Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Supersized Society


I've recently started a membership with Blockbuster Online, which is totally cool. There's so many movies and TV shows out there that I haven't seen. It definitely opens up my world a lot. I especially like the number of gay and lesbian movies that are available for rent. Blockbuster Online provides a nice way to get these movies without having to deal with the hassles of brick and mortar.

Believe it or not, I'm in the final days of yet another Master Cleanse (my 4th). I'm not doing it for weight loss, even though it's one of the things that happens while on it. I'm doing it for the benefits I see in my blood pressure as well as a general well-being of my intestinal system.

I started January 2nd and plan on completing another ten days this Friday.

So one of the movies I ordered from Blockbuster Online to get me in the mood for cleansing was the documentary Super Size Me! The basic premise was to follow director Morgan Spurlock as he spends the next 30 days eating for breakfast, lunch, and dinner food from the Golden Arches.
One of the rules he had was if a server asked him if he wanted the meal "super sized", that he would say yes.

The next two hours of the movie showed his descent to McDonald hell as the once healthy Spurlock went from 185 lbs to 210 lbs. Not only that but his once near perfect blood work was a thing of the past and according to three different doctors, not only was his cholesterol and triglycerides to the roof, he also risked liver damage.

In between the food fest, including nice footage of him vomiting a meal, little tidbits about McDonald's and how different folks view the corporation were included. This footage was filmed as Spurlock traveled across the U.S. going to various McDonald's. There was even one that delivers the food to your door.

One man who aside from bad hair looked to be of normal weight boasted of eating nine Big Macs a day when the sandwich first came out. Ironically his wife is a nutritionist. Another segment showed a couple who collected all kinds of Ronald McDonald memorabilia. The couple started out as collecting toys for one of their grandchildren and eventually they went crazy with it.

A lot of discussion focused on how McDonald's has locked themselves into American culture and the different strategies used to lure families to the restaurant. I learned that former Today weatherman Willard Scott used to be the original clown. But they got rid of him when he started to show a bit more girth. The clown then became the generic scary one that we know today. An interesting point made was that Ronald McDonald was never shown eating a burger.

Of course McDonald's biggest lure was the cheap toys that were included in the "Happy Meals". These toys appealed to kids and of course they beg their parents to go so they can collect them.

The idea behind all their ploys was to instill in kids' heads how much of a good time they had at McDonald's so that when they get older, they too would become consumers and bring their kids and the cycle would continue.

It then got into the nasty topic of how their food is processed. I was especially disgusted hearing about Chicken McNuggets and how so many different items besides chicken makes a McNugget. And to think I used to eat those during my college years. Yuck!

Needless to say the movie was perfect to set me in the mind of avoiding food. I haven't eaten in McDonald's in nearly a year and prior to that time, it was another long while. The last thing I ordered from there was a "chicken wrap" and even those aren't all that healthy.

As I looking through Subway's nutritional facts, I was dismayed to learn that even my favorite tuna sub is not that healthy either. It has more grams per fat than even a Big Mac. Here I thought I was doing a good thing eating that every day. So definitely once I get off this cleanse, I'll have to lay off the tuna subs and stick to the turkey, ham, or roast beef.

Getting back to McDonald's, though, I have to say growing up it was rare that we ever ate there. The majority of my meals were home cooked. (Yay Mom!) I started going more though once I started college. I was working part time with my Dad at our Church and when they opened a McDonald's next to us, my Dad would send me over there to get food once a week.

For a while after I graduated college and started making a living, I would go there every so often (in addition to Wendy's, KFC, Taco Bell, etc.). But at some point when I started having my health issues, I told myself that I needed to reduce significantly my trips to such places. For the most part I have. It's only on very rare occasions that I frequent fast food joints and if I do, I try to go for the more healthier options.

Hemingway in the new year, I'll continue to focus on trying to improve my health. The cleanse I'm doing now gives me time to evaluate what I'm doing and then hone in on what I can improve on. I may even consider eating a little more RAW, even though I'll always want the occasional steak.

Labels: ,


Blogger E said...

A compromise I just thought of in regards to the tuna sub. The servers always gives me two scoops of tuna, which I assume is the standard across all Subways. I can still have the tuna once in a while long as I ask for only one scoop. That should cut the calories and fat in half and I still get to enjoy the tuna...:-)

7:23 PM, January 10, 2008  
Blogger yet another black guy said...

i have no food willpower. but i do avoid pretty much all fast food joints except for my beloved Chick-Fil-A!

and i thought that dude also stopped exercising while he did that experiment too, no?

10:58 PM, February 05, 2008  

Post a Comment

<< Home