Why So Many Cars in the Drive-thru?

drive thruLast week, I went to a bank in a nearby shopping center. This shopping center was no different than any other in that there were a few fast food restaurants, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Chik-Fil-A.  After I finished my business at the bank, my body let me know that it was time to eat. Since Chik-Fil-A is the fastest food that I eat, I decided to stop. In case you’re wondering… I had a grilled chicken sandwich, a fruit cup, and a bottle of water. As I was leaving, my attention was directed to the drive-thru. That’s when the question popped into my head “Why are there so many cars in the drive-thru?” I decided to count them as I exited the parking lot. There were eleven cars in the drive-thru at Chik-fil-A, eight cars at McDonalds, and six at Wendy’s.

This is probably what the person that invented the drive-thru envisioned, lots of people sitting in their cars taking advantage of the convenience of the drive-thru window idea. But, has life become too convenient? I saw a comedian on TV that recently adopted an active/healthy lifestyle – and with great success. He referred to it as living a life of inconvenience. He has to workout and he has to make an effort to eat correctly, and it is very inconvenient.  He wasn’t being negative, but he was simply pointing out that his new lifestyle took a little more effort on his part. Unfortunately, this effort is being wasted by so many – like the 25 people I saw in the drive-thru. They were sitting waiting for high calorie food to be handed to them. They would have burned a few calories had they decided to walk into the fast food joints.

Yes, leading an active lifestyle requires a bit more effort, but trust me… your health is worth the added effort. What you gain from the extra effort is awareness. You become aware that society is trying so desperately to take the "work" out of living.  Fast food restaurants are not the only places that you find a drive-thru window. From pharmacies to liquor stores, where there is a drive-thru, there is a line of cars waiting. There are one-box meals, pre-cooked meals in grocery stores, and everything comes in an “instant” version. It’s no wonder why taking the time to prepare a healthy meal is so inconvenient.

So why are there so many cars in the drive-thru? They are there because it requires no extra effort. It's easier than walking. We are living in a "microwave society" - where everyone wants everything to be quick and easy, including weight loss.  Lose weight without exercise, eat all you want and still lose weight, fat burning--there are no magic pills! Surprisingly, I saw the results of a survey that pleased me. People were asked if there were a magic pill, would they still exercise. About 67% said yes. I like those results. It shows me that there is hope.

Unfortunately, all this convenience comes at a very high cost – your health. Yes, saving time is important, but not at the expense of your health. The time you save now will be spent later with trips to the doctor and high medical bills (remembering that pharmacies also have a drive-thru). The convenience continues even after your health problems start. So, let’s take the time to inconvenience ourselves. How?

Here are a few ways:

  • I’m not advocating eating fast food, but if you do – avoid the drive-thru. Get out of your car, and walk inside to purchase your food.
  • Schedule your workouts at the same times and days so that it becomes a part of your weekly routine. Taking exercise classes at set times or hiring a trainer can help you adhere to your schedule.Whether you’re at the mall or going to work, park far away from the building on purpose.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
  • When you’re at work, use the restroom that is farthest away from your desk.
  • Make the time to prepare meals with fresh ingredients. It will taste better, and it will be better for you. Make extra and take the leftovers as lunch at work or school.

David E. Cox, ACE-CPT, is a personal trainer that has dedicated his life to helping to improve the lives of others through exercise and healthy living. He is owner of Positive Vibes Fitness in Severn, MD where we educates, motivates, and inspires people from all walks of life. Be sure and sign up for his monthly eNewsletter, The Vibe, at www.positivevibesfitness.com

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