It finally happened.

Last week, driving home from a playdate, with Kieran and Teyla in tow, lunchtime imminent, I couldn't find a single drive-thru restaurant that sounded good to me.

Culver's. McDonald's. Pizza Hut. Even Chick-fil-A.

(Oh wait. We don't have CFA. We eat heathen chicken. Never mind.)

They all sounded like junk. None of them tempted my palate. Not even the thought of a crispy, hot, salted French fry. Not even the siren call of a chocolate peanut butter malt. Not even my formerly beloved McChicken, which has sustained me through many a first trimester.

It no longer tempted me. I drove home and ate strawberries and yogurt for lunch.

It's a turning point, this. I have been been on a real food kick for a couple of years now. Slowly but steadily, I've cut junk food out of my diet. I replaced refined carbs with whole grain options. I stopped buying preprocessed stuff (except for Trader Joe's, because they do an amazing job of keeping even their preprocessed options fairly healthy). I buy free-range eggs and organic milk and grass-fed beef. I allow myself only one small treat a day, and even that is usually a square of dark chocolate or a slice of fruit pie.

My taste buds have finally caught up to my brain. I just don't enjoy the old stuff anymore. It isn't even hard to resist.

I've changed. Not only my habits, but my desires.

That, friends, it's true transformation.

It's something I've been thinking about lately, thanks to a post on failed New Year's resolutions from my friend Laura Parker. We are at that point in the year when so many of our bright and shiny intentions are battered and bruised. We aren't going to bed earlier. We aren't exercising much, unless you count that one week we made it to the gym and that time we chased the toddler in the Target parking lot. The only weight we've lost is from that bought with the flu. It's discouraging, especially for a optimist like me.

What I'm learning is this: True, lasting, deep change is hard. As I commented on Laura's post, it's like herding cats or swimming through Jell-O. Or both. At the same time. I think this is especially true the older we get. Our brains are wired now. It takes tremendous energy to get our synapses to move in a new direction. Habits are grooved into our gray matter, quite literally. Teaching ourselves new ways of coping, new methods of living takes time and slow-and-steady reinforcement. For most of us, change isn't overnight. We don't wake up one morning and - bam - we're different. 

But. Driving by McDonald's the other day, without even the slightest urge to turn in, I realized: Change is possible.

It's possible.

Don't give up.

Now, let's talk about my resolution to start working out again.


  1. My girl was a bit horrified to discover this was true in her life. She has always ADORED Chick-fil-A. But we haven't eaten there in quite a while, and we've tended more toward Subway if we do need to grab something quick. One day recently I did take her to CFA and she got her usual - and discovered that the fried foods bothered her stomach. She was a bit perturbed to find out that her favorite had fallen from its pedestal! LOL

    1. I have to admit, Linda: I was a bit sad at the realization as well. McDonald's is reminder of my childhood. I think I ate there as an adult more out of loyalty and nostalgia than anything. Now that my tastebuds have changed, and I can recognize how sick fast food make me feel? Any remaining enjoyment is gone.

      This doesn't mean I won't stop in the summer for the occasional strawberry lemonade or that I won't let my kids ever have a Happy Meal again. It just means: I've changed. At my age, that's worth celebrating.

  2. We haven't made a ton of changes in how/what we eat, but I am increasingly tired of the fast food options. As a family we didn't eat a ton anyway, although I had a tendency to eat it for lunch myself. But like you, it just doesn't appeal most of the time. I'm not totally off it, but I'm getting closer. Except I will always go to Sonic for unsweet iced tea. ;) I have the exercise part down, just need to continue to work on food. Changing what we eat at home is so overwhelming.

    1. We should join forces, Nicole. I'm horrible about exercising. Wonder twins, activate!