Caloric Shame

or, my wife is going to kill me for this,

or, this is why I will always be fat,

What you see here started out with good intentions.

That container on the left was filled with an organic salad that my wife lovingly prepared for me from locally produced. . . produce.

I’m used to fake salads – the kind in bags at the Giant Eagle that say “American Blend.” I think they’re grown in factory greenhouses specifically for people who like to brag about the salads they have for lunch while slamming down ice cream after dinner.

Look, I grew up a picky eater and hated most things that weren’t packaged by General Mills. I didn’t even try my first salad until I was 10 and that was a few shards of iceberg lettuce smothered in bottled Italian dressing. For the next six years, that was what a salad meant to me.

Now I’ve learned to like raw spinach in my salad, and romaine, and . . . some other stuff. I’m still not sure about kale.

I eat only four vegetables – corn, green beans, peas and carrots. That’s it. I call them ‘The Big Four.’

Look, momma tried.

But okra reminded me of the aliens in the movie “The War of the Worlds.” Something that weird could not have been grown here.

Brussels sprouts made me gag. The smell of cooking butternut squash gave me the heaves. It didn’t help that my mom was a lousy cook who boiled everything to a limp death.

But OK, it’s 2016, it’s lunch, here’s your salad, packaged with loving care.

First mistake – I sniffed it. Something’s off. I think it smells like Earth. Who wants to eat something that smells like Earth?

So I smothered it in my favorite organic honey Dijon dressing and took a big bite.

Remember when we were kids and did that dare where you stuck your tongue on both terminals of a 9-volt battery? Remember that ‘taste?’


Hon, I tried. I ate about half of it. I had the apple and the yogurt to try to kill the lingering aftertaste which felt like stuffing a bunch of old pennies in your cheeks.

But I was still hungry. I fought the battle of ‘get yourself something healthy’ from the snack store here at work until I remembered there is nothing healthy there. And I don’t trust the food in the cafeteria.

So I’m lazy and feeling sorry for myself. Thinking about the walk across the parking lot almost saved me, but in the end the absolute ‘sniffing the carpet for traces of coke’ jonesing for empty calories won out.

And you see the result which is followed by bloating, lethargy and a healthy dose of shame.

So this is a confessional of sorts. By in my defense, I am a product of my upbringing. I was denied so much junk food when I was a kid, when I grew up and started earning regular paychecks, lunch would be a whole box of chicken flavored Rice-A-Roni (the San Francisco treat) followed by ‘dessert,’ which was half a bag of double-stuf Oreos with whole milk.

Thankfully, my parents did teach me to drink socially (and illegally) before I went to college. So while my classmates were making a beeline for the nearest display of Natty Lite, I was studying and wondering why they were treating mere near beer the way I treated Ho-Hos.

Everyone has their vice I guess. I did work out two days in a row, but stayed up late last night to watch hockey, which meant I am tired and when I am tired, I want to eat food that comes in cellophane.

Yeah, I know. Bullshit rationalizing. I’m worthless and weak.

By the way – total calories in that photo: 590.
Total fat: 20.5 grams.
Carbs: you don’t want to know.

When my heart explodes, they’ll erect a statue of me in Hershey, Pa.

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