Saturday, March 9, 2013

Now here's some scary math

I don't know what's with the weekend writing urges lately. I guess my writing genius just cannot be contained to only once a week anymore. Just kidding! Anyway, in the back of my mind I had kind of planned to write about this on Wednesday like normal, but I guess I felt like I needed to get it out now.

I went to Ruby Tuesday's last night and I was a very good girl. I kept my calorie count at a perfectly reasonable 450 calories. That's not what was groundbreaking. Happily, it's no longer news when I am able to exercise control over any food temptations I have. But when I got home, I got to thinking about what I USED to eat at Ruby Tuesday's. Some may call the following behavior masochistic, but I call it morbid curiosity. I decided to add up the calories of my typical meal at Ruby Tuesday's this time last year. Math at its most frightening. It may have been better not to know, but I was honestly curious. My typical meal would begin at the salad bar. The word "salad" is used only in the very loosest sense here because most of that plate would be filled with pasta and potato salad. I would then have some actual lettuce on the very edge, but that would be drenched in ranch dressing and cheese. I would then move on to the triple prime cheddar burger with a side of mac 'n cheese and a loaded baked potato. I would wash all that down with around 3 glasses of strawberry lemonade. Yeah, I could really throw down then. Homegirl could eat (haha, I'm not sure why I ended up writing that sentence)! All of that added up to....over 3500 calories. Yes, 3500 calories. That is insane. That one meal has more calories than I eat in 2 whole days now. And while I wasn't so far gone as to call all of that health food back then, I also didn't really think of it as the health and calorie disaster I know it to be today. Actually, the thought of counting calories didn't even cross my mind. I could go off on a tangent about how serving sizes and restaurant food in general is greatly contributing to this country's obesity epidemic, but I think that is better left for another post.

Maybe I'm a freak, but it really horrifies me now that I ate like that on a pretty regular basis. I mean, it wasn't every day, but it definitely wasn't once in a blue moon either. How could I not see what that was doing to my body? To my poor arteries, I now issue you a most sincere apology. I guess it really is true that we only see what we want to see. My eyes are wide open now though (except for the occasional blink). At the same time, I'm not going to pretend like I'm Jillian Michaels (sometimes I do like to pretend I have her abs though) or someone who looks at junk food and is honestly disgusted by it. I saw some mac 'n cheese last night at a nearby table, and it looked oh so delicious. Saturated fat in cheese form never looked so good. So yes, while I am disgusted by the fact that I consumed "food" like that on a far too regular basis, I am still a regular person. I mean, mac 'n cheese is popular for a reason; namely that it tastes freaking delicious! Rest assured, I have not yet turned into some kind of health cyborg.

I guess the take-away message here is once again one of moderation. I will not go my whole life never eating mac 'n cheese again. But I can say with equal assurance that I will never eat that 3500 calorie meal again either. There's just no reason that needs to happen. Each of the foods in that meal would be fine once in a while, eaten separately. But it never needs to be all together, if for no other reason than because I'm fairly certain all that fat and sugar at once would make me extremely sick now. Random entry, but just another example of how I've done a complete 180 in the past 8 months.


  1. I know how that is! When I first joined Weight Watchers I calculated all the points for all of my "regular" meals... McD's, Mall Food, etc. I learned that my go to Pretzel Bites, Cheese Dip, and a Large soda was more than half my points value for the day.. and that was usually a snack! I'm still trying to break myself of the McD's drive-thru... that's definitely a battle for me.

    I really enjoy reading your blog! Seeing your success helps me on my own journey!

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  3. Ah yes, McD's...we had a long relationship together. That is a tough battle to win, and I still struggle sometimes. It does help me resist though when I know how many calories all that stuff has!