Friday, June 15, 2012

You Want a Side of Slaw With That Hubris?

For right now, screw the scale.

My late father was fond of saying to me, “Judge not lest ye be judged yourself.” Of course, this was usually followed by a list of my shortcomings, but that’s beside the point. As you know from reading this, I have been working on improving my health since last year and cleaning up/improving the diet has been a huge component of that. In fact, according to various sources, a healthy diet of nutritious food is more important than exercise (although you do need to get off your butt every now and then.  (Give your couch the day off).  To this end, I have adopted the Paleo way of eating: meats, fruits, veggies, nuts. No sugar, no grains, no processed foods.
Got it? Okay.
Now, I work at a job with assigned seating and fairly close quarters. We are allowed to snack at our desks and, as previously stated, I have gotten comments about the bags  of baby carrots and raw almonds and grapes I bring to work. I have also commented on the breakfast potluck that happens every Friday. And I have commented that I like bacon.
Got that? You’re still with me. Good.
The company has been  providing lunch for us for the past three weeks on Fridays. I’ve worked around the sugar and grain components pretty successfully (trading cookies for fruit. I get melon; I win).
I discussed the bacon briefly yesterday with one of my seatmates who said that he didn’t eat pork “because of what pigs eat.” I tried to tell him that there is organic, pasture-fed pork as there is organic, pasture-fed beef but he wasn’t interested. Fine.
Today, the company brought in Panda Express for us today and the choices were orange chicken or beef with broccoli. I collected my beef with broccoli and sat at my desk to eat it (I picked around the fried rice and lo mein noodles for the beef and vegetables. Okay, I ate the egg roll. My scalp is all broken out, so I’m paying for that particular sin). The seatmate looks over.
“Did you get chicken?”
“No, I took the beef.” (Chicken in orange sauce is 1) coated in a flour-based batter, 2) deep-fried and 3) drowned in orange-flavored sugar syrup).
He looked disapproving. “Beef is bad for you.”
WHAT? “No, it isn’t.”
“It causes problems. You should have gotten the chicken.”
(Jaw clenched) “No, there is nothing wrong with the beef.”
He wouldn’t back down. “It takes your body longer to break it down. You should have gotten the checkn.”
Let me clue you in on the food cop here:
He is a nice man and knows the job we’re doing forwards, backwards and sideways. Since A) I sit next to him and that isn’t going to change and B) I do need his expertise, I was not about to tear him a new asshole.
Unfortunately, even the nicest of people need the social equivalent of one of those shock collar and invisible fence combinations every now and then.  I hope this doesn’t turn into one of those cases.
For starters, Judge Fed is about 6’ 2” and weighs over 300 lbs. himself. I bring in snacks. He brings in snacks. That’s where the similarities end.
Understand: this guy is telling me how I should eat. This morning’s potluck breakfast (which I didn’t eat) was fried chicken and waffles (as well as scrambled eggs with cheese and other additives). He had waffles, eggs and doubled down on large hunks of fried chicken.
As I said, I pull out carrots, raw almonds, cucumber pieces, dried or fresh fruit for snacks. He has: Nature Valley granola bars (loaded with sugar), crackers and Jif peanut butter, fruit roll-ups. Oh yeah: his morning ritual is a small cup of oatmeal, but during his morning break, he usually heads down to the café for a breakfast wrap with a side of tater tots.
I drink coffee, tea or water (mostly water). He downs a large Gatorade: not the sugar-free kind (regular Gatorade is loaded with high fructose corn syrup).  And soda.
This guy is sedentary. In addition to the large body, he has no muscle tone to indicate that he exercises.
And he feels free to pass judgment on what I’m eating and whether I should be eating it.
Oh, I forgot: he gets in on the afternoon root beer floats that get distributed to the potluck participants.
Running side by side with “Judge not lest ye be judged” is “live and let live.” Now, I have watched this guy shovel quantities of crappy processed food into his “overfed pie hole” (a Facebook commenter) and held my tongue except to offer to share my snacks with him (I did try one of his Blue Diamond habanero barbecue almonds. Tasty, but loaded with sugar and other stuff I don’t want to eat).  He feels hot most of the time; I know because he constantly needs to fan himself. According to another Facebook commenter, this is common with larger people due to additional insulation. I get hot, but that’s menopause.
And he got the orange chicken. That was two meals in one day of battered, deep-fried chicken with ample side starch. I haven’t seen dining like that since Morgan Spurlock and “Super Size Me.”
Like I said, this is a nice man and I need to get along with him because we sit and work together. That’s why he didn’t go home with his still-beating heart in his lunchbox.
Look, if you want to criticize what I’m eating, you’d better look like this before you open your gob:

If I wanted this kind of hypocritical bullshit, there is a small group of people with whom I’d reconnect. Hell, they’ve got a forty year head start on trying to make me feel small, bad and guilty over my appearance and health habits while indulging in alcohol, tobacco, over-eating and sedentary lifestyles themselves.
And, as a corollary to my “If you’re not going to make changes, do not bitch to me about how shitty you feel” rule, there is the “deeds, not words” rule aka “talk is cheap.”  You’d better be looking and living the part before you tell me how wrong I am in my approach to health.
Or you may get a hunk of fried chicken up your nose.

1 comment:

  1. Good for you for not indulging in head-biting or ass-chewing!


Keep it civil.