Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Becoming a mess

After eating just about everything produced in Mississippi, it was time to think about a quick low-carb period in my life. So I returned home and decided to banish cake and breads and sweets and alcohol from my diet for ten days. It usually works for me to feel healthier, energized and skinnier. And my stomach has been feeling overly acidic lately, so it seemed like it would be a nice break to re-center me.

I was very good at eating egg whites and low-fat cheeses and vegetables and legumes and avoiding anything sweet. After seven days, I felt better, but I wasn’t getting much sleep and I clearly wasn't getting the fiber I needed (sorry). Of course the few times I’ve done this, it reminds me of the one low-carb experience a few years ago that got to me try toxic Splenda instead of sugar and end up covered in rashes.

Anyway, after days of being really great and low-carb, I flew to Indiana for a two-day work extravaganza. There I remembered how hard it is not to eat carbohydrates when one travels.

I slipped first thing in the morning, awaking in the flickering fluorescent lights of the Courtyard by Marriott and ate an apple. How could I feel guilty about eating an apple? Then my colleague Rachel and I drove to Lafayette and were ‘blown off’ for our first scheduled meeting of the day with a merchants association there. A weird quiche-like puffy thing at Panera around 10:00 AM held me for the rest of the day. But at 6:30 PM, after a 4 hour and 30-minute workshop with the transit board, I took a dive right for the chocolate/white chocolate/cherry chunk cookie that was packed in the lunch box they had prepared for me. Then the teeny bag of Jelly Bellys (it really was teeny – maybe eight or nine of those colorful little sours). Then the Mento in its individually wrapped Mento wrapper. Then the potato chips.

Hell, I’d started. When I got to the Hilton Garden Inn in West Lafayette, I sucked down the sandwich. I threw the plastic container of field greens with balsamic dressing into the fridge and completely forgot about it.

I think bodies are meant to have carbs. Sure, they make your stomach pooch out, they make you tired, and they age you. But they taste so great.

At that point, after the meetings and the previous night’s sleep in the hands of Lunesta to battle the carb-free energy, I decided I’d just stick with a healthier low fat eating routine. Avoid frequent trips to Mississippi. Go to the gym. So I walked over to the Snowbear Custard joint adjacent to the hotel and ordered a small serving of pumpkin custard. Then I went back to the hotel and downed another Lunesta.

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