But there isn't much more happy to me than spending a day out playing with the kids and grabbing a nice, easy, peaceful meal that all of them will eat-no meal prep, no intense last-minute shopping, no worrying about giant clean-up of dishes and pans.
It's fast food, but it really is a kind of happy.
For the kids, too, not just because they think the food is a special treat, but that their parents are less stressed with dinner taken care of. And eating at the establishment also creates nice memories, and we do try to squeeze that in.
Being plus-sized, I'm still not interested in what anyone has to say about us enjoying that (and, yes, everyone else in our family is a healthy weight, it's just me, and it has been from birth).
We have days where I can make a whole wheat veggie pizza, or salad with baked chicken breasts, or vegetarian quesadillas with avocado. But that's not every day.
One thing about chronic illness is we over-do it on normal everyday stuff. You use everything you have taking the kids on an outing to a park, or museum or the beach and you have so little left for intense tasks like cooking from scratch that it becomes physically painful.
No. Thank you.
With whatever time I have left, I will absolutely cherish that fast food happy. I'll order the vegetables with my burger, but rest assured, I am super happy.
Because some days you have to trade the homecooked stuff for time and energy to be with the people you love and do what you love.
I found a series on Amazon Prime called "Fast Food Mania" and I swear to you the technology used in your favorite food joint is downright impressive, and most people's attitude toward customer service is quite lovely.
That's wonderful considering many times what these cooks do is undervalued (Anyone that makes it so that I can feed my family decent food without being stressed or in pain needs a pay raise and a personal thank you) and we try to frequent places where the workers are taken care of well.
I think, like everything taken in stride, that guilty pleasure food is a working part of a complete life. A good life.
It's definitely a fast happy, especially here in Texas where we have some cult-like followings of great fast food chains.
One of the most striking things on the "Fast Food Mania" series was seeing an elderly couple be named the biggest Whataburger fans for eating at the most restaurants. They looked smiling and lively, which is not the picture anyone who demonizes easy access food ever paints. That's a lovely adventure, in my opinion, just destination after destination of fast happy and good food at an older age.
I asked my husband if we could do something like that when we were older-or however close to older I can get. He said we could do a Texas tour of something, but not fast food.
He probably has a point.
While I don't think fast food deserves to be portrayed as the devil, I'm not the shape needed to process eating out anywhere that often. Maybe we can visit all the nature centers. Or state parks. Or art museums in Texas. And probably stop to eat at a few awesome fast food joints on the way.