This week’s challenge was the most difficult and life-changing challenge I’ve ever done. The point was to eat fast/processed food for one week and record not only the physical effects, but the mental/emotional effects as well. I began this challenge on Feb. 4 and ended on Feb. 11. I started out with a happy attitude, clear skin and an optimistic mindset.

Author’s Note: Breakfast was excluded because I normally sleep in late enough to where it’s almost lunchtime. Sometimes lunch/dinner was skipped due to stress or not being hungry. Unless stated otherwise, every meal was consumed with water.

Day One

On day one, I had the four finger plate with extra fries and water from Zaxby’s for lunch and then a veggie bowl from Chipotle for dinner with a five hour interval between each meal. By the end of the day, I felt kind of tired, but still capable of performing physical tasks/exercise. In total, I spent $16.05.

Day Two

Day two was a day filled with a LOT of carbs. For lunch, I ordered a medium Hook-and-Ladder sandwich with salt-n-vinegar chips from Firehouse Subs, costing $7.00. A few hours later, I ordered an eight-inch Country Club sandwich with barbeque chips from Jimmy John’s, costing $8.26. Today’s total was $15.26. Throughout the day, I felt like I always needed to be on the move.

Day Three

On day three I felt a little off. Drowsiness seemed to be the main theme throughout the day. For lunch and dinner, I had a cajun chicken filet sandwich with medium bo-rounds and a bo-berry biscuit from Bojangles, costing $8.18. At this point, I began to notice pimples forming on my face. Mentally, I felt a little unmotivated to do things (more than I normally do anyways). I also noticed how I was starting to stay up late and get very little sleep.

Day Four

On day four, I still felt more drowsy than usual. I had a Cuban sandwich for dinner with salt-n-vinegar chips from Publix, costing $7.05. Similar to day three, I had a hard time going to sleep, and my face broke out even more. This is about the time I felt a mental/emotional decline. I was feeling slightly depressed and wasn’t motivated to do anything. Trying to sleep was extremely difficult. I had to drink Zzzquil in order to fall asleep.

Day Five

On day five, I had another Publix Cuban sandwich and Thin Mints coffee from Dunkin Donuts, costing $6.16, for dinner. My mental/emotional state was declining fast; I felt extremely depressed and antisocial. It was like nothing could make me happy, smile or laugh. I began to stay up even later than usual and, again, relying on Zzzquil to help me sleep. My face had broken out even more and my skin became very dry regardless of how much moisturizer I put on.

Day Six

On day six, I had a box combo with extra fries, chicken fingers and lemonade from Raising Cane’s for dinner, costing a total of $10.88. Like day four and five, I was mentally distressed to the point I purposefully wanted to skip all of my classes and stay in bed all day. I was having some rather worrisome thoughts and ever changing emotions. My skin was dry and flaky by this point, regardless of how much I exfoliated and moisturized my skin. I also noticed that my hair was losing it natural shine. This was the third day I used Zzzquil to help me fall asleep.

Day Seven

Finally, day seven was the most bittersweet day. I wrapped up the challenge by eating spinach artichoke dip, boom-boom shrimp and mild wings from Beef O’ Brady’s, totaling $34.50 (due to the fact I ordered this from BiteSquad). I was still feeling depressed but the fact I was on my last day made me feel a little bit better. My skin and hair still had some problems with moisturizer. I also noticed that by the end of this challenge, I lost some weight in certain parts of my body.

Overall, this challenge was really hard to do. Not only was the challenge physically bothersome, but my mental/emotional health and finances were in jeopardy. For this challenge, I spent a total of $106.88. After receiving some scolding words from my mom, I’ve learned that spending money on fast/processed food is not the way to live. College students aren’t given a lot of food choices, we need to be conscious of the effects of constantly buying fast/processed food without realizing how much money is being wasted. I would not recommend anyone do this challenge unless they’re sure it will not compromise their health in any way. While this challenge was (semi) fun to do, it was mentally, emotionally and financially draining.

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