Haunted by the McDevil

I’m at McDonalds for the first time wearing my new, slimmer, 105 pounds lighter body. There are two orders of Chicken McNuggets on the table in front of me, but I’m not here to eat. I’m just sipping a lousy cup of coffee.

The food is for my kids. Ari and I picked Annie up at Kung Fu a few minutes ago (she earned her blue belt the other night), and they begged for their occasional allotment of crappy junk food. We don’t make a big deal of it, but we don’t take them here often. No need to get them hooked, let alone feed my addiction. I’ve been clean for nine months.

I hate seeing my kids eat this highly processed, nutritionally dubious crap. It’s not food. It’s dreck, loaded with fat and useless calories, and a chemically-created, synthetic taste designed to create psychological cravings that empty wallets and grow sales. My children love it.

I guess in moderation it can’t hurt. I was never able to eat McDonalds moderately. A light snack was two Big Macs, a dozen McNuggets with mustard sauce, a supersize fries and a giant, orange-flavored sugary drink. Even more at mealtimes. Supersize Mike.

I honestly can’t believe I’m here. I swore McDonald’s off months before my gastric bypass. The old cravings kicked in as soon as the door opened, with the first whiff of rancid cooking oil. You can almost see the sheen of grease hanging in the air. It instantly coats your body, your clothes, your hair. I can see the sheen floating in my coffee, which has an oddly fatty taste. The food smells terrible. It’s gross. It’s delicious.

There’s lots of families here enjoying their ‘food.’ I’m not going to say they are all fat, but some are. Kids are smiling, Happy Meal toys held tight in their ketchupy fingers. Parents look relaxed. They’re getting a break from the fighting and whining, while the kids eat their McFat. They don’t know that they are all being seduced by the devil. The McDevil.

I’m not relaxed. I want outta here. Hurry up Ari, Anna – eat those McNuggets so we can leave. I’m gonna be sick.

The Man In The (not so big) Gray Flannel Suit

I threw out my entire wardrobe last week. Everything except my socks and shoes. It was so strange to let all my fat stuff go. I hadn’t worn most of it in months, and never wanted to again. But I had a lot of money invested in those clothes, and tossing it all in the donate pile felt like such a waste.

For kicks, I tried on an almost new, size 54 suit coat. To say I was swimming inside it is an understatement. It was a really nice, made-to-measure, gray flannel number, with unstylish double vents in the back and two pairs of matching pants. Perfect for a fat guy, and it wasn’t cheap. In fact, it was the only suit I owned that wasn’t off-the-rack from Rochester Big and Tall. I was blown away by the outsize fit. Part of me can’t believe I actually once filled it up.

I hope it’ll make someone who needs it very happy.

I don’t have much hanging in my closet right now. I bought four shirts from J. Crew and a few from a cheap discount place. Most are extra large, but two are just large. I’ve got two pairs of Levis, size 38, and a pair of khaki pants, no pleats. The sport coat I bought in September is gone, along with some chinos I was using earlier this fall.

I also picked up some exercise clothes, which I’ve been living in, and not just for exercising. There’s something about my new Under Armour thermal running shirt that says ‘fitness’ to me, and it makes me feel good to wear it.

Next up, after the new year, will probably be a new suit, gray flannel too, but designer stylish this time.