I was driving down a rural highway near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in the middle of the night. It was rainy and I didn’t know the area well. I did know I was starving so when a spat of highway signs came into view listing a bunch of familiar fast-food havens it was like the clouds had busted open with the promise of a cold fizzy drink, warm nimble french fries and a palm sized hamburger smartly topped with tart pickles and a warm bun dotted with sesame seeds.
I raced for the drive thru of the only open place, which is also my favorite fast-food place, an indulgence from the kid’s menu that I allow every couple of weeks. I’ve had to negotiate this down from more frequent visits since I’ve shaved about 10 pounds from my figure and have managed to keep it this way for about six months. I ordered my most favorite and tasty trifecta and headed back to the highway. So enthralled and thankful for the lusciousness of the Happy Meal was I that I missed my way back to the highway, and looping around the area with the radio cranking, I was in the midst of sucking down the entire contents of that wonderful white paper bag when I hit an unpleasant snag in the proceedings: The sudden and unexpected feeling of dental floss stuck between two teeth, only thinner.
I knew, I knew. I gagged into a fistful of napkins and pulled out the offending particle, which was a hair. An unidentifiable and long hair of a color completely unlike my own. One could not devise a plan for McDonald’s interruptus more complete than this. I drove the rest of the way back to my hotel, gagging at intervals while trying to swish the lingering, spindly sensation of the hair in mouth that was threatening to snake its way down my throat, via the vat of bubbly cola. “Gross,” I repeated over and again.
The lesson goes something like this: I no longer have to wrestle myself from temptation when it comes to trips through the drive thru. I do have to wrestle myself from a small gag when I think of the place and the food that is served there. Those 10 pounds? I think they’re going to be staying away for good.
Tips for Diet Success
- Identify your main diet downfall. For some it’s sweets, like chocolate or baked goods, while for others it’s fast food stuff like triple-layer hamburgers smothered in cheese.
- You don’t have to slay all of your eating pleasures, just the big one. The one that is principally responsible for adding or keeping the pounds that you want out of your life. For instance, I may have nixed a certain fast food jones but am still very much a fan of a sometimes bag of glorious Lay’s potato chips and occasional Slushie.
- If you are not lucky enough to unexpectedly discover a hair in your principal easting downfall, then figure out a way to mentally turn-off the charm of the food item you love. Remember the time you drank too much of a certain sweet nectar, then spent the rest of the night and maybe the next day vomiting? Then never, ever drank Midori, or tequila, or whatever made you hurl, again? It’s like that. Link the item with something that, for you, is utterly distasteful, and do it consistently. Maybe there is something you don’t love about the way this food makes you feel after you eat it, or something involved with how it’s made, or one of its ingredients.
- Let the images and the thoughts follow one another—thoughts of the item you love, followed by the turn off—until they are automatic. I heard of a man whose yearning for greasy meat sandwiches was strong and persistent, while his desire for vegetables, particularly broccoli, was non-existent. He even found them gross. With the help of a hypnotist he swapped his mental conceptions of each item. The greasy meat became gross while vegetables, particularly broccoli, assumed most-favored food status in his life.