A cautionary tale

A couple of months ago I started a new job with a small business:  they help lower the trash footprint and are saving the planet by offering compost and recycling to apartment communities.

Translation: I’m touching, moving, and jumping on trash. 90% of my job is some sort of manual labor… and dealing with dog shit.

I don’t want to talk about it.

Whenever I have to start a new routine, I always sacrifice my workouts. I know it’s not the best thing to eliminate, but it’s what my body thinks it needs to adjust to a different schedule. 

My job also requires a lot of time in the car, so a majority of my meals have started with the syllable Mc. Because my job is so labor intensive, I have lost a few pounds despite my lack of nutrition. As “too good to be true” as it sounds… it is. Last Wednesday I had all three meals on the road and felt horrible.

Both mentally and physically. 

This has happened to me once before:

let’s travel back six years to Ft. Leonard Wood Missouri. 

It was the summer of 2007 and I was a little PFC (Private First Class) in Basic Training. It was the week of July fourth and a solid six weeks of the government molding me into a “hardcore” soldier. July 4th was a special day because there was going to be a celebration on post for our country’s independence. Usually privates in Basic are not allowed to attend such events, but due to our  “low stress cycle” (yes, there is such a thing), everyone in my Battalion got to enjoy a day of festivities.

Booths with frozen Snickers, pizza, soda, and cookie collections, were going to be scattered amongst the baseball field of Ft. Leonard Wood. The moment I learned we were attending this event, I had decided I would have a “Fat Girl Day.” I bragged about it to my fellow battle buddies (other privates in Basic Training) and couldn’t wait to get as much greasy, sugary, fattening food as I could inside of me.

Another private nicknamed Barbie caught wise to my plan. 

Barbie got her name on day zero of Basic. Day zero is the time between being assigned to a Battalion, and the first day of training. I was assigned to a Battalion May 30th, but didn’t start training until June 1st. So I was lucky enough to have two day zeros (the 30th and 31st).

Barbie wore her ACU uniform (the pixel-like one completely impractical for combat, and no longer used), with a messy -yet fashionable- bun. True all female soldiers have to wear a bun, but Barbie’s “after sex” look was somehow considered inappropriate while in uniform.

Because of this, the Drill Sergeants called her Barbie; they also called her to the front leaning-rest position (push-up position). Hell, even when getting reprimanded, the girl’s hair did look good.

Mind you, Barbie and I didn’t really talk. We never even hung out. But our nations independence can really bring people together. And sure enough, Barbie and I finally spoke, and made a pact to have a “Fat Girl Day”. 

Even though we didn’t know one-another, we kept our promise to each other. 

That day, it didn’t matter if I was full, or ate so many slices of pizza I felt disgusted at the sight of anything edible. I made sure to keep my promise to Barbie, and Barbie’s to me. Keep in mind, six weeks prior to this moment, we were on a strict three-meal a day regiment.

I have to tell you my friends, I now know why Gluttony is one of the seven-deadly sins.

The day after the Fourth of July celebration (July 5th to be exact), I felt as if I had a night of heavy drinking. My stomach hated me, I was lethargic, and felt weak from head to toe. 

Later that day Barbie walked up to me with a slight grimace and said, “Fat Girl Day was a terrible idea.” And she was right; “Fat Girl Day” was an awful idea, and I made this innocent soul do it with me. 

The point of this tangent is, eating fast food on the road is a lot like “Fat Girl Day”. At the time it’s a good idea, but by the end of the day, I feel weak, and share symptoms similar to a hangover.

Even though I don’t necessarily have to watch what I’m eating because of my labor intensive job, I’ve learned I cannot completely disregard all nutrition. 

Let this be a cautionary tale for you all.


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