Do You Want Fries With That?

I was introduced to McDonald’s in 1997 when my parents made regular trips from Allentown to New York City. (My 4-year-old brother had a role as Tam in the Broadway musical Miss Saigon. #HumbleBrag) My dad always ordered a Big Mac for me, which became my favorite thing to eat. Pretty sure he just wanted to see if a tiny 6-year-old was capable of consuming such a large burger. Turns out… I was.

We moved to Sacramento the following year, and my dad introduced me and my brothers to Happy Meals. Naturally, we got excited about the toys, especially anything Disney or Pokémon. One day, my dad came home with all the toys in a set and claimed he had eaten all those Happy Meals to get it. Being a gullible kid at the time, I believed him and instantly felt sick to my stomach.

As an adult, I know he probably paid to get those extra toys, but I’ve never stopped reliving that feeling of being sick to my stomach. It changed my relationship with food forever and guarded me against any temptation of overeating. I’ve talked to my therapist about this recurring memory, but there’s no insightful “so what?” It’s just invasive. I’m hoping that this blog post will stop that train of thought once and for all. We shall see.

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