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Next up on to do list: Eliminate fast food
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Overall this entire “eating healthier and being more active” campaign has been a success.
 I recently found some old clothes in the garage that hadn’t fit me in a while and it was almost like going clothes shopping without actually having to spend any money.
I guess being relatively plain about the clothes that I choose to wear has its advantages – 501s and polo shirts aren’t ever really going to be out of style.
But now I’m on to the next phase of my evolution — eliminating all fast food.
Yes, throughout this process I have at times (or as my wife would say, more often than I should) hit the drive-thru at McDonald’s or Taco Bell because it was easiest thing for me to do at the time.
Sometimes when you’re running around town you don’t always have the option to go home and make a sandwich or a salad, so I’ve been focusing my efforts on making better choices about the selections that I make at the drive-thru window.
Taco Bell has Cantina Bowls that are quite amazing, and the healthy-choice burrito that’s loaded with romaine lettuce is a nice option when I’m running behind at work.
And just about every other fast food restaurant out there has salads you can choose, and with a low-calorie dressing option they’re not terribly bad for you.
I know, I know – its prepackaged food that can’t hold a candle to the fresh vegetables and chicken and smart starches that you can make at home. I get that completely, and I wholeheartedly agree.
There was, however, a dose of familiarity of going through the drive-thru and getting something if it wasn’t the tasty double western bacon cheeseburger that I used to eat almost daily.
I don’t necessarily miss the grease. And I don’t miss having to rush home and douse my button-down with OxiClean because I don’t want the grease spot to settle into the fabric. Nobody has time for that.
So now it’s time to be the guy who brings his lunch with him to work.
I don’t necessarily have anything against doing that, but being single for so many years meant I didn’t have to be accountable for my spending or for my diet. That’s different now, and I’m honestly looking forward to meal-planning for the week no matter how many years I gave my father a hard time growing up about walking out the door with his lunchbox every day.
“They have a cafeteria at work – why don’t you just eat there?” I would ask.
“Because son – it’s too expensive.”
Put that one on the “should have listened to dad’s lesson about a decade ago” shelf with all of the other nuggets of truth that I had to learn the hard way.
I figure, conservatively, that if I would have adopted his ways a little bit earlier I could have the best trainer money could buy. Hell – I could probably hire a chef or a nutritionist to plan all of my meals for me.
Wouldn’t that be something?
But, now I just have to be smarter than I was before. It’s not going to be easy, but then again – neither is eating ramen for three days at my age because I ran out of money eating every meal out instead of thinking about what I was going to do before I did it.
And that’s a whole lot easier than trying to find clothes that fit when you’re pushing 350 pounds.
I don’t want to go back there, and while I may bemoan the blandness of making your own meals every day, the regular sleep patterns and energy and hopefully life-extension that comes from being smart will more than worth it.
There’s always Tapatio.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email jcampbell@mantecabulletin.com or call 209.249.3544.