Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ritual Consumption



I was going to write about ritual.  That is what I had on my schedule.  But when I sat down to write, my mind blanked out so I spent a few minutes just punching in whatever came to mind.  Fortunately it worked out:

  • Advertising works on me.
  • What’s with all the zombies.
  • I can write a thousand words on anything.
  • I have forgotten how to do calculus and this bothers me.
  • Is it ok to not finish something?
  • I am being willfully lazy
  • Connectivity
  • Tweetups are not people standing around posting to twitter from their mobile devices.
  • When the hell did I start drinking diet coke?  When did that happen?
  • I was going to write about ritual.


I have a difficult time maintaining rituals.  I don’t get sushi every Friday.  I don’t see a new movie every week.  I am not consistent about my workout schedule.  I don’t arrive at work at the same time each day.  I don’t have a meatball sub night, I don’t even have a Chinese food night even though my dinner is ordered and on the way.

Actually, tonight probably marks one of the last times I am going to succumb to just calling the Chinese food place and trying to keep it under $15 and 1000 calories.  Last year at my work there was a small push for a weight watchers club.  I joined, because why not...if it works great, and it not...data point.  Well, it worked.  I lost a bunch of weight and haven’t gained it back.  That was a year ago.  In fact, since the program ended I have lost some extra weight and would feel better about it if I wasn’t coming off of the most party-filled October in living memory.

We had some vendors in town this week who pushed our tables around in the cafeteria and threw off everyone’s lunch schedule and routine...or should I say ritual.  When I look at my day to day life, the only consistent items are my breakfast (two english muffins with two sparse bits of butter...a little carb, a little crispy, a lot delicious) and when I try to eat lunch (and with whom).  These vendors monkied that all up and I ended up sitting with the program management people about thirty minutes off my schedule.  To top it off the cafeteria only had one thing available, a free salad bar.  

Free.  Great.  Actually, no.  Tarp.  Free salad bar is a god damn Tarp, Admiral Akbar.  Just because something has the word ‘salad’ in it doesn’t make it good for you.  Six ounces of chicken, two handfuls of spinach (I used the tongs but two tongfuls of spinach sounds creepy), two kinds of cheese, and other assorted awesome things later I had a delicious creation and had blown through most of my points for the day.  Yes, I still semi-track my points, I just don’t go to meetings.  Weight watchers is just self-control and math.  I am good at math and ...well, I am only ok at self-control.  Anyway, all this led to a conversation with the program management people and that was when they pointed me at one of the products a vendor was schlepping:  prepared meals.

Specifically Diet To Go, but beyond the specific brand, I was fascinated by the concept.  As I told the people at lunch, I subscribe to a prepared meals system now...it just happens that the people putting together my dinner work at Chipotle, Panera, and Glory Garden.  Diet To Go would let me pick up meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner at a place very close to me...on the way home in fact, much like the aforementioned establishments.  The price per meal ends up being less than I am spending now and the system has a fair but regimented caloric total.  Actually, the calories per day are a touch higher than I should be at right now, but the difference between “should” and “ehhhh just be better this weekend, nom nom nom” means the math would likely work out on my side.

The unasked for assault upon my willpower to behave should be the easiest fight on the planet.  A Little Caesar’s opened up nearby recently and they are shitting out pepperoni pizzas for $5.30 (after taxes).  And it isn’t good pizza.  I know it isn’t good pizza, you know it isn’t good pizza.  Everyone knows.  But what the hell.  Five bucks and a shout of “Pep Out!” and boom, you have something that will be edible for the next sixty minutes.  And I have tried all sorts of ways to cheat around the fact that it takes all of twenty minutes to stroll through eight slices.  There was a week where I convinced myself that scrapping all the cheese and pepperoni off onto a plate in some sort of cheesy casserole (A cholesterole according to a friend) was acceptable.  There are some rituals that should not be.  Bowing to bad bad choices late at night for no acceptable reason is one of them.

Against all of that I am going to pit this Diet To Go thing.  Of course, I have secret motives for all of this.  If the money math works I end up saving.  If the calorie math works I end up losing (weight).  And if the food is good I end up holding on to some sort of ritual.  I’d like to lose another fifteen pounds, and I keep meaning to put in the miles (I was so good last week!), but the sun keeps slipping out early and catching the first train home in the morning.  Soon the rains will start and the real battle to pound the pavement will begin.  If I can button down a few loose ends maybe I will have an easier time fighting that fight this winter.  Regardless, it is still October and I am geeking out this weekend, so all of this ritual starts next week.  Honest.


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About Me

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Geek - Gamer - Librarian - Writer. Only awesome at one of those things at a time, unfortunately.

About Fading Interest

After writing op-eds and travelogues for several years, after finishing a few books, and after failing to get the ball rolling with project after project I stumbled into an idea that might just hold my interest long enough to enjoy some level of satisfaction with my writing.