Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Bogus. Heinous. Most non-triumphant.

Welcome to finals week, dude.

I promised my husband I wouldn't be doing things like this all week.
So enjoy what I AM spending my time doing. English papers.
(I wrote a blog post about this a couple years ago.)

Allison Cox
Eng 2010

            So, here’s the thing. I’m not fat. I never have been fat. Being a girl, I have had days where my stomach seemed to bulge out farther than my boobs, but what woman hasn’t had one of those days? We are human, and days like that sometimes happen. That’s fine. Overall, I like to consider myself  a pretty healthy person. I have a body that suggests I eat healthy, and naturally the stupid girl inside of me believes that I do.
            Growing up, I was raised in a family who ate dinner together almost every night. Eating out was rare, and going to McDonalds was a special treat. We always ate whatever my mother had cooked. More often than not, the food was relatively healthy. When someone was in charge of my food, I ate the way a healthy human being should. 
            My unhealthy eating habits started in seventh grade, when I was old enough to prepare my own after school snacks. I remember a particular day during lunch-hour, a girl came up to me and said, “Geez, Allie. Everybody already knows you’re anorexic. The least you could do is wear clothes that suggest otherwise.”
            To be fair, she may not have used those exact words. But that was the exact message she shot my way. I was devastated. I was not anorexic (nor have I ever been). Eating was one of my favorite things. I just so happened to have knobby looking knees and elbows.  I went home that day and ate two packets of Ramen Noodles (sick!). From then on, every day after school I would pack down as much unhealthy, instant food my stomach could handle before I wanted to explode.
            Ninth grade rolled around, and I was not the peppy, energetic girl I once was. I quit my soccer team, I had a harder time paying attention in school, and I was not nearly as happy as I had been in the past few years. My good eating habits had gone down the drain, as had my performance in almost every area of my life. High school commenced thus.
My freshman year of college, I was well aware of the fact that when it came to food, I didn’t always make the healthiest of choices. Living on my own for the first time, I realized I didn’t have the luxury of a mother preparing all of my meals. What I didn’t realize is how unhealthy the food choices I was making actually were. Frozen foods and easy-mac replaced my once hearty dinners.  Pop-tarts became the start of my day. I blamed my eating habits on the fact that I was a poor college student who couldn’t afford to eat healthy. Anytime my roommate and I bought fruits, veggies, or whole grain bread, the grocery receipt seemed to skyrocket.  Not only that, but the food didn’t last nearly as long. If we didn’t eat it within a week or two, the food had gone bad and we were stuck with another grocery trip on our hands.
            I had little knowledge of the effect my eating habits were having on my body. “Diabetes? Psssh. Obesity? Give me a break.”
            Come to find out, there are more problems that can be a result of unhealthy eating – problems that aren’t diabetes and obesity. It hadn’t occurred to me that my poor performance in high school may have had to do with the fact that I was eating unhealthy every chance I got. Fortunately,  my eating habits improved before it got to the point of causing long-term damage. However, the change for improvement came due to an unfortunately awkward situation I had put myself through.
            Most of my college days could be considered “unhealthy” days, but this day was particularly detrimental. I was living in Logan, Utah and decided to visit Salt Lake for the weekend. I planned to leave early enough in the morning to arrive in Salt Lake before lunchtime. My ride came to pick me up before I was ready. I hurriedly grabbed my overloaded laundry basket, and a slice of cold, leftover pizza from the night before. So there I was, starting my day off with a slice of pizza. There was also a box of donuts to accompany us on our way home.
            I arrived in Salt Lake an hour or two before noon - just in time for lunch. I wasn’t necessarily hungry (due to the fact that I had just eaten pizza and half a box of donuts), but lunch sounded like fun, and I felt I deserved to start my weekend with a bit of fun. I decided to pay a visit to my favorite fast food restaurant, Taco Bell.
            I ordered more than I could handle, and ended up putting what I didn’t eat in the fridge as leftovers. Two hours later, my microwave beeped, indicating that my reheated cheesy gordita crunch was ready. Sounds healthy enough, right? Thinking about it now makes me nauseous.
            Later that night I got together with some friends to get some frozen yogurt. Just as we were getting together, my stomach started feeling a bit tight. My intestines were throwing a dance party, and they didn’t feel the need to be quiet about it. Halfway to our destination, I was hit with a wall of unimaginable pain. It seemed the dance party was over, and everyone in attendance was ready to exit the building as soon as possible.
            “Drive... Faster. Faster.” Was all I could manage to say. I was doubled over in pain, ready to spew out of each end at any moment.
Needless to say, it was quite an unpleasant ride. However, as painful as it was, I made it! I rushed into the building and scoped out the nearest bathroom. Half walking, half hobbling over in pain, I made my way toward my safe haven. I shut the door, ran to the toilet and took care of business. It was not until after my relief that I realized there was no toilet paper left. My heart sank. I was mortified. I desperately needed toilet paper. I refused to go without, and also refused to use anything attached to me as a substitute. It was then I saw a pillar of light. I looked over and beheld paper towels. Paper towels! Brilliant!
            It wasn’t brilliant. Or as Bill and Ted would say, it was “most non-triumphant.” The toilet was clogged. I flushed, and flushed again. I tried at least six times. There was nothing I could do, the toilet simply would not flush.
            I decided to leave it be, figuring it wouldn’t be a big deal. I could not have been more wrong. As soon as I got out of the bathroom and headed back to the line, the lady in front of me turned around and said, “Oh! Is the bathroom available now?”
            “Umm…. Not exactly…” Is how I should have replied. Instead, I went with a simple, “Yes, yes it is.”
            She knew I was the last person to use it. Mortification was an extreme understatement. It was the kind of bathroom where there is only one toilet in the room. There are no stalls, it’s just you and the door. (You know the kind.) I tried to calm myself by saying it wasn’t a big deal. I’d get my yogurt and be out of there before she was done.
            Well, I wasn’t. The line was abnormally long and slow moving, and to my dismay, not one person had gotten in line after me. As this woman exited the bathroom, I became fully aware that I was still the last person in line. I couldn’t believe it. I wanted to turn around and apologize, but I couldn’t even muster up the courage to look her in the eye.
            I sat at home later that night thinking about the horrible experience I had just had. It was then that the thought dawned on me, “Perhaps things like that only happen to those who entice unfortunate events, due to their eating habits. Such as pizza for breakfast. Or reheated Taco Bell.”
            It was that day I made a more drastic change in my eating habits, which led to more positive results in my life. I’m not perfect – nobody is. I will continue to treat myself to a light dessert, and I don’t feel bad eating a small portion of potato chips. However,  I can confidently and honestly say that overall I am a much healthier, happier, and less humiliated human being because of the positive changes I made in my diet.


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