The Fight Against Fast Food

I went to college at Fordham University in the Bronx. To people who don’t know much about New York, the first thing that happens when I mention this fact is that they say I must be tough since I’m from the BX.

Unbeknownst to them though, Fordham is one of the most preppiest and upper middle class schools in America and even though it’s situated in the Bronx, there’s a fence that keeps anyone out who doesn’t have an ID.

Fordham kids might be tough in their own way but most of us are also very privileged.

It would be unfair to say we didn’t care about issues affecting the Bronx. Over half of my classes and activities centered on volunteering and ending suffering. I never could say I understood the suffering though no matter how hard I tried to.

One such issue that I thought about a lot was the concept of ‘the food desert’. This meant that the accessibility to people in the Bronx to fresh produce and healthy foods were slim to none. It was a concept I could vaguely wrap my head around. Outside of Arthur Ave and Little Italy, it was easy to see that the only options were bodegas unless you wanted to ride the subway system for over 30 mins. That’s not that big of a deal in the car but being someone who enjoyed trekking all the way to Manhattan (an hour subway commute one way) I understood why toting bags back and forth wasn’t ideal.

Especially after working.

It’s funny because I know I’m still very privileged if not more so. I’m living on an officer salary without any dependents and I have little debt (thanks to the Army).

Yet, I eat fast food about four times a week and while I don’t know if I’m officially living in a ‘food desert’ I’m starting to understand how working and giving limited options can affect a person.

If I don’t shop on the weekends, I won’t be shopping that week. I get out of work and the grocery stores are closed. I could go to Walmart but at 7PM after working all day and really hungry, that drive into town isn’t ideal.

fast food

On my way home I pass a McDonald’s, Hardee’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, and something called Diego’s Burrito Bar.

I only live eight minutes away from work.

It’s crazy too because I was showing habits of lazily just buying food instead of preparing it in college but underneath my dorm was a restaurant called Cosi which sold things like tomato mozzarella and basil sandwiches and since it was in my dorm, only college students ate there. It was my go to.

Now that my go to is Taco Bell, I’m starting to get really nervous about my eating habits not because of weight gain or anything like that, but just performing physically and staying healthy.

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Yoga for Lent

Going to a Catholic college, it was made clear when it was Lent. When I relied on the food services, huge signs were posted on the every surface of the cafeteria reminding me it was Lent and do not eat this and that and if you must eat on Friday…here’s some salad.

It was nice though because it gave me time to prepare what I wanted to do for Lent and it was also part of normal conversation throughout the day so you could hear what other people were going to be giving up.

One of my friends gave up French fries.

What a hero.

Another went to church everyday.

I’ve had various stints with Lent whether it was to eat healthier or to be more outgoing. Once, during a time when I wasn’t going out much, I even made it a point to drink more because I kept turning down night time hangout sessions with friends.

This year, I think I need something more stress relieving.

Since I’m new in town and not many females to hang out with and work causing stress, I’ve been getting a lot of restless sleep and just being tired a lot of the time.

A lot of signs point to me being stressed.

For Lent, I think yoga will help me while also making it a point to reflect on some scripture while doing it. I realize I lack space and moments to really sit down and say, what I’m doing in my life is okay and it’s okay to make mistakes.

Even if I can’t get over the mistakes I made throughout the day, having a chance to calm down after might still be enough to put my mind at ease so I can at least sleep a little bit.

To motivate me I want to post photos of Instagram of me doing fun poses like a lot of my stylish friends do. Hey, everyone’s got their thing!

This will be good for me… during the day I also get so tensed up that at night my back and shoulders hurt.

Good news is this must be some sort of workout and my back muscles must be super nice and defined?