Get Out Alive

Sometimes I wish I had a TV show where I’d walk around talking to strangers.

Can you see my TV camera?

I’d talk to people from all walks of life. Can you imagine the stories they’d tell? Maybe it wouldn’t make for good visuals on television, but it might make for good blog writing, like today’s topic.

One day while at a grocery store salad bar, I asked the lady behind the counter if they had any cooked chicken to put on my salad. I told her I needed protein for a low carb diet.

That started a twenty minute conversation with an interesting stranger.

“I’m on a no-carb lifestyle,” Nice Grocery Store Lady said (NGSL) . “I haven’t had any carbs for four years.”

Oh Lord. I never thought about doing this diet forever, but should I?

Me: You haven’t had chocolate or pasta in four years?

NGSL: Nope.

Me: Really? Not even whole wheat pasta?

NGSL: Nope.

Me: Do you eat dairy? Cottage Cheese?

NGSL: No. Cottage Cheese is high in fat. I only eat eggs and sharp cheeses which are lower in fat content.

Me: Wine on special occasion?

NGSL: No.

I learned she had a very few items on her entire nutrition plan. She’s allergic to fish, so none of that. She only ate three different kinds of fruit due to sugar content. No beef, only pork, chicken and turkey. Did I mention that she actually cooks one meal for her family and another for herself?

As we spoke, I noticed her appearance. She wore a grocery store uniform with a bulky company jacket and visor. She was completely covered other than her face. When she smiled, I noticed sparkling pearl teeth and an exquisitely beautiful face.

courtesy wikimedia commons

NGSL: “I’m on the same lifestyle nutrition plan as Tom Brady.”

Me: Ahh, so you’re really into fitness.

NGSL: Yes, I work out and run a lot.

That explained the strict nutrition plan.

I imagined that the woman would be stunning when dressed up, or even in jeans.

As usual, I went into deep thought about our conversation. On my low carb diet, I eat many more food items than NGSL (I’m eating grapes as I type, and that’s too much sugar). I didn’t have pasta for four months. She hasn’t had it in four years! Should I do what she is doing? If I don’t do what she is doing, am I lazy? Am I a glutton? Why can’t I be that dedicated? Despite the ten pounds I lost, why did I feel like a total failure after talking to her? I still have ten more pounds to go. Forget it, I might as well give up.

My husband said, “No matter what that woman does or doesn’t do, none of us are getting out of here alive.”

Of course, that caused me to dive deeper into thought. If I’m lucky, I might make it another 30 years on this earth. Why should I deprive myself of enjoyable taste sensations for the rest of those years? What’s the point in living?

I asked if she missed any carbs.

NGSL: I never really cared for sweets, but being Italian, pasta was hard for me to give up. I missed it in the beginning, but not anymore. I loved potato chips. I used to eat those by the bag.

Did I detect longing in her voice at the mention of potato chips?

You know, some people travel to far corners of the globe to enjoy life while they’re here. Some people bungee jump and sky dive for excitement in their lives. Some people, like me, enjoy the simple life . . . gathering with family and friends for good food and drink. I affirm, for myself, that my eating habits will stick to moderation, and not to the extreme one way or the other.

This is how I enjoy life. Mom and husband above.

I hope the Nice Grocery Store Lady enjoys her life while she is here, because she ain’t getting out alive.

 

 

 

 

 

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24 comments

  1. I’m Jewish, and many of my best friends have been Catholics, and some of those have been Italian. That is just an extended way of telling you that (and how) I feel your pain (and disability) in giving up carbs. I have known forever that I could never and so, at least at the times when I have thought rationally about dieting, have not even considered a no or low carb diet as a possibility. 🍞πŸ₯–πŸ₯πŸπŸͺπŸ₯ πŸ° I hope I haven’t made you too hungry, now! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜ˆ

    The best plan I’ve ever found was Weight Watchers, as Oprah finally discovered, too. This approach has helped me keep my sanity while in recovering from hip replacement. Since this recovery process has also kept me off the scale, it’s almost a win-win. See my post https://hbsuefred.wordpress.com/2018/01/02/revelations-from-my-right-leg/ for more, if you’re interested.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s great that you found an eating plan in WW that works for you. I was obsessively addicted to sugar to the point of harming myself, like a heroin addict. I tried going off of sugar/carbs once cold turkey and literally had the shakes and heart palpitation. Since then, I found a great eating plan that worked in cutting out sugar from my life without the withdrawal symptoms. It has been such a great plan that I can even eat sugar on occasion now and not get addicted again. It appears my body lacked the amino acids it needed and caused the cravings/addiction.

      I’m not going to lie and say I don’t miss my pasta. I AM Italian, after all. It used to be a daily thing. But, I’m not craving, shaking or crying over it. I allow myself pasta on occasion now. Not more than once a month or longer.

      Thanks for sharing your experience. I don’t know what it is, but Italians and Jews seem similar to each other. Maybe it’s the mothers. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Among other things? I can’t imagine going through (chemical) withdrawals from anything. Lucky for me that so far the only known allergies I have are to sulfa drugs and some long haired animals, like horses, which are generally pretty easy to avoid and don’t attract me as much as carbs do!

        My friend’s daughter developed an allergy to nuts of all kinds in her early twenties, and these day nut products are found in almost all foods. At least your addiction seems to be relatively harmless and allows you to indulge once in a while. I’ve tried giving up some of my favorite foods since it can be hard to stop myself once I start – eating ice cream directly out of the carton, finishing the whole box of crackers just because they’re there.

        At least one generally has to cook pasta before consuming, and since I no longer cook for anyone but myself, I only indulge in a full package of past occasionally, and I’ve never felt compelled to consume an entire loaf of bread at one sitting. Hooray for me?

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  2. I have a similar problem and ask myself the same questions. My weight will explode if I let it and the older I get the worse it is (I have to deal with Christmas indulgences now). Moderation is best.

    Good luck with your eating plan (I hate the word diet). πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lynette. Yes, I can definitely relate to this. I actually drafted this post a while ago. I went off that eating plan over Christmas and put on a couple. Now I’m back on that eating plan. And I agree, I don’t like using the word “diet” either. Thanks for sharing. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I know about wanting to be more disciplined. I felt like a failure talking to that woman, but then realized that I’d rather enjoy life, because I’ve only got one . . . that I know of. πŸ˜‰ Thanks for stopping by, Andrea.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think that woman has issues. Hopefully she doesn’t read your blog. πŸ™‚ There’s no proof that eating such a restrictive diet is going to make her live longer. Going to the extreme with anything is never good.

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    1. Hi Jill. I think the woman is full-speed into fitness. I know some people like that who do Crossfit. Apparently, Tom Brady is one of them, too. She got her diet from him. Some people don’t know how to find balance between the extremes, and this woman is one of them. πŸ˜›

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  4. Yikes! I can understand such a severe diet when you have health issues but I would never do that for no reason. No pasta for 4 years? Just kill me now! I won’t even join the gluten bandwagon. I’m not sensitive to it and my doc said it wouldn’t benefit my health so I eat it in moderation along with every other thing that tastes good and will kill me. You have the right idea! Moderation!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kate. I know, right? No pasta. Just kill me now. I was actually in a bad way with my addiction to sugar. I was doing the exact opposite as NGSL to the extreme with lots of sugar, pasta and bread every day. I found a diet plan that weaned me off carefully and I’m hoping now that I will be able to stick to moderation.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve had those same thoughts. People who deny themselves so many good things in life may live a little bit longer, but it would be (to my mind) an unhappier life than mine. But still, I believe that “moderation is the key.”

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    1. Hi Anneli. Moderation with sugar and carbs was not my lifestyle before. I was doing the exact opposite extreme as NGSL and pigging out. Heh. Here’s to a healthier moderation. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Lori, I’ll join you on eating in moderation and enjoy time with family and friends. At one stage I gave up dairy products ( I had a lot of sinus infections). After three months of this, I was completely exhausted, my muscles were weak to the point I couldn’t walk far. I went to my doctor and he was horrified…back to dairy products it was. An interesting conversation and you can learn a lot from a brief outing!

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    1. Glad you went back to getting that calcium nutrition from dairy, Annika. I was doing the extreme opposite as NGSL and eating lots of carbs and sugar every day. Hopefully, now that I’ve weaned myself off, I can stick to moderation.

      I really do enjoy learning about other people’s choices and how it affects their lives. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Joy. I was doing the opposite extreme of NGSL and eating a lot of sugar and carbs every single day. I’m hoping my latest change in nutrition broke me of that addiction. So far so good.

      I like how you put it . . . we can’t forget to enjoy live in our quest to avoid disease and early death. Thanks.

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  7. I’m with you. Though I’m a very healthy eater, I also enjoy non-healthy food in moderation. As you allude to, life is too short to not enjoy peach cobbler with ice cream every now and then, or a bagel. I certainly don’t have them every day, but that’s what makes them so tasty when I do!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Carrie. My problem is that I DID eat those sugary foods and carbs more than even once a day. Which is the opposite extreme of NGSL. As you’ve read before, I have a sugar addiction that can be overwhelming. This last time of breaking that habit seems to be working on the severe cravings. I have craved, but slightly, not severely. The book I used to break the addiction has really been a great help.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, as I know how you feel about this subject.

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        1. Ahh, but I found a way that I can do it in moderation with this plan (from the book). It is something they’ve used for drug addiction. It got rid of my cravings. I can actually stop eating sugar after one Dove (dark) chocolate square! Sometimes I look at sweets and don’t even want it anymore! I hope and pray it stays this way.

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