Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Zen of Happy Meal Moderation

I snapped the above photo with my cell phone while out, coincidentally, on my daily exercise/health walk a few days ago.  The photo itself isn’t all that funny, although its lack of any sort of location information for the advertised fair is amusing.  What makes it entertaining is that it was found just outside a pile of rubble that clearly used to be a Burger King (the sign is still standing), recently demolished in order to be rebuilt and modernized.  I snapped the picture and chuckled to myself at the thought of the world’s laziest health fair: no tables, no doctors, no nutritionists, and no poorly photocopied recipe cards.  The simple, temporary unavailability of Whoppers and onion rings is enough in and of itself; no need to get out of bed or anything.

Like I said, I spotted this sign while out on my daily exercise/health walk.  I’ve always enjoyed walking, but it’s something I’ve really upped the ante on in the past week or two, for the usual half-vain, half-noble reasons.  On the vain end of things, I’d like to be a little less plump than what you see in that subway photo on the right side of this here blog thing by the time summer rolls around.  More seriously, I know myself.  I know I’m not the kind of guy who’s ever going to want to be in a position where I’ve got to give up cheeseburgers forever.  I’m also not the kind of guy who’s ever going to want to eat nothing but chicken and rice for the rest of my days.  I’m no foodie, nor do I have the worst diet ever, but I do truly enjoy my occasional burger/wings/pizza/etc. indulgences.  I’d like to continue to enjoy them for many years to come, and if exercising with greater discipline is the way to do that, the exchange is absolutely fair.

The fact that I am a bit plumper than I’d prefer to be is nobody’s fault but mine.  I’m angered no end by these supposed health advocates who constantly whine that fast food should be illegalized/heavily taxed for the so-called good of the people.  This is absolute hogwash: self-discipline should instead be encouraged for the good of the people, and the vast majority of the people who understand the concept of moderation should not be treated like children because a hedonistic few can’t seem to take responsibility for their own choices.  I’m not the world’s most seasoned traveler, but in my time spent ramblin’ around this bright green ball I’ve yet to come across a fast food joint that employed an armed doorman.  As I’ve said before in these digital pages, I’m all about choice.  If you choose to subsist on nothing but fast food, you have every right to do so, provided that you are honest about the predictable outcome of such a diet.  Your famous last words need to be “I made myself fat”, not “McDonald’s made me fat.”  McDonald’s makes hamburgers; how many of them you choose to buy and eat (should you choose to do so at all) is entirely your call.

Worse yet was the woman I caught on one of those Nightline-type programs a month or two ago, who prattled on at great length about how Happy Meals should be outlawed.  Why, you ask?  Well, because it’s just impossible for her to tell her children they can’t have them, and thus her children have gotten fat.  I could literally feel my blood pressure rise as they trotted out some alleged expert to explain why this Mother of the Year candidate was absolutely correct.  I’m sorry, but this is the land of the free, is it not?  Then you explain to me why a legally operating corporation should have to discontinue one of their most enduring promotions simply because this one woman – and, likely, plenty more just like her – can’t be bothered to be a good enough parent to tell her children “no.”  The fact that people like this woman are somehow seen as morally conscious crusaders rather than becoming the subject of Child Services’ interest is completely astounding to me.  It’s the end result of mommies and daddies who want to be more of a friend than an authority figure to their children, an attitude that has proven far more damaging to our society than a few extra McDoubles ever could.  It’s narcissism writ large: “I don’t want to be mean to my kids, so you need to do it for me!  And screw all of you who’ve managed to succeed where I’ve failed and thusly don’t require governmental intervention: the rules should all be written to benefit me, me, ME!”

Over in clich√© land, it’s said that revolution begins at home.  Fair enough, then: my name is Will.  Since I don’t eat a perfect diet, and I haven’t been blessed with a speed-freak’s metabolism, I need to exercise with more discipline than I sometimes do in order to balance my scales, health-wise.  As I’m writing this, I see that the sun is going down; soon, it’ll be time for my nightly walk, the one that takes me past the Burger King site near which the sign pictured above was spotted.  Even if the Burger King were currently open for business, I wouldn’t be ducking in because that would be counterproductive to my goals…

…and because I’m really more of a Five Guys fan anyway.  After all, what’s the point of indulging if you don’t have standards?

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