Eat only McDonald’s for a month…and run a marathon? One woman’s crazy challenge.

Here is a fascinating article… For your Sunday enjoyment.

You’d think after “Supersize Me”, nobody would ever attempt a month-long McDonalds-only diet again. But Big Macs make people do crazy things. Again. And again.

The latest to try the Morgan Spurlock meal plan is Emily Strunk-Helm, a 36-year-old Arizona native with a self-described “passion” for the golden arches. Here’s the hitch: she’s also training for a marathon.

On September 8th, she began a 31-day rigorous runner’s regimen in preparation for the Long Beach Marathon on October 9th. For fuel, she’s eating only off the McDonald’s menu, “especially my favorites — Cheeseburgers, Chicken Nuggets and French Fries,” she writes on her blog, appropriately titled McRunnerette.

The reason she’s putting herself through this is noble; she’s hoping to raise $10,000 for the Ronald McDonald house. So far she’s got about $2,300 so she’s a long way from her goal (help her out here) and the stakes are high.

Only one person has accomplished this bizarre and counterintuitive feat. Chicago-area athelete Joe “McRunner” D’Amico finished the Los Angeles Marathon in 28th place after his 30-day McD’s challenge in March.

Helm is following his regimen, allowing bottled water and energy supplements as the only sustenance outside of fast food. She doesn’t plan to beat his under-3 hour time, but she will break his record. McRunnerette has added an extra day to her eating regimen.

So far, her training hasn’t been easy. After the first day of fast food and a five mile run, she got sick. “How does one get a cold in the middle of summer?” she wrote in her training log. Aside from the cold which forced her to skip a few days of training, she’s fielding another big problem.

“My stomach was growling a few times during the day,” she writes. “I think the hardest part of this challenge will be making it to McDonalds enough times during the day to satisfy my hunger.”  While the menu items offer a lot of calories, they don’t satiate for long.

Here’s a sample of what she’ll eat on an average day:

1 Fruit and Yogurt Parfait
1 Chocolate Chip Cookie
1 Hot and Spicy McChicken Sandwich
1 Small French Fry
2 Large Diet Cokes
1 Large Vanilla Cone
1 Crispy Chicken Ranch Wrap
1 Medium French Fry
1 Apple Pie

While she’s getting the high-carolie diet required for training, she’s also getting a lot of extra stuff, like, er, silly putty. And trans fat. Runner’s World health reporter Sally Wadyka warns of the hidden dangers of trans-fat-laden processed foods that athletes think are safe to consume because of their calorie-burning regimen. “[Trans fat] not only increases bad, artery-clogging cholesterol, but also actually lowers levels of the heart-protecting good cholesterol,” she explains.  That means no matter how much you burn, you’re still vulnerable to heart disease. If Spurlock’s heart palpitations, on day 20 of his experiment, are any indication, the side-effects can come on fast.

McRunnerette does have exercise on her side, unlike the “Supersize Me” director. She’s also taking precautions; she’s got a doctor on call to monitor her health during and after the challenge. But she isn’t cutting out the fries.  As of Wednesday she’d already eaten 3 smalls, and 5 mediums.


About scottdworkin

Scott Dworkin is the founder and CEO of Bulldog Finance Group, having established the company in November of 2008. Scott became inspired to create Bulldog Finance Group after witnessing first-hand the demand for a more modern approach to political fundraising for Democrats. To date, Scott has fundraised in over 40 states. Prior to starting Bulldog Finance Group, Scott served as the Deputy Director of the Real People Project for President Obama's Inaugural Committee. From 2005-2008, he worked with over 100 candidate and nonprofit campaigns as a finance consultant and fundraiser. In 2006, Scott served as the chief fundraiser on the Christine Jennings for Congress campaign in Sarasota, FL, in which he helped raise over $1.9 million dollars in fewer than 60 days. Throughout his career, Scott has managed over 200 campaign and finance staffers in the positions of finance director, deputy finance director, events manager and finance assistant. Scott is an innovator and recognized thought leader in political fundraising, having been featured in numerous publications including, Time Magazine, US News & World Report, BusinessWeek and Campaigns & Elections among others. Scott received a BA in Political Science and Sociology at North Carolina State University. In addition to his role at Bulldog Finance Group, Scott currently sits on the board of directors for the DNC’s Gen44, EMILY’s List board of EMPower, and is the Vice Chair, Finance for the Young Democrats of America (YDA). He was named to the Campaign's & Elections Magazine Rising Star class of 2011.
This entry was posted in Food, Interesting article, Upcoming Event, WTF?. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Eat only McDonald’s for a month…and run a marathon? One woman’s crazy challenge.

  1. geezerguy46 says:

    Interesting Post, but I think I would find a better way to raise money for charity.

  2. Seems like a recipe for disaster to me…

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