I first started going to Subway restaurants back in college, in 1988 or 1989. And from the very first time I went, I ordered a footlong sandwich. I liked the subs so much that If I could order a footlong, well, it would be silly to order anything less. I’d even order more than that, if I could.
So in the decades that have gone by, I’ve probably eaten miles worth of Subway sandwiches. It’s certainly not all that I eat, but it is at the front of the “What can I get for lunch/dinner today?” line. My daughters like the six-inch combo with a bag of chips and a drink, but I always, time and again, got a footlong something or other.
Yesterday, after being at a 5K run with my family along the lakefront in Chicago, I took my older daughter to lunch and we went to Subway. I ordered a footlong spicy Italian sandwich–toasted–on the honey oat bread (no cheese, as usual). I also had tomatoes, lettuce, green peppers, onions, giardiniera, and the southwest chipotle dressing. I say all of this not because it’s very interesting, but because I want to memorialize it. Yes, this is a sandwich I want to preserve for the ages.
My daughter and I sat down and discussed some things, the way that we often do, and I came to the end of the first half of the sandwich. I looked at it and, instead of tearing into it for the second half, I held back. I offered it to my daughter, who wasn’t interested, and then wrapped it up to take home. I realized that six inches worth of bread, meat, vegetables and dressing was–or at least it should be–enough to fill me up.
I can’t undo all of the footlong sandwiches that I’ve consumed over the years. I’m carrying some of them around with me right now. There are bigger culprits than Subway for weight that I’ve put on (Ronald McDonald and Colonel Sanders spring immediately to mind), but one of the problems is eating past the point where I’ve had enough to fill me up. And if I ever again order a footlong sandwich at Subway, I’ll have missed the moment of insight that I had yesterday, and wasted the time that it took to write this post. And I don’t want to do either of those things.