Coming to hate almonds

Apropos of nothing, I’m really coming to hate eating almonds. See, I’m South Beaching it, trying to correct some horrible eating habits of mine which are intricately linked with the pleasure response. A while ago my partner and I tried South Beach, and I have to say that out of all the eating plans out there I personally responded quite well to it. The induction period is the hardest, but that’s something that was pretty easy to get through. I don’t know how much weight I lost because I don’t weigh myself, but everyone noticed body mass shrinkage in the right places.

We left the diet because of unemployment. As anyone who has done so will tell you, eating healthier is much, much, much more expensive than eating junk food. Possibly because the amount of “actual food” inside the comestibles of junk food is much lower. This time around I’m already three weeks into South Beach, and would have been off the induction phase by now, slowly adding back in healthy carbs. Only problem is that we went off the diet just prior to the completion of induction during the July 4th weekend. Someone brought a pan of homemade, creamy/crunchy-topped macaroni and cheese. Like mom makes, but better (and don’t tell my mom I said that).

I just couldn’t. But true to the way that the diet was written, we didn’t gorge ourselves, and we didn’t overindulge. We just ate normal meal portions over the 4th of July weekend (we were up in a cabin in the mountains of New Hampshire with friends… miiiiiles from civilization, so there was only the food we had brought, and the mac and cheese was reeeaaaalllly good.) And then we went back to the induction diet.

Working and food prep and commutes, oh my

The biggest challenge to -me- on South Beach is all the food prep. It takes so much time to cook every single meal, every single day, that if it weren’t for my partner I’d be back to the pizzas and ice cream diet which has served me so conveniently for the past 36 years within a week. Luckily my partner has extra time to do most of the food prep… but it’s still work intensive. With my commute now up to a full hour and a half each way most days of the week, there’s no room in my schedule for anything outside of work, commute, food, and sleep. It’s like I live to work, I no longer work to live.

That’s why I’m sick of almonds. I know, according to the actual diet nuts etc. should be eaten in moderation, but I graze on them all day long. I did the last time and still lost tons of the weight. I need to graze, it’s just normal for me now. There’s stress releases built into it too… work is so frakking stressful that I self-medicate with food all day. At least with South Beach that food is better for me. I’d rather have a whole stack of chicken strips (baked is fine, no breading is fine) or a whole bucket of Hummus and a pile of cheese. But instead, here I have nothing but almonds.

I’m really coming to hate almonds. I’d get nifty salads, but my company is in a very overpriced region where the illusions of downtown America are finally fading away, despite every attempt to make ‘quaint’ into the new ‘chic’ by folks who still seem to think there’s real value for Americans to study French as a foreign language (ignoring the fact that their children would be better served learning Spanish, if only to speak with their servants and neighbors).Salads here cost upwards of $15 for the same thing that you can get at McDonalds for $5. No, really. McD’s relies on the same produce distributors as do the other ‘trendy’ lunch counters, and food that is not processed at all is roughly equivalent no matter where you go.

Killing time at work

I’m still trying to figure out what exactly it is about this place that makes me want to go home as soon as I walk in the front door. It doesn’t help that there’s already an hour and a half worth of resentment just struggling to get here. Commuting really brings out the worst in people, and it shows folks for the arrogant, stupid sons of bitches that they really are. Escalades jumping ahead one spot in line because… well, like that one car length actually made a difference. Folks closing ranks to try and force the merging traffic to get behind them. Merging traffic trying to ride the shoulder to squeeze in a few more cars ahead. Folks weaving between the lanes because one lane moves and the other two stop, and that moving lane rotates seemingly at random.

All pointless. All to go to a job that is designed to crush the living spirit and suck the life out. At least the salary is a living wage here. I guess that’s something positive to go on. Finally. Took me almost 15 years and $30K in debt to achieve it, but that’s still something. Three years from now I might actually be able to be free from that debt.

I guess I just don’t want to grow up. I want variability AND stability in my life. I like the theoretical, but we have to live in the practical. I like playing with ideas, but… but whatever. I’m still struggling against this job because it’s so mundane. It looks just like what I just left, only with more yelling and less understanding of what it is that we’re trying to do here.

Yeah. I really do think I’m coming to not only dislike and hate, but also resent almonds. I could be eating meals, but instead I graze on nuts. No time for anything else. Preparing food ahead of time is a nice thought, but at the end of the day and the end of the week I just don’t have the energy or the willpower to prepare all that much food. And when I do, and try to keep it, it just goes over the weekend because… hey! Prepared food that’s legal on the diet! Weekends mean no work, right? So let’s not work and let’s eat from this stockpile.

Yeah yeah. Change my habits. One thing at a frakking time. First we change the habit of what it is we’re eating. Then we change the habit of how we’re preparing it. And finally, if we’re lucky, we’ll get to the point where we change the patterns of life and subsistence which require such crappy commutes and unrewarding jobs.

But for right now, I’m just going to blame the almonds.


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