Monday, September 6, 2010

A Fool and Her Burrito Are Surprisingly Parted

Sometimes you have what you want right in your hand, and the cruel Gods of fate conspire to take it away.

And just when you're ready to curse the unfeeling universe and gnash your teeth at the sky, you realize you're better off without it.

At least, that's what I hope. But I'm pretty sure that I'm better off without eating burritos, intense hunger aside.

My lesson in weight-loss philosophy (or is this weight-loss theology? I'm not sure) began with a long bike ride this morning downtown. For sustenance I had a slice of bread and a bit of cheese (that was breakfast, really), then when I got to where I was meeting friends, I had two teeny tiny poached eggs (no butter AT ALL, dammit) on a wee crisp of toasted bread (maybe half a slice, if that).

Then I biked all the way back uptown, stopping to do the week's shopping. I was just going to buy the usual stuff, but then I saw so many sales going on that I thought, ok, I'd better take advantage.

This is probably a city person ritual, but every few months I do a super big purchase of heavy goods, like cans of beans, tuna fish, olive oil, vinegar, water, kitty litter, etc... and have it all delivered. Then I go a few weeks just buying produce and perishables until the staple supplies run low and I make a big buy and have it delivered. Try as I might, I just can't bike home with all that stuff.

So this quickly became a big purchase because so much stuff was on sale and I figured why not stock up? It took longer than I thought, and I began to feel the first little glimmers of a low-blood sugar situation about halfway through the process.

I decided I could hold out until I got home for something healthy. But I hadn't counted on the massive Labor Day lines. By the time I got close to the checkout line I was starting to shake. Luckily I was right by the prepared foods section. I looked at the rows of pizza, pre-cooked quiche, sandwiches (yucky and unappealing) and spied a bean burrito in a wrap.

Well, I figured that was the best of the lot, so I grabbed one. And after I paid for my groceries and left them in the hands of the teller, I exited Whole Foods with my burrito in my hot little palm, fully intending to snarf it ASAP.

Side note: why is that the hungrier you are and the faster you want to shop, the more young kids there are in the grocery store accompanied by parents who just can't quite seem to realize that their adorable offspring are a bloody pain in the ass when they block the aisles? I'm all for kids, but a child raised without consideration for others I can definitely do without.

Anyway, that's probably the low blood sugar talking, but I practically ran out of the store, threw myself on my bike and ravenously unwrapped the top half of the burrito. I kept the slippery plastic wrapping as a barrier around the second half so I could protect it from my germy fingers while still eating it.

Not very smart, as it turns out.

So there I was, rather dangerously riding with one hand free to steer and apply brakes as needed, and the other clutching a burrito applied all too frequently to my mouth.

It was GOOD. But I doubt very much it was healthy. Simply put, it tasted too much like a high-fat treat to be low-calorie. I am sure those beans were refried or something like that. I will admit to being naive in the general sense of the word, but I've long ago given up pretending things are low calorie when they are not. If you are going to eat something, eat it, I say. But let's not blur the picture with self-delusion and lame justifications.

So I chomped away at the burrito, registering that it wasn't a really low-cal option, but too hungry to stop eating it.

I was three big bites in and already sensing a lessening of the weird hollow feeling that indicates a sugar drop is coming when I saw a big bump ahead that had to be navigated.

I put my left hand down to the handlebar, still holding the burrito, and carefully wound my way over the curb and pothole.

Only I hadn't accounted for the effect of trying to squeeze my brake, hold the handlebar and absorb the big shock that came from dropping about three inches from curb to street again.

The burrito completely fell out of my hand when I hit that street. SPLAT. Or, as Fonzi might have said a long time ago, Splatamundo.

It happened in a heartbeat. One second I was fiercely clutching my six-dollar burrito. The next, it was gone.

I didn't even stop. It wasn't going to be salvaged. The damage was irreparable. I knew it right away. Let some carnivorous squirrel reap the rewards, or a hungry doggie. I peddled on, the empty plastic wrapping fruitlessly held in my hand.

But within a few peddle pumps, a strange feeling of indifference stole over me. I lamented the waste of six dollars, to be sure. But I was no longer starvingly hungry. Those three bites had helped a lot.

So what did it really matter that I had lost the rest? Maybe, just maybe, it was a boon from the all-knowing Gods. That burrito was surely loaded with calories, and since I'd had enough, wasn't that all I needed to eat?

As the old saying goes, which I've quoted here before, "Enough is as good as a feast."

I guess sometimes the universe does hear us. I've been caterwauling about how I want to learn to control portions effortlessly, and today I got a very vivid, physical example of just how it is done: drop the food when you've taken the edge off your hunger.

It's as easy as that: Just drop it, and move on. Thanks for the philosophy lesson, Life. I think I like it.


  1. Well - at least *you* didn't fall off the bike! Silver linings to be had everywhere :D

  2. That's a good lesson to learn, Ish, and $5 worth of wasted burrito is totally worth that money!