Sometimes I Like It Fast And Cheap

by The Writer

Where is the Value in a $3.99 Meal?

Most of what is said about the fast food industry is negative yet, it continues to thrive.  I’ve noticed a shift towards more health conscious options, but the stain of yesteryear remains.  The food never looks as mouth-watering as the picture, the portions are out of control, and the taste isn’t anything to blog about.  With the exception of Jared the Subway guy, fast food is usually kept as a secret shame by most.  I find more people proudly declaring ‘the last time I ate at McDonald’s was…’, and of course the longer the time span, the better.  Due to the lack of real nutritious value in modestly priced value meals, I would assume the implied ‘value’ is time.

We all value time and think about it differently, which I suppose is how we can justify giving into the enticing $3.99 meal– It’s cheap and fast!  Nowadays there isn’t enough time to prepare a home-cooked meal, and sometimes I’m too lazy to count calories, or sometimes the thought of a delicious Burger King Whopper with cheese is too overwhelming to pass up– Sacrifices must be made for instant gratification.  For me, making the shift to a more health conscious lifestyle was and remains to be challenging.  There isn’t enough time, or so I believed.  And that’s where it all began.  Belief.

My core values, had to change. I had to believe differently. Examining what it is in life I valued (health, career, relationships, etc…) and prioritizing them created the time I believed I didn’t have.  Battling the need for instant gratification is challenging.  My damn ‘Jiminy Critic’ is always questioning, ‘is this going to make you feel better now, or later’?  Sometimes I lose because the now is more important, but when the answer is both, then I know I can indulge.  My beliefs and values are the building blocks for ‘who I am’, and changing them, changes how I am perceived by others and myself, while defending them builds and reveals my character.

I find my values to be in line with places I like to eat– I may stray for a tasty burger now and again because there are times where fast and cheap are of the highest priority, but I know over time that will lead to slow (physically) and broke (spiritually).  Like the fast food industry, shedding the old and embracing the new values takes time and constant revision.  Regardless of what fast food places offer as options, their highest value is profit, which may seem like a bad thing, but they’re ‘soulless corporations’, what else could they want?  Because I’m an optimist, I like to think the human equivalent would be abundance.  I believe another high priority is consistency, which is actually quite good, and may account for the reason the fast food industry is able to thrive (also because a lot of folks like things fast, and cheap!)  So I suppose for $3.99 I can’t expect any more value than I’ve paid for.

Now what to do with all that free time?