Saturday, September 01, 2007

I Love Your Nails

I’m staring at her grocery cart. It’s filled with garbage. Not the type of garbage that goes in a dumpster and smells bad in a handful of hours, but garbage that no one should put inside themselves. I am standing in a grocery line at Wal Mart. I buy groceries there for the most important reason I can think of, they are less expensive than anywhere else. Roaming the aisles of Wal Mart can create an overwhelming cultural mental meandering on my part. I start feeling sorry for some of the folk I see there, then of course I snap into reality that I am a member of the collective presence on that day and imagine they might be feeling sorry for me too, and if not I don’t have any business feeling sorry for them anyway. Maybe they are all millionaires saving a little money.
The lady with the cart of garbage is wearing a Baylor University t-shirt. She looks like the college educated type. Her hair is a curious blend of red and blonde, but obviously professionally colored, cut and styled, not the hair color box type gone terribly awry. That type hair dye belongs to the cashier, bored to the ninth heavens, dragging grocery bar codes across the scanner.
I notice the garbage cart lady also has professionally manicured nails on her hands and a lovely pink polish pedicure on her toes, little yellow sunflowers painted on each toe, all evident through her sandals. What is most obvious is she is the size of 3 women, rolls of fat spilling out from under her arms and around her legs. Now my head has gone into overdrive, imagining our friend Robert Shapiro is standing alongside me teaching me (once again) to discern, not judge. As far as discerning goes I am can easily assess her lifestyle is not for me. The grocery cart is filled with bags of Fritos, Lay’s potato chips, Chocolate Chip cookies, a gallon tub of Blue Bell Ice Cream…well you get the picture and there was nothing I could spot that could be considered nutritious, not even to a bored, disinterested and drunk dietitian.
So of course it is perfectly obvious to me why great rolls of fat are spilling out of her clothes. Nevertheless her nails and hair have been professionally accommodated.
What I learned is that I can feed myself for approximately two weeks for $78. After dumping judgment for discernment, (Robert will be proud of his stubborn, yet slow student) I went back through the grocery aisles (i have no real life) putting my groceries back. The Fig Newtons went back. The 10 containers of sugar-filled yogurt went back to the shelves.
I was now on a new personal cultural mission. I built a mental menu of 28 meals. I only eat two meals a day so it wasn’t too brain cell damaging. I recollected food based on my reformist thinking. When I checked out it came to $78.16.
I would have been able to make it through two weeks with only what I bought. I promise I could have, except BEG sort of needed to eat too……..
Anyway since then my eyes have been seriously observant of the extreme waste of food in our culture. I am ever more observant of the obesity epidemic, men, women and even their children walking about with fat rolling along with them, grocery carts filled with nothing but expensive garbage that I imagine a wild animal might turn its nose up to and simply walk away preferring to be hungry.
Something good came from this. In the month of August I have lost 8 lbs of body weight and I began the crusade with only 10.2% body fat as a start point.
I did it by not drinking Diet Coke, by not snacking between meals, by eating only when I was actually hungry and then only the amount that made me not hungry any longer.
It took discipline. I’m 8.9% body fat today, shipping out on Monday to race in Italy. I have a little more pop and zip on the track, something track athletes refer to as “lift”….only thing is I need to have my nails done before I leave, maybe a little hair coloring. Wait, I don’t have hair. Maybe I’ll spray paint a racing stripe down the middle ‘mohawk style’.
Seventy eight dollars for two weeks. Not kidding. Think about it.
By the way, practicing anorexia is cheating.

Yes, earlier I did mean to say ‘stubborn yet slow.’ It reminds of a consulting firm I used to work with whose slogan was “We may be slow, but we’re not any good.” It kind of reminds me of the airlines these days.


Lynilu said...

Oh, rats. Just when I think I'm doing really well, eating (somewhat) better foods, avoiding boredom munching and eating just enough to assuage the hunger, you come along with this. Now I feel .... plump!

No, you have your agenda, and I have my own. And I'm OK with what I'm doing and the slow progress I'm making. I'm also impressed with how you are doing. You are amazing and inspiring.

I like the mohawk idea. Do you have enough nerve to do it! LOL!!

Robert Shapiro said...

It's alright to be enthusiastic about what you're doing as long as you know where you end and other people begin.


kathi said...

I remembered this post as I stopped last night at a bakery on my way home from work, and gave in to a 4 day old craving for chocolate.