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Carrot Muffin, Hershey’s Milk Chocolate and Toffee Nugget, Half a Ding Dong

October 10, 2013

That’s everything I’ve eaten today. I don’t normally eat this much garbage at once, but I had a doctor’s appointment this morning, and I need to get all my crap eating in now before my blood test results come back and my doctor drives over to my house, holds me down, and force feeds me Lipitor. For the past year, I’ve been telling her that I’m perfectly capable of getting my genetically high cholesterol down without medication, but every time she checks it, it’s still horrific. Then we have a conversation about whether I’m exercising (yes) enough to get my heart rate up (mmmmaybe) and doing resistance training (ha ha ha what?). I think she’s decided that I’m a complete simpleton because she keeps dumbing down this conversation. Today she spent a good three minutes explaining that if I go for a walk, I can make it a better workout by walking faster. Ordinarily I would object to having to sit there and nod my head as if these were fascinating and novel concepts, but seeing as how six months ago I swore up and down to her that I was going to completely revamp my eating and exercise habits and today I am ten pounds heavier than I was then, I can see why she’s started to slow-talk me. If we have to have this conversation one more time, I expect her to pull out the diagrams.

Why can’t I just have heart disease like everyone else? I ask for so little. Let me have this.

(Just kidding, Universe. Please don’t give me heart disease.)

Man, I’m hungry.

As long as we’re on the topic of foods I’m not giving up: Barilla pasta. This was a couple of weeks back, but evidently, the president of Barilla said in an interview that he would not be using gay couples in their commercials because — and this is where things get a little fuzzy, but it was something like, pasta = family, family = welcoming, by the principle of transitivity, pasta = welcoming; therefore, the gays should just get the hell out of here. He wasn’t that harsh, but what he said did have a certain Michael Scott quality to it. His basic point was that he felt that he would lose more customers than he’d gain, and therefore he wasn’t going to do it. He didn’t say he personally had any animosity towards gay people or that he himself was opposed to gay marriage; he was just saying, “hey, here’s a business decision I’m making. It’s kind of backwards, but whatever.” And possibly he does hate gay people; I have no idea.

(Eating other half of Ding Dong now. It is time.)

(I think they’re making these smaller now. What the hell, Hostess?)

Here’s the thing. If President Barilla (I don’t think that’s his name, but I don’t have the energy to look it up because did you see the part above where all I’ve eaten today is a bunch of sugar?) were donating profits from his company or his own personal money earned from his company to anti-gay groups (or any other group that I fundamentally disagree with on a philosophical, political, or ethical level), then absolutely I wouldn’t buy Barilla pasta. But if I start basing my purchasing decisions solely on whether or not the CEO thinks bigoted thoughts, then I’m not going to be able to buy much of anything ever. I mean really, when was the last time you heard someone say, “I wish everyone could be as progressive and broad-minded as the executives of large corporations!” Moreover, if I’m going to take a stand on Barilla pasta, then in order not to be a huge hypocrite, I would need to find out how all the other pasta company CEOs feel about things. Maybe President Ronzoni is anti-choice. Perhaps the Duke of De Cecco favors a return to anti-miscegenation laws. Possibly Sir Golden Grain voted for Romney. I don’t want to conduct a congressional confirmation hearing; I just want to eat spaghetti and meatballs. The fatty beef kind of meatballs, not that ground turkey nonsense.

  1. October 10, 2013 6:30 PM

    I’m not a big pasta person (although meatballs are another story) and thus far I’ve been lucky: all the most hated foot-in-mouth CEOs who have questionable beliefs (Whole Foods, Abercrombie, Chick-fil-A, Barilla, and so forth) make products I don’t buy. To be honest, I am praying that the CEO of Fage yogurt keeps his big mouth shut because then I would actually have to make a meaningful moral decision.

    How can anyone eat half a Ding Dong? I was in great suspense until you finished it. As a kid, I think meatballs for dinner followed by Ding Dongs would probably have been one of my Ideal Meals.

    I won’t patronize Chick-fil-A because they’ve donated millions to anti-gay marriage organizations, but for me that’s different than the Barilla guy having opinions that I think are completely wrong. If he were actively working against gay marriage or civil rights in general, it would be a different story, but I feel like he’s entitled to be wrong and shortsighted, which as far as I can tell is all that’s going on with him.

    Yeah, the half a Ding Dong thing was weird. I’m not sure what I thought I was accomplishing.

  2. October 10, 2013 7:00 PM

    I am in awe of your personal dietary choices.

    I regret nothing. I do feel like throwing up though.

  3. October 10, 2013 7:27 PM

    Actually, those “wrong” photos look like they burn more calories than the “right” ones.

    I was just going to post my new and improved (although still far from perfect) cholesterol numbers on my blog. I owe it all to Fitbit (and a competitive edge that leads me to best my so-called Fitbit “friends”).. It turns out you can eat Snickers and ice cream if you take 10,000 steps a day. A bonus of all that stepping is there is less time to eat, plus I am too tired to stay up late noshing, so I lost a few pounds as well. And I feel pretty damn smug about it.

    I really can’t tell the difference between Barilla and Creamette pasta, but I still like flat Italian parsley better than the curly.

    Protestations to the contrary, I take about 12K steps a day. My cholesterol is high more from genetics than anything else. Even when I was 22 and weighed 120 pounds, my LDL was still something like 150. The thinking now is that for people like me, the important thing isn’t cholesterol numbers but the level of inflammation; I mentioned that to my doctor today and she seemed surprised that I knew about it (I mean, obviously — I don’t even understand walking!) but she ordered a test for it. If it comes back normal, then she said she won’t insist that I take a statin, but she’ll still bug me about diet and exercise, which is why I’m planning to eat as much fat as I can for the next two days.

    Edited one day later to say: 10K. That should say 10K steps. I don’t know what I was thinking. I HAD A LOT OF SUGAR YESTERDAY AND WAS CONFUSED.

  4. Marius permalink
    October 11, 2013 2:23 AM

    We don’t usually buy Barilla anything, so we’re just going to continue doing that. At first I was all ‘burn Barlilla factories!’ but then I saw what he actually said and you are absolutely right, it did not even come close to the levels of bigotry and/or crazy of Chick-Fil-A or Orson Scott Card.

    And yes, Twinkies and Ding Dongs are pale shadows of their once great selves.

    The Ding Dongs are no longer foil-wrapped, which seems conceptually wrong to me. I am also upset that the new owners have not seen fit to resurrect Sno-Balls or Tiger Tails, those hacks.

    I prefer Ronzoni pasta but it’s never on sale. What did Orson Scott Card say? Wait, who is Orson Scott Card? Hold on, looking it up. … Whoa, this guy’s views are all over the place, aren’t they? And a 2012 Gingrich supporter? Ha. Even Gingrich was like, “eh” on Gingrich in 2012.

  5. Lynne permalink
    October 11, 2013 3:43 AM

    My doctor told me I was fat and let myself go. For my diet, he told me if I see it on TV I shouldn’t eat it. So I stopped watching TV and now I can eat anything (at least until a month before I have to see him again and then I will eat water).

    I’m only a little fat. I did gain 10 pounds this year, but I lost 10 last year, so my net +fatness is 15 pounds, which is what it usually is. I’ve tried the eating nothing unhealthy fakeout for a month (okay, week) before I go to the doctor, but it doesn’t work. My cholesterol is like, “eat air if you want, I’m still not budging.”

  6. October 11, 2013 5:47 PM

    Granted, it is bad to listen to Internet health advice, but there is a growing consensus amongst a significant minority that saturated fat and cholesterol aren’t nearly as dangerous as they have been said to be in the past..and also concern that doctors are unduly emphasized by drug companies and are pushing statins as a result.

    Again, I am not a doctor, but just saying maybe you shouldn’t be QUITE so worried…

    Yes, the LDL = DEATH model is outdated. A more important factor is the size of the LDL particles, but it’s not a test that’s widely available. There’s also a theory that if your cholesterol is naturally high regardless of diet, then it’s less likely to lead to arteriosclerosis. I understand why doctors don’t want to get into the finer points with patients, since the natural tendency is for the patient (by which I mean me) to say, “SO IN OTHER WORDS I AM FINE! WELL, OFF TO BURGER KING!” but I’m not wild about taking a drug that has a list of potential side effects ten times longer than the conditions it treats.

  7. October 11, 2013 8:58 PM

    I must hear more about how this walking faster thing gives you a better workout. The more you know (rainbow/star)!

    I don’t have more information on that, but I do know that if you walk outside and the weather is especially cold, one idea is to wear a coat.

  8. October 12, 2013 5:06 AM

    Using statins has been shown to inhibit the ‘healthy’ benefits of exercise, actually. :( Before you go on one, I hope you can at least get a second opinion (again, I am not a doctor, just giving my totally biased opinion).

    I think that’s accurate only in a very narrow sense. Both exercise and statins raise good cholesterol, so overall statins are beneficial in that respect. Statins CAN raise blood sugar in some people, counter to any benefit from exercise, but that can be monitored on a daily basis and the medication stopped before it causes damage.

    (I am not a doctor either, but I watched every season of ER, except for the later boring ones.)

  9. October 14, 2013 2:17 PM

    I’m very overweight and have been for many years, but my cholesterol, blood pressure, etc. have never been out of the normal range and I’m not on any medications. But people constantly write articles assuming I’m the reason insurance rates are so high because I must be about to drop dead since I’m carrying too many pounds. They look at me and can’t fathom that I could possibly be going about my life without taking multiple pills every single day. Because we can totally know everything about a person based on appearances it seems. It burns my biscuits when I read those types of things. Yummmmmm, biscuits…..

    In general, excess weight correlates with worse numbers, but not always. I was watching Dr. Oz recently (I usually don’t watch because I find the man almost unbearably creepy, but every once in a while I get suckered in during the first few minutes and then I regret it because at some point during the show he brings out a tray with a pancreas on it) and he had three people whose cholesterol numbers he’d just ran. The normal weight person had okay numbers, the moderately overweight person had poor numbers, and the very overweight person had good numbers. Then Dr. Oz gave some highly scientific medical advice of the “eat more vegetables, eat fewer Ding Dongs” variety. It was a complete waste of my time, but at least I didn’t have to look at any dessicated human organs.

  10. Jen permalink
    October 18, 2013 12:48 PM

    I read what he said was

    “I would never do [a commercial] with a homosexual family, not for lack of respect, but because we don’t agree with them,” the company chairman told Italian radio Wednesday evening. “Ours is a classic family where the woman plays a fundamental role.

    Which isn’t horrible but not as innocuous as it was just a marketing decision.

    I hadn’t seen that but upon further Googlage, I find that statement in a couple of different places but worded slightly differently and less assily. Part of it is, I think, a translation issue (his interview was in Italian), and the other part of it is that the guy is at least half Cro-Magnon. He has said that he’s in favor of gay marriage but against gay adoption, so my reaction to that is, “good, I’m glad we agr… wait, what?” In any event, although I don’t agree with his views (not that I’m exactly sure what they even are, but my sense is that I disagree with him), my essential point is that I don’t think his views are unique among CEOs of companies that manufacture things I purchase.

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