Saturday, September 24, 2011

California Whoppers and the Thing Called Hope

183.2 lbs. Eh.

Okay, today’s helpful hint on how to deal: I have been dealing with a raging bacon craving and the ads for the Burger King California Whopper (bacon, Swiss cheese, guacamole, lettuce, tomato and mayo). I did a little online research and found out the sandwich in question has 820 calories, 56 grams of fat and 1400 mg of sodium. Not a healthy choice. But it definitely grabs the attention. Per my Google research, the cost is $5.99  SANDWICH ONLY (Note: Irony, the Carl’s Jr Six Dollar Burgers now actually cost $6.00. Time for a change in marketing).

Here’s what I did instead: trip to Trader Joe’s, my grocery store of choice. I bought turkey patties, 50% reduced-fat Swiss cheese, TJ’s uncured pre-cooked bacon (my hot food options are Foreman grill, two burners with a small pot and a microwave. Not the optimal means of achieving good bacon) and TJ’s avocado salsa verde. I also got a beefsteak tomato (which I would have eaten without the desire for the burger).  I threw two turkey patties onto the Foreman and added the bacon to heat it. No mayo (its only function is to be edible masonry. I said so). No bun: starch is not my friend. Two turkey burgers with a slice of Swiss each, 4 slices of bacon, a tablespoon of guacamole and tomato slice came in at 778 calories. (48 grams of fat, high but that’s TWO patties and TWO slices of cheese and 2267 mg of sodium, but that’s on the bacon. I took too much. It was GREAT, though).  Even though I doubled down on the meat and cheese, it still came in less than the advertised sandwich. The double shot was an error in judgment, but my point is this: the ingredients cost me $16.08, no meals tax. 4 of the California Whoppers from Burger King = $23.96 before meals tax. Prep time (including heating the grill, slicing the tomato and cooking) was about 15 minutes start to finish. For people who tell me that it’s really okay for the fast food joints to take food stamps because “where else are you going to get a meal for 99 cents?”, I offer the above scenario. And Trader Joe’s takes food stamps.

If you can read this, you can look up nutritional/cost information of any foods you see advertised. I find that see 460 calories next to a bran muffin in Starbucks will cause me to change my mind about the muffin, the pumpkin spice latte and a lot of other foods that tempt me.

Today was a good day: not only did I satisfy my bacon lust and avoided yielding to advertising pressure, but I got in over an hour of strength/training work plus an hour of cardio and the knee held up. My lower back is screaming like a banshee, but that could be because the Red Sox are giving me a giant pain in the ass. (COME ON, GUUUUUUUUUYYS!!!! I want to come see you play at Wrigley next season, but not if you’re going to forget how to play!).

One of the blogs I follow is “Dances With Fat” written by Ragen Chastain and today her post was “Awkward Conversations” in which she answered questions from readers. One of them asked about talking to someone on a diet/weight loss program, a blogger writing about weight loss for health improvement and getting out Lane Bryant jail. Ms. Chastain, whose point is “Health At Every Size” based her reply around the idea that 95% of weight loss programs fail and that careful kind of phrasing that nauseates me: to wit, I once had a conversation with a big boss because I’d been accused of using the “F” word in conversing with a correspondent lender (and the “F” word is “FRAUD.” Nope: even if you have clearly ginned up paystubs, credit reports where the history predates the issuance of a Social Security number by 20 years and a crack den with a condemnation notice on the front door being compared to a lovely 3 bedroom 2 bath home, you don’t say “Fraud.” Your dumbass boss will go ahead and buy the loan even though you said “Sorry, Charlie” to the correspondent lender. Sorry)  who said to me, “I want to believe you” which may seem supportive but the choice of words indicate that she actually didn’t. And that company has now gone the way of the dodo and is dragging Bank of America down with it, but I’m not naming company names. (Grinning like an idiot, though). We all carry out baggage/beliefs into every interaction/conversation and Ms. Chastain doesn’t SEEM to think, given the success rate or lack thereof, that people should try changing the shape/functioning of their bodies as a means of making themselves happier. And the question from the reader was not about me or this space, although it did seem pretty close. My lack of forward progress would argue towards Ms. Chastain’s point but it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

See, I don’t ask the “does this make me look fat” question or fish for compliments in that fashion. A) I already know the answer (it’s not the dress, it’s the oversized gut and chin) and B) if I have to prime the pump for compliments, it’s likely that they’ll have as much vigor and sincerity as the “I want to believe you” that I got or the anemic “I’m happy for you right now” recommended by Ms. Chastain. So, why bother? We’re supposed to be looking inwards for our own validation, anyway (although, yes, I have complained about not getting external validation, but that’s MY head and my problem and I know better).

You don’t take hope away from people. We’re Americans; we LIVE for the underdog to win. We lap up the stories of people overcoming odds  to succeed (2004 Red Sox, ALCS Series, winning Game 4 because Dave Roberts steals a base and keeps the game from ending and my Sox went on to win the World Series for the first time in 86 years). Hell, we beat the 18th century super-power, Great Britain, to become an independent nation (Okay, so France helped. A lot. Mostly because it would piss off the Limeys). Basically, we live for this shit and for someone to subtly, tacitly deny that hope to another person because she doesn’t believe in the potential success and cannot just say, “Great!” and leave it at that, well, shame on her.

I listen to Mark & Brian on KLOS on weekday mornings while I toil. They’re into lists. Lots of lists. One of them was what turns off men. I swear to God, they said, “Blonde, funny and intelligent.” Great, I’m 3 for 3. And I’m out of the preferred age range/size range.*

Not going to stop me from trying, though…

*Of course, if you’re interested, please forward photo/brief bio to me care of this blog.

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