Well, it’s Friday. Usually on Fridays my thoughts turn to happy hour and cocktails, but all I can really think about today is Nutella…Nutella and peanut butter on pretzels, Nutella on English muffins, Nutella on a spoon inside my mouth. Nutella, that blissfully silky substance made of hazelnuts and chocolate. It melts on your tongue and just makes you happy. Wow, my ass is going need its own zip code if I don’t step away from the damn jar of Nutella.
Who invents this stuff? I mean really, is there a group of people sitting in a room somewhere just thinking about the next great food product with little to no nutritional value, that will add numerous inches to your waistline, and cost you a small fortune at the grocery store? On the nutritional scale, ten being the most nutritionally healthy, Nutella is about a -20. It is made with palm oil…PALM OIL??? Isn’t that a heart attack in liquid form? Wait, let me ponder that for a moment while I put this Nutella and peanut butter-slathered pretzel in my mouth.
I seem to be going through some sort of phase the past couple of weeks. (Of course the fact that this week my boss brought back a one pound bar of the most delicious Swiss chocolate from Geneva has not helped my cause. By the way, it’s half gone.) For the longest time-and I’m talking years- I have measured, weighed and calculated every morsel of food that I have consumed. I’ve counted calories, carbs, protein, fat grams and fiber content. I’ve said NO more than YES to the foods I love. I’ve given up most everything that is white – rice, pasta, sugar, flour and whipped cream. Yes, I lost a ton of weight, and yes, I’m much happier thin than heavy. But you want to know something? I’m freaking STARVING!
I’ve joined a gym and have been going at least four days a week in order to hopefully maintain my current weight while eating more. I am up to at least 15 miles a week on an elliptical along with lifting weights, but the truth is, I would have to burn at least 100,000 calories at the gym in order to counteract the amount of crap I have put in my body the past week. And still there is this little voice in the back of my mind whispering “BUY THE GRANDMA UTZ’S LARD FRIED POTATO CHIPS!!!!!” I’m not sure who that whispering little bitch is, but I’d like to beat the crap out of her, then cover her mouth with duct tape. Of course, the most effective method I have found for shutting her up is feeding her chocolate, and Nutella.
I’m hoping this is just a phase. Maybe it is hormones. Most likely it stems from over two years of deprivation. I think the thing that I need to keep in mind for myself is balance. Balance makes things bearable. Balance keeps us sane. It’s ok to have the cheesecake once in a while. Hell, if I died tomorrow, you know damn well I’d be wishing I had ordered it. It’s good to be healthy, but it’s good to take joy in the simple pleasures once in a while as well. And there is no more basic human joy than the joy of food.
Someday I will retire, and someday, I will cast away vanity and “let myself go.” It probably won’t happen anytime soon, since the whole aging thing makes me break out in a rash, but eventually I will give in. Until that happens, I will limit my Nutella purchases to once or twice a year, and stay out of the potato chip aisle. Chocolate? Nah, I’m never giving that up.