I was a single mom for a long time before I met my husband and that meant a tight income, working a lot of hours and very little free time. Add to that I pretty much HATE cooking – oh, and I’m not very good at it. So that meant way too many dinners of ordering pizza or going through a drive thru.
My husband, however, was and still is totally into nutrition and fitness. If he was on the phone with me and ever heard me say, “Can I get a #x,” he’d have a mini freak out. Over time, his good nutrition rubbed off on me and, in fact, long before I became a Beachbody coach, I had pretty much completely eliminated fast food from our diets (me and the kids because my husband wasn’t going to eat that stuff no matter what). While I still occasionally have Chick-fil-A, I’m not sure the last time we ate McDonalds or Wendys (Wendys still has a bomb Twitter account though). We’ve had Arbys once in the last year. If we’re on a road trip, we’re much more likely to eat Subway.
But it wasn’t easy! For YEARS we had fast food probably once a week, and more often for me if I include the times I went through a drive thru for lunch. Here were the things I did without even realizing that I was eliminating fast food from our meals. Hopefully, one or two will be helpful for you!
I became accountable to someone
In the beginning, it was my husband who nagged me about how unhealthy and bad for us fast food is. I got to the point where I really didn’t want him to say it again. Instead of hiding food though, I just stopped going there. It wasn’t that he really nagged me all that much either, he is the least controlling person I’ve ever met. But he was right and I didn’t want to have to keep hearing him be right. Now as a coach, I’m accountable to my challengers in my monthly challenge groups. We spend an entire week on nutrition training and keeping track of what we eat. We do that so we can become aware of what we’re putting into our bodies and make a conscious effort to stop eating the bad crap. Writing down your food every day is a real eye opener! Having to tell other people what you ate is a big motivator!
I did the math
Have you ever seen the Autumn Calabrese video where she shows how much it cost her to buy dinner from McDonalds versus how much it costs to make the exact same (but healthier) meal at home? In fact, she had more food left over and spent less money. My husband and I are trying desperately to complete the adoption (he’s working to adopt my kids) and that means I have to be really careful with money – because lawyers are expensive! Things were especially tight when he was sent overseas and we were maintaining two households on limited income. I had to be really careful about money and fast food is truly expensive when you do the math versus cooking dinner for an entire family. I’ve cut about $200 a month (maybe more) from our food budget since we stopped eating fast food.
I focused on my goals
As I was preparing for Mrs. Virginia, I wanted desperately to get rid of that bloated-I-look-6-months-pregnant belly I was carrying around. It didn’t take much research to see what crappy food was doing to my body and it took very little time to get in shape for Mrs. Virginia, and Mrs. America, by changing my nutrition and working out five times a week.
It became inconvenient
When my husband was overseas, the boys and I moved to Arlington, Virginia, so I could be within a few miles of my job in Washington, D.C. A trip to the closest Chick-fil-A at dinnertime was a whopping 45 minutes! Even the closest McDonalds, which was maybe 2-3 miles away, could take a half hour! It became a lot more inconvenient to go anywhere. In fact, that year pretty much curbed my shopping addiction to Target as well because it was a lot of effort to get there!
Dinner time is family time
With two kids and working parents, we have made dinnertime sacred family time. No electronics can be used during this time and everyone sits at the dinner table until dinner is over. This is where the teenager even occasionally tells us about his day! With my husband home and me knowing what I now do about nutrition, it helps a lot! My husband cooks dinner and we all sit together. It’s not quite the same when everyone sits down while you pull cheeseburgers out of a McDonalds bag.