Bring on the Fast Food! 3

It’s a new year, and I am already sick and tired of seeing the “New Year; New You!” memes on social media. It’s irritating, and it’s bullshit.

Basically, the new year is a marketing opportunity for cleanse scams, such as Isagenix and Master Cleanse, that prey on people with a poor body image, low-self esteem or plain and simple winter-time blues, and offer them promise of a better life. If anyone tells you that a cleanse system such as this changed their life, first of all, feel sorry for them; they have attributed their personal wellbeing to a nasty-tasting and very expensive beverage. Second of all, ask them if they are a rep for the aforementioned cleanse system. I bet you they can sell you the stuff!

Drink this potion, lose weight, free yourself from disease, join the Isagenix community, be popular, look sexy, and have the life you have always dreamt of. Oh yeah, and if you become a rep, you can be a millionaire too!

There it is, the secret to a happy life. Simple, easy, effortless, and only $250 for nine days.

Good Grief! It concerns me that people really believe this tripe! Snake Oil Alert Folks!!

If you go to the Isagenix website, the opening sentence talks about weight loss and the very second sentence talks about how you can sell the stuff. That’s how very dependent this company is on the pyramid selling scam that it is. Interestingly, Isagenix have a convenient definition of “millionaire”. When they say that they have created millionaires, they are using cumulative income for an individual over a number of years. By that standard, we are all millionaires by the time we reach retirement. Hell, I started pad work when I was 12 in the local stables, if I add up the twenty years of earning I have behind me, I might be close myself!

Cleanse scams such as these are also never scientifically backed. Isagenix will tell you that they are; they claim on their website that they ran a study which proved the weight loss of participants who used the product. What they fail to add is that they paid for the study, and they paid to have it published. Even then, if you bother to read it, the numbers do not add up. The product is a placebo at best.

Anyway (deep breath) this post is not about cleanse potions, and it is not about Isagenix; this post is about fast food.

I have been skiing eight times so far this season, and when we are done on the slopes for the day, we stop and get food. When I was suffering from anorexia, fast food was pandemonium; all my demons in one place. (Did you know that originally, this is what the word pandemonium? Pan means “all” and Milton coined the term

This is me skiing. Notice the smile. (I smile constantly when I ski, apart from when  I am face down in the snow)

This is me skiing. Notice the smile. (I smile constantly when I ski, apart from when I am face down in the snow)

pandemonium meaning a place in hell where all the demons meet. He wrote a poem in which that naughty boy Satan got thrown out of heaven and into hell. Once there, the troublesome fellow decided to build a temple for all the naughty people to live in, a place for All the Demons, and the word pandemonium was invented.

I digress, this post is not about demons, or Milton; this post is about Smashburger, Carl’s Jr, and Subway.

Even in recovery, fast food was a no-go. Even post-post years past recovery, you would not catch me opting to eat such calorie rich, nutrient-void, tasty, meaty, fatty, food. Pre-anoerxia, when I was a teenager, I ate burgers and chips (English for fries) whenever I had the opportunity. Fast-food was a treat then; something that we might be allowed once a week so long as we ate our vegetables and tidied our bedrooms. I loved burgers when I was a teenager because they tasted like heaven; they still do. They always have, and they always will. Whether or not I allowed myself to enjoy them was another matter entirely.

I am saying that in moderation, as part of a balanced diet, there is a place for fast food. I am also here to argue that if a person, like myself, has a history of anorexia, fast food is part of continuing recovery treatment.

Not all fast food is created equally. There is a lot of difference between a McDonalds burger and a Smashburger burger. One is regurgitated, processed, barely-animal derived pink slime on a sugar-coated bun. The other, is certified Angus beef, in a whole-wheat roll, with avocado on top. Regardless of the quality and nutritional benefit, both versions contain FAT and CALORIES and more FAT and CALORIES than most other food does.

Bring it on!

Eating disorders hate fat and calories; this is why for me, eating fast food is like therapy. Plus, I thoroughly enjoy it. I know some people will hate me for saying this, but I do believe that any person who says they do not like the taste of a good burger is either in denial or an outright fibber. One might try and convince oneself that burgers are unhealthy and bad, but that is completely different from actually disliking the taste of them. I would know; I did that for ten years!

“I just don’t like burgers” I would say, “I simply don’t like the taste…” I was lying. I love the taste of a juicy hand-crafted Angus burger as much as the next person, and the next person does too, because our brains are wired that way! Humans love fat! It keeps us alive! Loving fat is normal and healthy!

Just for the record: I love a chicken-breast in a bun too. Most of all, I love pulled pork, but I am not sure that pulled pork classes as fast food, so really it has no place in this post.

Who am I kidding? There is always a place for pulled pork in a post!

I digress, again. My point is that most people nowadays feel guilt after eating something fatty. This is because fat has been erroneously labeled the bad guy and for the last 30 years it has been drilled into society that we should feel bad about ourselves if we eat fat, and even worse about ourselves if we have fat on our bodies.

There was a long long time in my life that I felt incredible guilt for eating anything that tasted good. Now, when I eat a burger I do not feel guilt, I feel victory because I got to a point in my life where I no longer feel bad about anything that I eat.

Eating disorder or not, nobody should be made to feel that they are inadequate as they are, or that they need to change something. A better new years resolution, would be to resolve to worrying less about the amount of fat in food and simply enjoying eating it.


Nom Nom! Bring it on!

I am not suggesting that you eat McDonalds every day. Far from it, I am just saying lighten the fuck up and enjoy this new year in the knowledge that you don’t have to diet, your don’t have to go on a cleanse, and you can eat a burger every now and then!

I am writing this in the car on the way to Keystone Ski resort (don’t worry, I am not driving!). When we are done, I am going to suggest Smashburger for the way home; they use great beef, and I can have creamy avocado on top of it. Bliss.

I wonder if Milton invented a word for all things good in one place. Panangelium?

Happy New Year!

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About Tabitha Farrar

I work as Head of Marketing for a software startup in Boulder. As a recovered Anorexia sufferer, I advocate for proper understanding of eating disorders in my spare time. On that note, I wrote a book about my own journey into eating again called Love Fat.

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3 thoughts on “Bring on the Fast Food!

  • Fiona

    I long for a burger like the ones we used to get from the takeaways when I was growing up… I have to say I don’t like McDonalds burgers at all. They taste like they have been sat on. There is no substitute for a real burger. Plus, last time (also the first time) I had a burger from Maccas, there was HALF a pickle on the whole burger. Who puts half a pickle on a burger? Nope. It’s real burgers all the way for me. A juicy home-made beef patty, hamburger bun has been heated on the hotplate alongside the beef and the fried onions, and it has real salad – at least lettuce, tomato, and beetroot (cause I’m Aussie). It might even have a fried egg. And tomato sauce.
    Now I’m hungry!
    Skiing looks awesome 🙂

    • Tabitha Farrar Post author

      I am intrigued. Do you think that the take out burgers have changed a lot? As I grew up in the UK, I cannot really say I have noticed a change as I was eating UK fast food, had a ten year burger abstinence and now I am eating USA fast food.

      I guess the acid test would be to go back to the UK and find a Wimpy chain to eat a burger out of!

      • Fiona

        Have they changed? OH my goodness they have changed. I think the burger king/hungry jacks (Australia’s name for burger king) burgers we had when I was a kid were a lot better than they are today. But most of our take away when I was a kid in the 80’s and 90’s was just heaps better. It wasn’t chain takeaways so much back then, but those little family delicatessens/fish and chip shops/burger shops. And they did what they did well. I miss those. The food was a lot more real. It’s no secret that the chain stores put a heap of stuff into their food that isn’t in the food traditionally – eg sugar in the mcdonalds buns. And it feels so fake. I go to Subway and get chicken and egg on my sandwich, and the chicken is in this lump that doesn’t look like chicken ever looked to me, the egg has been pre-cooked and is like rubber. It makes me sad 🙁