The other day, after a particularly arduous morning of building the newspaper, my boss and I went to the local Subway sandwich shop for a late lunch.
I try to avoid eating out, because it’s hard to count calories at restaurants, and let’s face it, restaurant food doesn’t typically taste so yummy because it’s good for us. But I was really hungry and had been in such a rush that morning I failed to pack a lunch. Subway’s not so bad, I thought when my boss suggested it. After all, we’ve all seen how well it worked for Jared in the commercials.
On the menu board above the counter I perused my options. I skimmed over the “fit” selections to the more scrumptious-looking, and more aggressively-marketed, items displayed on the backlit menu. I settled on a steak and cheese sub. Now, I’m an educated person. I know what is considered “healthy” and what is considered “unhealthy.” I know I could have (should have?) chosen healthier, but I decided that I’d try to mitigate the damage. So I consciously chose a six-inch sandwich on wheat (good) bread (bad), with provolone cheese and lite (good) mayo (bad), tricking myself into thinking that I was making healthier choices and still eating what I wanted.
Here’s what I should have ordered:
“A six inch steak and cheese sub, please - hold the red meat and dairy products, on wheat – hold the bread, veggies, and lite mayo – oh yeah, and hold the mayo.”
What does that leave me with?
A salad. (No dressing.)
It hardly seems fair that a “thin” person can order a foot-long sub, load it up with bacon and double meat, on white bread with regular ole’ mayo, eat it all and a bag of chips, and still be “thin.” Of course, my friend Michelle would be the first to point out that just because they’re thin, doesn’t mean they are healthy.
And she’s right. But the fact of the matter is that it seems to be all about appearances. Fat people like me look unhealthy because we’re fat. We are a stereotype. That stereotype paints fat people as lazy, gluttonous individuals with no motivation for anything, let alone for exercise, and with unhealthy eating habits and a severe aversion to salad.
I know fat people who go to the gym every day and have better cholesterol numbers than other thin people I know. I know thin people who have suffered heart attacks and had doctors advise them to lead a healthier lifestyle. The numbers, though, tell us that people who are fat are more likely to have heart disease, diabetes, and a bunch of other health issues. Even cancer. Whew. Talk about scary stuff. Why then, have we all not been scared thin?
I wondered this as I ate my sandwich and the cookies I added onto my order for a dollar. Then I spent the next three hours feeling guilty for my lunch choices. An hour for each cookie.
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