The line at Chick-Fil-A was wrapped around the building, twice. I glanced over at the Taco Bell line next door and there was only 1 car in the drive thru. I had 20 minutes before my next meeting. The hot sauce packets were calling my name.
Then I made the decision. And I spent the rest of the day feeling like a washed up bench player for the Orlando Magic. I felt guilty, sloppy and shamed all at the same time. Plus I was now tired, groggy and slow. This was not going to be an All-Star afternoon at the office.
So why do we this to ourselves? Why do we choose T-Bell over running into Whole Foods and whipping up a salad?
Don’t we know better? I mean, come on, we’re supposed to be the Ambitious!
Apparently not. Back in October 2011, Physiology and Behavior published a study about rats who chose junk food over healthy food when given the choice. Apparently even the rats are brainwashed by slick commercials and food like substances.
I spent the rest of the afternoon thinking, instead of working, and definitely not working out, wanting to know more.
Why the F did I get Taco Bell for lunch instead of grabbing a salad or a low carb burrito bowl (hold the rice from Chipotle?)
Here’s 4 reasons why I made a dumb fast food decision even when I knew it would break my Paleo cooking wife’s heart when she finds the crinkled up receipt:
Life’s not getting any slower. Especially for the ambitious. In fact, the days of separating work from play from your social life are far from having confined barriers.
One meeting bleeds into the next, one phone call ends only for another to begin and when you peek at one email it sucks us into 30 minutes pounding the keyboard to just bang out a few more messages before lunch.
So, instead of a nice, relaxing 60-minutes sitting on the lake with your homemade salmon salad over a bed of leafy greens, here you are, getting in once last email before the car in front of you is done repeating their order.
Apparently my next email needs to be to hire someone to schedule in a real lunch break for tomorrow.
Didn’t you watch Supersize Me? Food Inc.? At least jump on Netflix and check out Fed Up. No matter which fast food hating, sugar is the devil documentary you choose to watch late on a Friday night, you’ll know one thing for sure… food is a drug.
The commercials, the photos and the descriptions with their scrumptious adjectives make food to be something more than it really is… fuel for your ambitions.
Food should be used to help us perform better at the gym, on the court or in the office. Instead, advertisers and big food companies have us feigning for fast food like it’s the 80’s and I’m looking for crack. Sometimes the shame I feel after eating it makes me think I just came out of the back alley to shoot up between meetings.
Look, I’m a dude that loves food. In high school I loved to brag about slamming down 100 wings with a buddy or trying to get my photo on the wall by eating the biggest burger on this side of the Mississippi.
Now that I have to check the 30-35 box on credit card applications, my portions are supposed to slim down and start to be more colorful, but the testosterone in me says that a salad isn’t lunch, it’s a friggin appetizer. That’s why we don’t just want a burger wrapped in lettuce, we want the burger with the bun, the fries and an extra side of nuggets to wash it all done. It is dumb? Yup. Does it make it harder to get that 6-pack back? Yup. But when I want a meal, I want a meal, not an appetizer. Sorry salad.
Ever find yourself checking Facebook or Reddit when you really should be working on that TPS Report? Ever grabbed that tub of ice cream instead of the bag of carrots? Of course, come on! Even the best, most disciplined and ambitious people in the world need tome to check off, goof off and succumb to guilty pleasures. Tim Ferriss even got Tony Robbins to fess up to eating ice cream after his wife called him out saying, “you’ve only got 1 life to live and you’re going to never have an ice cream cone?”
The trick is knowing when to submit to those guilty pleasures. First there’s the cheat day, or the cheat meal, depending on how ambitious your beach season plans are. Then there’s my philosophy of the 80/20. 80% good stuff, 20%, eh, not always the best choices.
So what the heck? If your little heart desires some crunchy tacos and a Chalupa to get to your next meeting with a little hot sauce spilled on your shirt, who cares?
Wait no, you should care. Don’t do it. Put your car in reverse before it’s too late and get that salad. Your roommates will also thank us later.