Me and Mickey D: Super Size Me in Reverse

In Uncategorized on November 4, 2007 at 6:42 am

Me and Mickey D: Super Size Me in Reverse 

Eat at McDonalds and Lose Weight

By Antonio Graceffo


In her revolutionary youtube film, “Me and Mickey D,” independent film maker, Soso Whaley, ate nothing but McDonalds for thirty days and lost weight.


While the film gives good advice on nutrition and dieting, it also deals with a number of important social issues. First of all, we all believe what big media tells us, simply because they are big. And second of all, why shouldn’t the little guy, the low budget film maker, also have his or her say? The Declaration of Independence declared that all people are equal. The First Amendment of the Constitution guarantees us freedom of speech. In practice, we you have the right to talk all you want, but Americans listen to Hollywood. By taking advantage of youtube, Soso put the power back in the hands of the people. She made a valid, well researched point, supported by expert interviews, but most importantly, she made the information free and easily available.


Enough soap boxing! Now let’s talk about Big Macs. Let me begin by saying, I love McDonalds. I love fast food. Fried chicken, pizza, Big Macks, Count Chocula, Captain Crunch, HoHos and chocolate Yoo Hoo have been staples of my diet since I was a kid.


Contrary to what Morgan Spurlock, in his film, “Super Size Me” would lead you to believe, I am still alive, as are a great number of other people who enjoy eating at McDonalds, including Morgan Spurlock. Not only am I very much alive, but I am 40 years old and still compete in professional sports. Another point, I have more muscle in my left bicep than Morgan has in his whole body. So, I am not sure if he is really the goto guy for advice on diet and exercise.


People like things that taste good. Eating things that taste good is one of the joys of life. I would sooner drive six inch nails through my face than live on a diet of tofu and wheat grass.


“I’m not much into health food, I am into champagne.” From “The Pina Colada Song”


Eating happy things started when we were kids, as did our education on how to eat. Children eat candy. It is a fact. Children like candy. And parents, other than a few very weird ones, give candy to their children, but they give it in moderation. Didn’t your mother ever tell you, “Don’t eat that cookie now, we are having dinner in an hour.” That was reasonable advice. It is OK to eat a cookie, just not a few minutes before you eat. In my house we had a quota system. We were allowed to eat two cookies a day at lunch, two after school, and two Scooter Pies per week. We had ice cream for desert, after dinner, on Fridays. With five kids being raised by a single parent, you can believe everything was counted and measured out. But it set a precedent for the rest of life, it is ok to eat things you enjoy, but do it in moderation.


I guess Morgan Spurlock’s mom never gave him that same advice. I asked my ten year old nephew if it seemed like a good idea to eat a super size three times a day for thirty days and he said. “It sounds like fun, but probably not a good idea.” If Morgan had just consulted with my nephew, he wouldn’t have gained so much weight and destroyed his health.


Soso Whaley was in her late forties when she decided she needed to lose some weight. She does a lot of work with animals and film. When she saw that she was looking pudgy on an Animal Planet show, she decided to take action.


“In April 2004, film maker Soso Whaley embarked on a journey. She made a decision to eat less and exercise more, to improve her health. What made this diet unique was not her simple rules, to eat 2000 calories per day, exercise moderately, and make healthy choices, her diet was remarkable because it was successful, and it all happened at Mickey Dees.”


This is the opening text of her film, “Me and Mickey D.” Before starting the “diet,” Soso interviewed a McDonalds store manager, who said that he had been eating at McDonalds more than once per day for a period of years. Not only was he not dead, but he wasn’t fat. Soso also interviewed a number of nutrition experts and doctors, pretty much all whom agreed, it isn’t so much what we eat, as how much we eat. Another important point that they all brought up is that exercise is essential to maintain health and a good body weight. Morgan Spurlock eliminated all of his exercise in “Super Size Me.” I have yet to see a McDonlads as which suggest that we should eat McDonalds three times a day and abstain from exercise.  


One of the experts, Dr. M Rayner Dickey, said, “We are intended to eat a variety of foods.” Two implications here are, one, it’s not natural for human beings to abstain from eating meat or some other food group. At the same time, it is also unnatural for us to eat only one food group. And by implication, it is unhealthy to eat exclusively Big Macs. But there is no reason why Big Macs can’t be part of your diet.


Someone had challenged Soso to make a film, where she ate a vegetarian diet, but gained weight. Since she wanted to help, not hurt, her body, she chose the McDonalds weight loss film instead. But this is an important point. Vegetarian is not necessarily healthier.


Eating a lot of healthy green vegetables and fruits is a good idea for all of us. But, once again, switching to a single food group is contrary to our nature. Also, vegetarians, in practice, do not eat only fruits and vegetables. They often get most of their calories from starches, breads and rice. I lived with a vegetarian for four years. When she was in a hurry, the fastest food she could grab would be some form of bread. When we were traveling in the USA, and she couldn’t find anything she could eat on the menu, she wound up eating French fries for dinner and then complaining that the food in America was so unhealthy. I would always get angry and retaliate with, “There were lots of great things on the menu. You just chose not order them.”


I have known a lot of fat vegetarians. Also, you need protein to build muscle mass. Yes, peanuts and beans have protein, but you would have to eat pounds of these substitutes to get the same amount of protein you would find in a single chicken leg and thigh. I have also known vegetarians who condemned me for eating meat, but who smoked cigarettes or marijuana, or they drank alcohol.


The bottom line is, and as Soso has demonstrated, we were intended to eat a variety of food. And an excess of anything is no good.  


Dr. M Rayner Dickey also said, “We see so many diet books out there, but the bottom line is we have to eat less than we burn, or burn more than we eat.”


“We have to eat less than we burn, or burn more than we eat.” This simple truth could easily be a mantra by which healthy people live. The intent of “Super Size Me,” was to frighten you. Soso’s intent is to help you learn how to make good decisions.


Soso made rules for herself during her McDonalds diet, just as Morgan did. She ate 2,000 calories a day. Morgan actually increased his calories, to 5,000 per day, eating nearly double what he had eaten before. Once again, it is obvious that doubling your calories will make you fat, even if you eat healthy foods.


“Doing even a little exercise makes your body more efficient.” Said Soso. During her diet, she exercised regularly. She didn’t become an Olympic athlete. She didn’t run ten miles a day. But she made a conscious point of walking with her dogs or engaging in some outdoor activities, to help burn calories. Morgan sat on the couch.


Another expert said, “Take personal responsibility for food and exercise choices.” She went on to ask, “Why do Americans try to sue away our obesity?”


Once again, as children we are taught to take responsibility for our own actions. If adults over eat at McDonalds or anywhere else, they are responsible. McDonalds doesn’t force you to over eat. Super Size is an OPTION not an OBLIGATION. People wanted to force McDonalds to eliminate the super size option, but at the grocery store, you are permitted to buy as much food as you want.


It would be difficult to prove, but I would be willing to bet money that more people are obese because of food they bought at the grocery store than food bought at McDonalds. Should we sue grocery stores? Should we sue couch manufacturers or cable TV providers? The beauty of a democracy is that the options are all available to us. It is up to us which ones we chose.


“I disagree with what you say, but would defend with my life your right to say it.”

Maybe we could change this slogan to, “I disagree with what you eat, but would defend with my life your right to eat it.”


By decreasing her food intake to 2,000 calories (which just happened to be purchased at McDonalds), and by increasing her exercise, Soso Whaley hit her target weight in thirty days. By increasing his calories to 5,000 per day, and eliminating all exercise, Morgan Spurlock gained weight. He frightened the public, and now he has his own TV show. Morgan sold his film to us for millions of dollars. Soso is giving hers away for free. Hopefully she will inspire others to take charge of their life, take charge of their diet, and take charge of their voice.


As for the diet issues, “Soso asked people on the street, does McDonalds make you fat?”

The best answer was from an elderly couple who said, “Eating too much of anything makes you fat.”


Soso Whaley is the producer of Moaning Dog Productions see all of the “Me and Mickey D” episodes on yuotube.


Antonio Graceffo is an adventure and martial arts author living in Asia. He is the Host of the web TV show, “Martial Arts Odyssey,” The Pilot episode, shot in the Philippines, is running on youtube, click here.  The Monk From Brooklyn – Kuntaw in the Phillipines Antonio is the author of four books available on Contact him see his website


Antonio Graceffo eats at McDonalds regularly.

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