Apparently, as human people, we are supposed to want to
eat right and get in shape and lose weight and look
fabulous. Apparently, these things are very desirable. But
apparently, I am missing this gene.
Because I’ll be honest. I don’t particularly WANT to eat
healthy, or get in shape. I really don’t care. I eat crap, and I
consider “working out” to be the sort of thing that responsible
people do. You know those people who have file cabinets
and colored folders and keep all of their documents
organized? They work out. People like myself, whose only
file cabinet is the passenger seat in my car? People like me
do not work out.
Now, is it because I’m lazy? Absolutely! But also, that I really
hate it. I do. No, I hate it more than you do, because you
probably DO work out. Even though YOU hate working out,
you still do it anyway, right? Well, I hate it so much that I don’
t. See? I win.
But recently, El Dukay has been on this damnable health kick
thing, that has involved stir frying our dinners and eating
these things he likes to refer to as “vegetables.” You really
have to trick me to get me to eat a vegetable. Like, you need
to fry it. And then cover it in some sort of sauce. And even
then, if I detect green, I will spit it out.
So, you may be asking, what do I eat? Well. Let’s review the
things I consumed last Thursday. I wrote this down on
Friday, because I was talking to someone in the office, and
she was going on about calorie content and carbs and blah
blah blah, and I became curious about how the food I eat
stacks up. So, are you ready to be thoroughly disgusted?
Because you will be. Let’s go.
Breakfast: One Diet Coke.
Lunch: One bag generic potato chips from office
generic vending machines. We recently
moved to the generic snacks in the break
room. It is the tragedy of my working life.
Now I would kill for a Lay (not like that,
One Diet Coke.
Snack: Um. Another bag of generic potato chips
(there’s nothing to EAT, dammit!)
One Diet Coke.
Later Snack: Sigh. Another bag. Still gross. I’m trying,
generic potato chips! Work with me here!
Be not gross!
One Diet Coke. (Diet Cokes are free in
my office. This is the highlight of my
Dinner: Rice and stir fry chicken. I’m eating
healthy, I inform everyone.
One Diet Coke.
One half bottle wine.
Dessert: 76 goldfish crackers.
1 (large) bag Ruffles potato chips.
2 Ding Dong snack cakes.
Rest of wine.
One Diet Coke.
Oh, y’all. I am not lying. I am not exaggerating. Look at the
shit I eat! With the exception of the stir fry (which honestly, I
would not have eaten if it hadn’t been prepared for me by
someone else) my entire diet is junk. Crap. I eat like a six-
year old who has been given free reign of the kitchen. I want
a pony! I want a bicycle! I want DING DONGS! This is not
the diet of a responsible grown up. Except for the wine.
And do you like the way that I consume an entire six pack of
Diet Coke per day? Do you like that? Isn't that nice? That is
the healthy part of my diet. Because it says “Diet” in the
name. It MUST be good for you if it says “Diet” in the name!
Somehow, I think I am under the impression that I can eat
anything I want, but then cancel it out by drinking a Diet
Coke. Like the Diet Coke will mix with the other stuff in my
stomach and cover it with its diety goodness and just shrivel
up all the little calories. And then everything will be diet
food. Isn’t that how it works? Right?
Anyway, I am always amazed (Amazed!) that I tend to be tired
and kind of blah, particularly in the mornings. Well, after I
looked at my list, it hit me. Obviously I’m tired and blah! I’m
relying on potato chips for my essential nutrients. And that
ain’t natural, people.
Now, for the last few weeks, El Dukay’s been going to his club
to work out, and he kept on telling me that I should join him.
In response, I made positive sounding noises. Positive
sounding noises are not outright “yes” answers. They are
only noises. So he’ll be all, “You know, I think you’d really like
it, we should go together. They’ve got bikes, and these
something blah machines, and the nicest blah, and blah feel
the burn dee blah.” And I’d be, “Ohhhh. Really! Hmmm!”
This is not a “yes.” I had no actual intention of working out.
And let me tell you, I am very anti-working out. When people
ask me if I do work out, and then start talking about what gym
they go to and their endorphins, I get very quiet. You don’t
understand, I try to tell them with my eyes. I am not one of
you. I am not like that. I am not a worker-outer. You are
scaring me kind of a lot with your crazy talk. Look at me,
eating this ding dong! I will not join your scary healthy cult!
But then, on Saturday, it was this beautiful day. And El
Dukay called me and asked me what I wanted to do. And I
didn’t really care, so I said, “Oh, whatever you want to do.”
And you should never say those words. Because he
immediately said, “Great! Let’s go to the gym! I’ll see you in
And then he hung up, before I could make any good excuses
about how I accidentally broke my leg last night while
sleeping or how I can’t find my left arm. So I was stuck.
Now, it isn’t just that I don’t work out. It’s that I never work
out. Ever. No, I mean I never have. I have never gone to a
gym and gotten on the machines. The only time I’ve ever
been inside a gym was one time when I had to try to find my
roommate in college, and I went in the gym looking for her.
And know what the gym was like? Smelly. People sweat in
But on Saturday, it looked like the jig was up, so to speak. El
Dukay was taking me to the gym. So I steeled myself. I tried
on no less than sixty-four exercise ensembles (“A tee shirt
and some shorts!” El Dukay told me, after I called him for the
hundredth time to ask him about this working out thing.
“Surely you own a tee shirt! And some shorts!” Turns out, I
don’t. So I had to borrow some from my sister. Oh, and also,
I don’t own any exercise shoes. None. I have no tennis
shoes. I have no sneakers. I am just not that kind of girl,
okay? I have very cute loafers for casual time! So I had to
steal my mom’s.)
When I was finally ready, and wearing clothes and shoes that
do not belong to me, and carrying a water bottle that also
does not belong to me, I went to the gym. And on the way to
the gym, I managed to consume one large piece of coconut
custard pie, and smoke two cigarettes. To psych myself up,
I got there, and I met El Dukay. As we stood together in this
scary, terrible place, El Dukay asked me what parts of my
body I wanted to work out. “The…muscles?” I guessed. He
sighed, and directed me to the weight room. And I was
working hard to look like I knew what I was doing, even
though I was largely clueless. What, you sit on this
machine? I’d hiss at him. Oh, you STAND on it? Wait. What
am I…oh! I KNEW THAT. I'm on backwards, right. Shh!
Yeah, I got it. I GOT IT.
And then, because he is dumb, El Dukay left me alone. “Just
do reps on this one, and then this one, and then this one,” he
told me. “And I’ll be back to check on you in a few minutes.”
So I did what he told me to do. I did reps until he came back.
“Great!” he said. “How many did you do?” I was proud.
“One hundred on each machine,” I told him, smugly. His eyes
bugged out of his head. “YOU DID WHAT?” He said. “You
were supposed to do, like twenty! Tops!” He shook his head
and looked at me. “You are going to die.”
Right then, I didn’t feel like I was going to die. But I did think it
was weird when I was working out, and actually witnessed the
muscles in my thighs vibrating. “Look!” I told Dukay, pointing
at my legs. “My thighs are vibrating, only I am not having any
fun. That does not seem fair.”
But I didn’t stop. I treadmilled. I rode on the bicycle that
doesn’t go anywhere (this is called spinning, someone
informed me). I fell off of the elliptical machine three times,
and then decided to get back on the bike again. And then I
took a shower, and got dressed, and was all, “Well, THAT
was easy. That was cake. Hey, can we go have cake?” To
celebrate my first working out experience, El Dukay bought
me lunch. I had a cheeseburger, fries, and wine. And a Diet
So of course, you know where this is going. About two hours
after we’d finished working out, I began to feel something
strange in my legs. Ow. About three hours after working out,
I stopped being able to fully extend my legs. OW. And by
Saturday night, I was walking around the bar like I was ninety-
four and bowlegged and had rickets, shrieking about how my
FUCKING LEGS were FUCKING BROKEN, and this is ALL EL
DUKAY’S FAULT, and he had best bring me some damn
WINE and a CIGARETTE before I HOBBLE OVER THERE
AND BEAT HIM TO DEATH WITH MY GODDAMN CANE.
Y’all, it has been two days since I went to the gym. My legs
are still not fully operational. My thighs hurt. And my thighs
have NEVER hurt before. Why are you doing this to me,
thighs? Why do you hate me so much? Oh, people. It’s not
But you know, it might be…good. And it might be time to
make a change. I can’t live like a spoiled six year old
forever. It’s probably a good hurt, right? I mean, the next
time I look down, my legs are going to be all toned and
tanned, right? Like, I just have to go one more time or
something. That is what I think. Hey, maybe I can become
one of those crazy workout people! I can talk about
endorphins and my gym and resistance training and cardio.
And all those words I don’t think should be used in polite
conversation. I’ll become an exercise machine! My steel-like
thighs will be the envy of all! My ass will be so gorgeous and
shapely that it will be suitable for framing!
And then? I’ll go have a ding dong.