Thursday, June 15, 2006

Now Leaving: Comfort Zone

I went grocery shopping today.

I had my list.

I went prepared.

Yet I wandered around for well over an hour searching for stuff before finally wending my heavily-laden way to the checkout to fork over $207.85 for a week’s worth of food.

Now leaving: Your Comfort Zone! Y’all come back and see us, y’hear?

Among the items that caused me no end of perplexity: Kalamata olives. Bottled roasted red peppers. Brussel sprouts. Shallots. (Which were not with the onions and garlic where they obviously belong. They were with the tomatoes. Why? I. Have. No. Idea.)

I watched the items being rung up and winced at just about every single one of them. $2.98 for romaine lettuce. $5 for red bell peppers. $8 for asparagus. $6 for bagged salad. $12 for a lousy pound of grill-worthy shrimp.

It was enough to make my frugal soul shrivel up in a fit of despair, I tell you! I tried to be brave, but I think my lip may have quivered ever-so-slightly as I swiped my credit card and signed that yes, I, agreed to abide by the payment agreement…for Two. Hundred. Seven. Dollars. And. 85/100’s…!

Why am I putting myself through this awful paradigm shift? Glad you asked. A few days ago, my husband and I were getting dressed for work. He selected a pair of new slacks, slipped them on, and started to button them. He hesitated. He sucked in a noisy breath. Grunted. Sucked in his breath again. Made various noises clearly indicating that he wished me to note he was having trouble with this simplest of dressing tasks.

Then he regarded himself sternly in the mirror and said grimly, “That’s it. I can’t button my pants.”

There followed a pause, obviously meant for me to say something. I pondered the possibilities for a moment, then made the following gentle, loving and supportive statement: “Yup. Yer a fat bastard, alright.”

“I’ve got to go back on The Diet,” he said firmly, without hesitating long enough to even cast a dirty look my way.

Le sigh.

In the interest of spousal solidarity…we diet together. I don’t technically need to lose weight, but it won’t do me any harm to tighten up the old captain’s quarters a bit. My doctor has told me (repeatedly) that nothing short of surgery will cause the floppage around my midsection to quit flopping (and getting caught in zippers, which is both mortifying and painful when it happens), but because I am hard of hearing and very good at denial due to constant practice, I persist in believing that a little diet and exercise will be enough to erase four babies worth of skin-floppage.

Left to myself, even when well-intentioned, I have no willpower. If I am not following a diet, I will gravitate to the cheap food and make cheap meals that are so shockingly bad for you it defies description.

So. We’re trying the Sonoma diet. This diet meets my stringent anti-bullchips requirements of not promising that you will lose six hundred pounds by June 18 by eliminating any one food group altogether, popping two pills four times a day, or by replacing two meals a day with a delicious strawberry-crème shake.

It gives me a clear menu plan and shopping list. Which is important, because if it didn’t tell me to buy two heads of romaine lettuce, I would decide that we’re not going to eat the lettuce anyway so I’m not buying it. Ditto the radishes, cucumber, tomatoes, brussel sprouts…

But, most importantly: Being the Sonoma diet…it appreciates wine. After these first ten days, during which they’re attempting to break us of such habits as eating an entire box of doughnuts for snack and slamming down a keg of beer between snack and dinner, wine is part of the meal plan.

This is a diet I think I can live with. If the $200 weekly grocery bill doesn’t kill me, of course…

1 comment:

Very Herodotus said...

I swear, I can't get out of Safeway for under 100 bucks. It's like you'd set off the alarms or something if you try to sneak through the exit doors with less than that.