Busted Halo
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December 28th, 2002

Going Nuts

Greed and the Dr. Atkins Diet

 
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Since moving to Florida, I have gained thirteen pounds. Perhaps it’s the stress of the move. Perhaps I’m scared and alone and subconsciously seek to fill the void with food. Perhaps it’s the fact that for the past six months I have been, on a somewhat regular basis, eating an entire pizza then falling directly into bed. You be the judge.

However they got there, they are there nonetheless: thirteen lumpy, pants-tightening pounds. At first I attempted to convince myself that the scales in the NASA heath center were somehow miscalibrated (these people have designed a four-ton crane that can rest its cargo on the shell of an egg. I think they can handle a bathroom scale.) One day, however, I noticed that my fat-day shorts were uncomfortably snug, and then there was nothing for it. I had to diet.

I’m on a modification of the Dr.Atkins low-carb system. A modification, I say, because this man insists that bacon is okay, but wheat bread is not. Eggs are great, but clear the refrigerator of any and all apples. I can’t quite reconcile myself to such goings-on, especially when I clicked on the FAQ section of the website and found such inquires as, “Why is my hair falling out?”

Riiiggghhht. So, a modification it is. There is no peanut butter in my life anymore, however; no sugary treats, and no croissants. No carrots either. (Not that there were necessarily carrots there to begin with, but now I have an excuse.)

One item the diet allows is macadamia nuts. I had always been told that macadamias were sodium-laden, chock full of calories, and generally just bad, bad, bad; this makes them, of course, one of my all-time favorite foods. But now they’re “on the list.” I’m supposed to have them, the doctor said so, and so I take one for Team Body and plop them in the cart every single time I’m in the grocery. And I’m down two and a half pounds in ten days.

Weird thing about the macadamias, though�the more I have, the more I want. I could very easily crash through a jar a day. It’s more difficult for me to limit myself to just a few a day than it is to avoid my beloved bread completely. It’s never enough. I eat plenty, eat Atkins-approved, low carb foods until I’m full, and yet I know those macadamias are sitting there, waiting for me. Once they were within my grasp, I wanted them there all the time.

It’s the Potato Chip Syndrome, I guess, or the glory of downloadable music; once you know you can have something that makes you happy, and might even make people think you’re pretty cool, you want a whole lot of it. This, I think, is why the Precious Moments people are on the brink of ruling the entire universe.

Greed isn’t always about money. It walks hand in hand with gluttony, another deadly , and there’s nothing pretty about it. Sometimes it’s about material goods, career development, or attention.

Or macadamia nuts.

 
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The Author : Mary Beth Ellis
Mary Beth Ellis writes from Orlando, Florida.
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