Category Archives: Food

Elbow Propping, Over-Caffeinating, and Other Coping Mechanisms for Extreme Exhaustion

I have never been an energetic person. From the time I was a teenager, I have complained about always being tired. Prior to my injury, I loved to dance, work out, and play sports, but engaging in any one of these activities meant I was pretty much spent for the rest of the day. Cleaning the house makes me want to curl up in bed and nap forever. I enjoy parties but after a while feel the need to retreat to the corner because they drain me. I was tested for mono, iron deficiency, and hypothyroidism, but apparently western medicine is all…those are the ONLY THREE THINGS that can make you tired and you don’t have them, so you must be okay.

Since doctors can’t figure me out and since I have zero energy and motivation to look into this any further, I spend my days fighting an uphill battle against extreme exhaustion. The first cup of coffee enables me to simply use my words. Prior to that, it’s too tiring to communication using any kind of official language, so I grunt my way through the morning. Getting my child packed up and out the door is like herding cats, and I dread every minute of our 45 minute commute to preschool and work, where he forces me to listen to Katy Perry over and over and I repeatedly slap myself in the face to 1. wake myself up and 2. punish myself for introducing him to Katy Perry.

Once I settle in at the office, a second wave of fatigue washes over me. I will now be sitting in this chair staring at this screen for the next 9 hours so in order to stay awake I down at least two more cups of strong office sledge, take a walk around the block during the 3pm slump, and sometimes sneak off to my car for a midday cat nap. I secretly enjoy it when I’m congested enough to take a Sudafed or Mucinex D and the little adrenaline kick from the pseudoephedrine gives me an extra boost. (No I am not and will never be a meth head, so all you Heisenberg theorists can go back to watching reruns of Breaking Bad.)

By the time my evening commute rolls around, I’m so tired I might disintegrate, but I struggle onward for another 45 minutes in the car before I walk through my door and go directly to the kitchen to start dinner. My poor family. Now that a child has entered the picture, I have no spare energy for concocting creative and/or tasty dinners, so it’s the same five meals on rotation every. single. week. Sorry guys. I really can cook, I swear! But you wouldn’t know it from the pre-made salads and boxed quinoa I serve up on a nightly basis.

Then, after bathtime and bedtime routines for the little guy, and after listening to him shout at us from his crib for another 45 minutes, I finally FINALLY can lay down on the couch and just relax and have time to myself. This is the time I should be using constructively. To blog. To watch movies and TV shows I haven’t seen. To read a book. To reorganize my closet. What happens instead? I have enough energy to queue up Scrubs or Psych for the millionth time and not pay attention to it because I don’t have the energy to FOCUS MY EARS AND EYEBALLS ON NEW MATERIAL ON MY TV. Seriously. I’m too tired to watch TV. Let’s roll that back and say it again.

I’m too tired to watch TV.

And doctors say there’s nothing wrong with me? Come on, guys. Even I know that something’s not right here. I know kids and full-time jobs make you tired. I know the drudgery of life can sometimes feel like pouring molasses down a kiddie slide. But something’s amiss if you can’t even be bothered to flip through your damn channels and find something interesting to fixate your eyeballs on for the next two hours. Right?! Isn’t it?! Or are all you fools just as exhausted as me and this is just how life is?


Just Because You Bought It At Whole Foods Doesn’t Make It Healthy

Remember that holiday diet I so futilely embarked on last month? Yeah, about that. It didn’t quite work out as planned. SHOCKER. Instead of spending January intestines-deep in cleanses and workouts like the rest of the country, I ate my face off. Now I’m looking at 6 additional pounds on top of the other pounds I had hoped to get rid of before the holidays.

There are, of course, mitigating circumstances that I can forgive myself for not staying vigilant on the diet path. When you fly across the country twice in the matter of a couple weeks for not-so-fun reasons, you sit there in the airport and go, “Am I REALLY going to eat this salad right now? Nope. I’m gonna grab me a chili dog at Johnny Rockets cuz fuck you guys.”

But this week I said, okay, it’s time to rejoin with my healthy intentions and make good on that weight-loss goal. I bought brand-new jeans this Christmas because I couldn’t fit into my old jeans, and now I can’t fit into the NEW jeans either, so once again I’m wearing stretchy jeggings that have a hole in the knee from overuse.

This week, I refused seconds. I put my salad in the small bowl instead of the big one so I wouldn’t have large portions. I declined cake and ice cream at my son’s birthday party. (Though I did indulge in a cake pop. It was shaped like a minion, I had no choice.) And then yesterday, I took a trip to Whole Foods for lunch and had a lovely roast beef sandwich, which as we all know is the healthiest of lunch meats.

Not going to lie, just the proximity to all that kombucha and gluten-free pasta made me feel like my insides were getting a scrub-down. I happily consumed my sandwich while my friend first massaged and then ate her kale salad, and I thought, “I am so losing a couple pounds after this.” Jumped on the scale this morning, and what happened?

I gained two more mother-effing pounds.

Moral of the story: a roast-beef sandwich is still pretty much a sandwich, which is not as healthy an option as a kale salad or moss or whatever the latest tastes-like-garbage-but-is-really-healthy-we-swear food is. Just because some white girl with dreds down to her ass spread garlic aioli on that slice of artisan loaf, doesn’t make it healthy. When you take away the earthy-crunchy Whole Foods aura, all you get is a bready lunch meat sub with mayo….a really delicious bready lunch meat sub with mayo, but still.

Next time I go out to grocery-store lunch, I am avoiding the olive and sandwich bar (a nearly impossible feat, but don’t forget, somewhere down deep inside I DO have some steely will power) and heading over to the produce section. Or, maybe I can just eat the lettuce that sits wilting in my own refrigerator without dousing it in ranch dressing. I can do this, guys. Just keep me away from Whole Foods.

I’m the Idiot Trying to Diet During the Holidays

I am trying to lose weight during the holiday season. This may just be the stupidest idea anyone’s ever had in the history of ideas, and I’m not THAT prone to hyperbole (only one in every five or six statements). I am THAT prone to sarcasm, however, so take from that what you will.

My reason for wanting to lose weight is so I can indulge myself in Christmas festivities and only gain back what I lost. I also want to return home to my East Coast family all heeeeeeey, check me out, I haven’t let myself go yet! A nice theory, except I won’t be home until December 23. Between now and then I will have attended four Christmas parties and a children’s birthday party (where you know there’ll be cake, which usually isn’t a big deal for me as I’m not into cake, but now I can’t have it so my brain is all CAKE CAKE CAKE CAKE). Also these parties sort of fall under the category of “indulge myself in Christmas festivities” so I’m trapped by my own failed logic.

My workplace is of no help. Every damn day there’s a spread. (Italians are suckers for a spread.) Cookies and marshmallows and chocolates and crackers and cheese and bread and olives all laid out just so over a festive Christmas tablecloth. Why’d you have to put down a tablecloth, office? Now you know I can’t resist that shit! When it’s on a regular surface, I might be able to walk by. But on a red-and-green plaid tablecloth THAT IS ALSO SPARKLY?! You’re killing me!


I mean, seriously. How do you say no to this?
I mean, seriously. How do you say no to this?

There is now less than a week until Christmas, but I just can’t quit you, diet. I know that at this point it’s a lost cause and I just should happily NOM NOM NOM my way through the holidays, eyes glazed, tummy happy, but there’s just one problem: clothes. I have exactly three sweaters that are holdovers from 2006 when I still lived in cold weather climates, and they are all small and unforgiving of holiday belly bulge. I’ve also got exactly two pairs of pants that fit me that aren’t leggings. It’s cold as shit back east, so I need to rinse, recycle, and reuse those puppies until (fingers crossed) new holiday clothes magically appear under the tree? If not, then sorry to everyone who must suffer the same three ill-fitting outfits over and over every time I come home to visit for Christmas.

You know what, though? Olives and cheese trump comfort or fashion. So apologies, dear family, for the not-so-discreet loosening of the buttons that will inevitably take place during Christmas dinner. It’s either that or I wear my stretchy pants.