You know the phrase, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”? I have been attempting my 182nd diet–you know, to lose weight, be healthy, extend my life span–and I’m trying to find a good mantra. But I don’t think that’s the one. I remember being skinny. I know what it’s like. And while I guess it feels good, it’s not something one consciously thinks about. All of my problems did not float away. Could that apathetic feeling really compete with delicious food?
It’s a toss-up. But not really. So…maybe this will be my mantra: “Nothing tastes good enough to compensate for that horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach when I try to put on a pair of jeans that fit two months ago, but now will not squeeze over my ample buttocks.”
I just feel like it’s more truthful. And descriptive. And motivating.
About a month ago I was digging through my backpack while sitting on the floor in front of some vending machines and found some ibuprofen, a dirty fork, and–here’s the good AND relevant part–a few bucks. It was time to splurge.
Normally if I get anything from the vending machine, it’s a bagel, because they are delicious and not too heinous in price. But I thought about my diet.
That was actually different diet than the one I am currently on–right now I am on a diet where you only eat paper–but you can eat all the paper you want. Jk, but if you can name that reference you will get butterfly kisses from a deer AND WHO WOULDN’T WANT THAT.
Anyway, I thought guiltily about vow to be a healthy person and decided to get those carrot sticks that had been shoved into a smoothie cup with a tiny smidgen of ranch to dip in. I thought to myself, What could possibly go wrong??
Well, Marie, a lot of things. You just bought carrots from a vending machine. For ten times what they are worth. You bought expensive vegetables from a vending machine. GOSH, YOU KNOW NOTHING.
Huh. That just got tricky. Because now it’s future Marie lecturing past Marie, and I’m not sure how to smoothly get back to being past Marie…get out of here future Marie. No one likes a know-it-all.
So I bought those carrots, thinking that carrots are carrots, what could possibly go wrong, etc. But I underestimated them. I underestimated all of them. I left to go print out a paper, but I was really hungry, so I kept trying to dip carrots in ranch with my left hand while holding my computer and coat in my right hand, and such was my frenzy that for a few minutes I didn’t notice anything weird about those carrots. But when I settled down on a nice comfortable corner of carpet,and the ranch smidgen ran out, the truth couldn’t hide any longer.
My carrots tasted like Christmas trees. Whaaat? Yes. They tasted like Christmas trees. There is no other way to describe it. Actually. That is a lie. You can describe anything multiple ways, especially Christmas trees. Because they are also pine trees. But that’s not the point, the point is my carrots were crisp and not discolored, and not wet like baby carrots sometimes are when you buy them, but they tasted like Christmas trees and that offset the whole experience.
I mean, of course I ate them anyway. They were overpriced carrot sticks, what do you expect me to do? And remember: Christmas tree flavor or no Christmas tree flavor, they are still (probably) healthy, and being healthy makes me feel good about myself and gives me perceived moral high ground, which I enjoy. “Oh, you’re eating M&Ms? No thanks, I just ate some carrot sticks that tasted like Christmas trees…I eat vegetables ALL the time.” And then I laugh and toss my hair. It’s really fun, you should try it.
Later Ian tried some of the carrots and he didn’t agree that they tasted like Christmas trees, but he does not have a very sensitive palate. I know this because he used to eat pop-tarts and dry shredded wheat for dinner. And when I’m not around, he basically still does that.
And it wasn’t just that my mouth was being weird, like maybe I’d been around Christmas trees a lot that day. Because a few weeks later, I had a nearly identical situation. Bagel or carrots? Bagel or carrots? I chose carrots, because maybe the weird taste before was a fluke. Maybe those carrots had been grown next to a Christmas tree. Who knows. So in a moment of insanity, I purchased the carrot sticks again.
And GUESS WHAT. They tasted the same, yeah. It’s true. It’s so mysterious.
So a few days ago when I stopped by vending machines on campus, I didn’t waste time. I got a bagel: half the price, twice as good, and four times the calories. And that’s basically what happens when I try to be healthy.