Monday, January 27, 2014
I work in an office where there's a lot of food. Candy in the work area, donuts in the lunch room, and occasionally pizza-wherever-you-look, on "pizza day." For one entire year now, I have been declining pizza. That's about a dozen pizza-eating opportunities, give or take. I have been consistent with this - I ALWAYS ignore the pizza. Every. Single. Time.
And every single time, this act of apparent willpower and sacrifice seems to draw the awe and astonishment of people more than almost anything else I ever have done or could do. "YOU TURNED DOWN PIZZA?? HOW COULD YOU TURN DOWN P I Z Z A?!!!!"
Yeahhhh it's not as hard as you think.
"Don't you like pizza?!?"
Well yeah - who doesn't like pizza! Of course I like pizza.
"Are you lactose-intolerant, or going gluten free?"
Nope, no allergy or intolerance stands in my way.
"Wow, that's some incredible willpower!"
Well, actually........... not so much.
In the early days of My New Lifestyle, yes, there was willpower involved. The first time pizza was proffered, there was much gnashing of teeth, in fact, as I grimly turned my back on the pizza box and pouted in my cubicle, with the scent of melted cheese and pepperoni wafting through the entire building. I'd say I grinned and bore it, but I really doubt I was grinning at the time. However, after an hour, the air was clear of mozzarella fumes, my tasty packed lunch was consumed, and the gnawing Need To Have Pizza was all but forgotten. Lesson learned, there IS life after pizza! Passing up on a "free slice" really doesn't have any lasting negative impact on one's day.
The second time, the third time, the fourth time that pizza came calling, it got progressively easier to smell it, acknowledge that it existed, shrug my shoulders and walk on by. The confrontations by well meaning food-sharers still felt awkward though - "are you sure you don't want..? not even one piece?" Nah, really not hungry, thanks all the same!
Then one day pizza came, and... wow. Yuk. YUK. Ok, look at that stuff. It's the cheap take out from the 2-4-1 place, it's mostly thick bland crust, gone cold and soggy in the box, with some greasy cheese product on top.... I remember how it tastes... I remember it as being "kinda good" but wow, not THAT good. Not as good as the hummus-and-baby-spinach pita in my lunch bag! Not as good as the chicken dinner I'm saving up to enjoy tonight! It's just... not good enough. And when I perceive the food as "not good" or "not good enough" - it becomes REALLY easy to say no.
People find this amazing. *I* find it amazing that this is all I have to do to impress. Pass on a slice of mediocre cold-and-soggy 2-4-1 pizza, and I Am Legend.
"So, do you just not eat pizza anymore?" I was asked, during the most recent office pizza-go-round. Oh, no, I DO eat pizza. I just don't eat THAT pizza. Thanks all the same, but I just don't like THAT kind anymore!
That's the thing about having a small calorie budget to spend coupled with an unadulterated love of food. The smallish amount of food I eat - BETTER DARN WELL BE GOOD. It better be the BEST pizza. It better be twice as amazing as whatever's in my lunch bag. If it's not - WHY would I eat it? Because it's technically pizza, and pizza in any form cannot be denied? Because it's free?
I no longer remember exactly, all the reasons I had for eating it. I must have had a lot of "good reasons" because I know that I was a champion pizza-consumer in the not-too-distant past. I'm... pretty glad I have managed to replace them with reasons to give myself something better. That's the key - have something BETTER. Sacrifice and denial are not good long-term motivators. Reward, on the other hand, is. Soggy cold greasy pizza - is no reward. I deserve something more.