So as the end of the year approaches it seems that I will successfully live out my promise not to eat at McDonald's this year.
The odds were against me from the very beginning. Last year I ate quite a bit of McDonald's food, but I was living in South Korea at the time, and it was one of the few places I could get a quick taste of North American life. We also spent the first two months of the year living out of suitcases and travelling around quite a bit. The number of convenient locations across Canada was almost my undoing too as we drove around, often looking for cheap and convenient food options. Some could be convinced by the movie "Supersize Me", but I ate at the golden arches the day after watching that documentary.
General health was a motivator, as was wanting to test the power of my sheer willpower. I also have an abnormally high number of lipomas, fat lumps under the skin that are often caused by the bodies inability to process synthetic oils. Since fast food chains often use these cheaper oils I thought i would do myself a favour by avoiding these restaurants. My doctor later informed me that in all likelihood those lipomas develop because of a genetic predisposition, not because of diet. That could have derailed my plan right there too, but I still avoided any urges.
I have a wife who hates McDonald's and we have a shared budget, so it was partly a commitment to her and partly a commitment to myself that she helped me carry out.
At this point though, I succeed, not because I overcome the urges that develop, but because those urges have almost entirely dissipated because I have been removed from that routine for so long.
This year I'm expanding my fast food resolution to include a few other chains (after a week of allowing myself to indulge but that doesn't fit my spiritual metaphor, so it's hardly worth noting). I'm also hoping to be as successful with a more spiritual resolution.
I am inviting my congregation this year to read the Bible with me. We're following a chronological schedule here. Having read through the Bible in one year a few times before, it's surprising how similar that is to other resolutions I've made. The first weeks are filled with a sense of conviction and excitement at being able to do what you've set out to do. Then the months pass and Leviticus and Numbers prove to be much less interesting and spiritually fulfilling than the first two books. But if there is enough support, enough ongoing benefit, and maybe even a little luck, it can last the whole year.