Confessions of a McDonald’s Addict

I come from a healthy background, as in no dairy, no wheat, no processed foods and no ‘sat fats’. Fast food was considered worse than crack cocaine in my house so when I moved to Dublin, all hell broke loose. It started off as getting a cheeky five euro student meal on O’Connell Street on the journey from Galway to Dublin. It then escalated to frequent trips to any McDonald’s within a 10 mile radius. My roommate and I got the bus to Phibsborough multiple times just for a McDonald’s so you can imagine what happened when I discovered the branch at Omni, which was within walking distance.

I remember needing a McDonald’s so badly after last year’s 24 Hour Broadcast that blood stopped flowing to my fingers. We legged it to Omni only to discover it was closed, which left us with no option other than to walk through the drive through. We sat on the benches outside in the middle of the night, in the freezing cold, all for that beautiful extra saver meal and McFlurry.

I was living the Eat McDonald’s, Sleep, Rave, Repeat lifestyle and loving every minute of it.

My obsession got to the stage where it was interfering with my relationships. One day Andy wrote to me on Tinder ‘’If you were a McDonalds burger you would be a McGorgeous’’ to which I replied ‘’No. I would be a BigMac’’. Needless to say we unmatched.

I think the turning point for me was when I cried outside a closed McDonald’s at the start of summer. It hit me: things had gone too far, but not past the point of no return. I made small changes. Instead of my usual fattening BigMac, I would go in and order a wrap thinking this was the ‘healthy option’. And sure, why not get the fries and large Coke for an extra euro or two? What harm? What is a salty Maccy D’s meal without the refreshing watered down fizzy drink? We’ve all heard the McDonald’s nightmare stories but no one ever really listens. People listen to their taste buds and McDonald’s tastes unreal.

I’ve been clean over two months now. I developed a rehabilitation system for myself. I started by watching every documentary and TV show about McDonald’s and fast food. These shows are horrifying and by the third one I was nauseous and teary eyed. I read articles that revealed the food contains everything from silicone used for contact lenses, to anti-depressants. It’s no wonder one feels so elated after a juicy BigMac.

For me, I don’t see myself going back to my addict ways. I can now sit with friends while they enjoy McDonald’s without feeling the need to get three BigMacs. I can walk past a McDonald’s with a grumbling stomach, hold my head high, inhale and exhale.

Alana Laverty

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