Being a relatively recent graduate of college life, some lifestyle habits of mine from that era of my life have yet to entirely dissipate despite my current responsibilities as a young professional and a well-balanced adult. I still go to bed incredibly late. My spare time usually consists of Netflix binges and karaoke outings. A regular laundry schedule? Not in a million years (okay, I have grown up on that a little).
But if there’s ever been a constant that will never die, it’s the fuel of the gods known as fast food. As an overworked undergrad, junk food was what got me through all those late night cram sessions, essay writings, school lab shifts and academia-induced nervous breakdowns. Burger King, White Castle, McDonald’s, Popeye’s: they all kept me sane as I toiled away in my 25/8 student schedule.
However, my greatest love in the realm of guilty pleasure garbage sustenance was Taco Bell. Yes, it’s not “real” Mexican food. It’s not “real” Tex-Mex food. Chemically speaking, it’s probably not even food to begin with. But I don’t care. And that love carried over well beyond graduation to the point of clinical psychosis.
Which brings me to late February. I’ve recently been trying to get in better shape, and thanks to a monetary bet with friends, I managed to lose 12 pounds in four weeks by way of healthy eating and a serious daily exercise regimen. At the end of the four week diet in mid-March, I was both proud and surprised that managed to lose over 5 percent of my body weight in such a relatively short period. It was a massive display of discipline and patience on my part, and I thought to myself, “Hey, if I can do this in four weeks, imagine where this kind of diet would take me in four months!”
But then, the unthinkable happened. Literally five days after my diet ended, Taco Bell rolled out its long-awaited breakfast menu. My life was over.
Waffle Taco. Just saying those two words consecutively would liquidate the brains of every likeminded twentysomething undergrad and post-grad around the nation. Frankly, it was a brilliant move on the Bell’s part, and would more than likely corner the market of people who like their waffles, sausage patties, and eggs in the unforeseen form of a taco. Genius. Diabolical. Delicious.
So, when Thursday, March 27 arrived, and because I completely lack restraint or self-respect, I headed straight to the Taco Bell mere blocks away from my office before work. It was just as I expected: a taco, with a hint of waffle. It was love at first bite. Hook, line and sinker, man.
The following day, I decided to pay my respects with a second morning visit, this time trying their A.M. Crunchwrap, which is basically a hashbrown on top of a sausage on top of eggs, wrapped in a tortilla breading and seasoned with the American Dream and possible intestinal difficulties. After trying this scrumptious work of Satan himself, I convinced a co-worker to head over to the Bell and try their menu for himself. He mentioned that it was probably the first time he ever went to Taco Bell sober (a valid perspective), but the damage was done. I opened Pandora’s Box. Hell on Earth. The Tacopocalypse.
Luckily, that nagging sense of nutritional responsibility that I adopted during my diet stuck around, and I made a solemn vow to exercise moderation when it came to the temptation of fast food breakfast. But it’s nice to spoil yourself sometimes, and we should all keep that in mind. You’re never too young to do something that you’ll regret in the short-term.