Update on the SOFF Challenge

by Roxanne C.

It was quite a few months back when I decided that I’d had enough of fast food. The sinful instant gratification of soft, deep fried potatoes and satisfaction of insatiable hunger, all of that in a comfortable air-conditioned environment and with comfy seats, preferably cushioned and facing away from the walls. Sinful, because not only was I chomping down on pink slime (may be irrelevant now or in the future) and food that never decomposes, I was also drowning in soda and huge waves of reused oil.




Yummy or not?


The main reason I could tell fast food wasn’t doing me any favours was the periods of breakouts I would have after I’ve had a couple of quick meals. It happened all the time without fail. My digestive system and daily green tea intake just couldn’t keep up with it. Thus arrived the SOFF Challenge – Stave off Fast Food Challenge – in October 2011. My initial aim was to completely ban fast food in my life by May 2012. Did I succeed?


Yes and no. Let me explain. I considered -and still do – only the main bigwigs fast food. Those are the ones that everybody knows. MacDonalds, KFC, Burger King, Wendy’s, Carl’s Junior. Well, those are the ones in Singapore anyway. If I were in the States, I’d have considered White Castle and In and Out as fast food too. And if I were still in France, Quick would have been my Achilles heel. That’s where some people will call foul. MOS Burger and Subway weren’t fast food to me. Firstly because MOS has got wasabi mayonnaise (how awesome is that) and I always only eat their fish burger meal when I go there. Secondly, Subway allows me to choose the ingredients in my sandwich and I can decide the type of stuff I put in it. In my opinion, these two are healthier options than the others.


With that in mind, I’ll divulge that I’ve only caved in thrice since the start of the challenge till the time this entry is published. To me, that’s quite an accomplishment, especially since I indulged in fast food almost twice a week prior to this! Excuses like me being too busy to make time for meals suddenly seemed like feathers flying against a metal shield. They held no substance and even I wasn’t buying them anymore.


I’m pretty glad I manage to hold out for so long. If you really want to know, I guess I can safely say I ate at MOS Burger maybe also thrice and Subway twice since October last year. That’s still nothing compared to my past self. McDees and KFC were the hardest for me to kick because I used to eat there the most. I mean, chicken burgers and cheese fries are so yummy! If I were starving right now and someone gave them to me for free, I would still probably gobble them up straight away! The last time I had some Wendy’s was in the summer of 2007 and I’ve never stepped into a Carl’s Junior joint. Ever. I know, I know. As for BK, well, I never really liked their fries and fries to me are always either a make-or-break.


So I didn’t manage to completely stave off fast food but I did succeed in cutting down a whole lot. I’d say the challenge has been a success! The most obvious pointer has got to be that the smell of fast food now puts me off. I’ve managed to stay away from it so much that it smells bad to me now. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it smells like sewage but it veers towards that direction and it isn’t nice. I think now I understand why monks and some hardcore vegetarians find meat on a platter stinky. I also think I now understand how constant exposure to certain foods lead one to get used to it. Foods like blue cheese, pig’s intestines and foie gras.


Maintaining my current stance on fast food is integral in continuing on the path of healthy living. I just need to find out if I’ll ever get used to all of French cuisine.





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Image credits: Healthy Fast Food