Evan Filley
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McDonald's: My Nightmare

An Abusive Relationship I Can't Leave...

When I was a small boy, I would see commercials for McDonalds. In fact, I would see them over three or four times a day, to the point where I would be craving the golden arches all day long. My parents were rather smart about this, though, because very rarely would we ever go to fast food, so I would always consider it a treat when we did. This was during the mid to late 90s, when the size of their food was that of a pickup truck and the prices were low. A Big Mac meal cost around $2.99 back then, now you couldn't get one for less than seven dollars, and the sandwich has shrunk considerably. I loved going, and when I would get a happy meal and get that cheap toy from the latest blockbuster that was kicking around in theaters at the time, I thought of it like Christmas. I would only ever get toys two times a year: My birthday and Christmas. The rest of the time, if I wanted something, I would get the same answer. "NO." As simple as that; a large, pulsating NO. My parents were stern, but they were fair. McDonald's was the same way—whenever I would ask to go, same thing. NO.

This is more than likely why, years later, after getting my license and my first car, I would go to the Micky D's well over four times a week. I was working at this point, had been for some time, so I would have money to go do this as often as I wanted. I believe that this addiction was formed during those years, when I was 17, in shape, in high school, full of energy, and could take on the world. The dollar menu at the restaurant was the finest thing that they ever came up with, and my friends and I would go through and figure out just how many burgers we could buy and eat. The food never seemed to make me gain weight, or at least I never noticed, so I figured  I could get away with eating meat that was probably made out of only 30 percent beef, and the rest of the burger was comprised of body killing additives, but since I was young and thought I knew best, I never thought about it. 

And then, right around when I turned 19 and was just about the graduate High School, something changed. I started feeling horrible all the time, but I would push on, not thinking that my awful diet and lack of exercise would have anything to do with it. It wasn't until I left for college I really started to notice a change. My six pack I had in middle school and most of high school was long gone, and my exercise days were behind me, but yet I still kept up the diet I had while I was working out on a regular basis  and kept up a rather active life style. My gut started to overlap my belt and would start to hang, as it does to this very day. I went from a healthy 180 pounds for my size to a whopping 210 after I left for college. My nether region (I'm trying to be nice here) was starting to also be affected. With my good friend starting to shrink, the fat started to over take my crotch, and without my bouncing boys, you wouldn't know I was a man. It made me feel horrible, which was when I would eat this shitty food, because it would make me feel great for, like, maybe fifteen minutes, and then I would be all depressed again. This is what they call a vicious cycle, and almost all Americans have this problem. Whether it is with food, gambling, sex, drugs, or just about anything that could be considered addictive, we all share this trait, and it is now the rare few who can break this cycle. 

Now, I would eat at other fast food places, like anyone else, but McDonald's has always been my favorite. I'm not sure why they, out of all of them, have stood on top against the rest, but they have for me, at least. Now I could've stopped, at any time. Of course I could, right? Well, I would tell myself every time I went there to eat, and the saddest thing is that I would eat there even if I wasn't hungry. I would just go because I could. Just because I wanted to taste that familiar taste again. I would say "I don't know why I am even here," but yet I would still hand over my money to them and drive away, all smiles that I had two Big Macs waiting for me to eat. I now sit at a death warrant weight of 346 pounds. 346...I always told myself I could never reach over 300. Never. That couldn't happen to me...well, it did, and now I am paying the penalty for it. I have horrible sleep patterns, I have no energy, I always feel hungry, even after eating a full-sized meal. McDonalds has caused me, among other habits of mine, to never be satisfied with food I eat that isn't fast. It's a never-ending nightmare I am living each and everyday, and now I have a son who is three, mind you, and I really, truly believe that, if I don't change my ways, I won't live to see 45. I won't, and I know this, but I don't do anything to change this. Nothing. So I beg of you, do not go down my same path, because the end will come faster than you think.

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