our feelings about the food, eating it, what it meant, etc. It was one of the most difficult parts of the program, but really helped us to start to think of food as energy and not something to be feared.

  6. Your post reminded me that with my 3rd pregnancy, I seriously craved snickers bars (and I hate them in general–peanuts and chocolate…eww!) AND fried chicken sandwiches from Jack in the Box. It was so random and I also never eat fried chicken so it was totally freaky. I indulged because it was such a strong pull!

    1. Isn’t it so funny what we crave?! I always thought it was a bunch of hooey but now I’m seeing it’s totally not. And interestingly enough, that one Happy Meal will probably tide me over the rest of the pregnancy!

  7. I don’t eat pasta, popcorn or pastry (the 3 P’s I call them. The fear is gaining weight, I don’t face the fear because that would mean facing my fear of gaining weight and loosing control and those are like mountains and can’t be conquered easily!!

    1. Gina, I hope someday you can face those foods. It’s all about portion control. And while pastry might not have much nutritional value, both popcorn and whole wheat pasta have merit. Good luck! It’s just food, and when we can see it that way, the better off we’ll be.

  8. I was at a profesisonal ballet school as a child and took it all very seriously into my teens, developed an ED and eventually had to stop when I was 21 after my Advanced RAD exam. It was a major wrench to do so because it owned me and defined me and had been all i lived for my formative years. I knew I needed to to get well.Released from that, healthy again and considerably stronger I have recently begun doing a few adult classes at a ballet school โ€“ tentatively as itโ€™s so linked in my mind with crappy eating practices. But so far so good. Itโ€™s utterly lovely to be back at the barre and feel all that ballet used to mean to me without the pressure of a professional school. I LOVE it โ€“ so your post really resonates with me today. Enjoy getting back to it, there are some great dvds out there!

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