Monday, August 25, 2008
The Old Ennui
The last couple weeks I've been moping around and immersing myself in a Buffy the Vampire Slayer marathon and generally falling off the Living Right Wagon. Until pretty recently I didn't have a very firm idea of what living right means exactly. More like a vague outline- no students loitering after school, no horrible murders with hearts being removed. And also no smoking. Buffy Huzzah! But as a day to day guide those aren't issues I really wrastle with. Smoking, bleh.
So if I had to make a new living right code it would look something like this-exercise, eat healthy food that is good for the environment that you can share with family and friends, slay demons. Easy! Well, I haven't been managing any of my to-do list and am in a shame spiral. This happens to me pretty much every year in late summer. It's probably common for most peeps to look back on the long languorous days of possibility that make up June July and August and think, "WTF was I doing??". It's odd because many of us look forward to the season as being a time to sit on our lazy asses, watch stupid movies and fall asleep on the beach. I've done those things in spades this year and now that the shortening of days is visible I feel like I've accomplished nothing! Though I've accomplished everything summer's meant for! A Paradox.
When I'm feeling depressed all my actions compound and beget. So I haven't written a blog post in awhile? Might as well not bother then! Haven't gone for a run in a week? Might as well not for another month. Or ever (fuck running). When you feel like you haven't done anything right in a long time the effort to change becomes monumental. I think this is why we don't do things we know we should, because it seems like all the times we were doing the wrong thing can never be balanced out...or we'll get on the Living Right Wagon just to get knocked into the dust further down the road. That's pretty much why I've never flossed. Though I really should. Oh god, I'm going to hell! Or some alternate dimension composed entirely of shrimp (Buffy Huzzah!)!
Which brings me to my low point today. I went to Chipotle.
I wont say going to Chipotle is the low point for my entire life because that would certainly be an exaggeration. But definitely for today. Fast food restaurants have become bad to think for me, by which I mean they're now mentally in the category of the inedible. I was a Chipotle believer for quite awhile, particularly working in Midtown where choices were slim and disturbingly gritty. A burrito from Chipotle seemed like a pretty clean tasty alternative. I knew they were owned by McDonald's and had a kind of 'boo corporate' thought when I found out, but rice and beans are my fav.
Then I read Fast Food Nation and threw up in my mouth. I couldn't walk into Chipotle and not see the evil wrapped in every burrito. It didn't help that the last one I ate (before today) was draped by an employee's dirty dish cloth before my very horrified eyes. Anyway, it's been awhile since I've been inside a fast food restaurant except to use the bathroom and I was surprised by the list of numbers paralleling the prices on the menu hanging above the counter. What could they be trying to tell me? Okay, so they were labeled 'calories' but a salad was listed as being 118-813 calories. Huh? That's quite a range there. So is that the leaves and then the cheese with sour cream? Mm. Sour cream. All the items were like that, with a calorie low several hundred integers from its high.
I'd heard this whole calorie listing thing was going to become mandatory but hadn't witnessed it though now dimly recall the gals at the office screeching about having consumed 1800 calorie lunches all year. Personally, I don't count calories. I know what I'm eating and what will be likely to make me fat and what it feels like to be stuffed to the gills. When I make bad choices and eat a family sized bag of potato chips for dinner instead of a balanced meal I don't look at the bag and flip out because I've eaten my caloric intake for the week in one sitting. I flip out because I'm an idiot...hmm there goes the Living Right Wagon again!
I'm kind of on the fence about this whole calorie listing thing. Yes, nutritional information should be available, but is counting calories the same thing as knowing about good nutrition ? Is it good to ask corporations to take responsibility for their customers health or are we passing the buck and ignoring the question of health education in schools? Are these listings so vague that their informational value is just a kind of scarecrow to the wary i.e. 'look out you may possibly be eating 813 calories or maybe just 118, no knowing'? And if you do risk, then it's your own fault you obese diabetes-courting fuck up!?
Anyway, I ate one. A burrito bowl this time since the calorie content ranges about a 200 less than the burrito. But I got chips so that probably added the overall. Jesus. I might as well just eat a bag of potato chips and go die under a rock. I'm feeling terrible remorse and have sworn off the fast food again. Because of the evil thing not the calorie thing. It really is all about choices, the choice to eat something you cooked for yourself from healthy whole ingredients, the choice to change out of your footie pajamas and go out to enjoy a warm summer day, the choice to floss. Tomorrow I'm going to make a better choice and if the day after that I fall back on old habits it's okay. I can catch the Living As Best As I Can Carriage.
This is a website from that helpful NY gov trying to tell us how to be, which I found reading about this whole law thing and it tickled me. Very sensible advice overall though they recommend reducing television viewing hours. You know what I say to that?