Posts Tagged ‘HELP ME ELISABETH KEEBLER ROSS’

THE FIVE STAGES OF GRIEF: JUNK FOOD EDITION

I’m not going down without a fight. If the universe, in its infinite wisdom, has decided to give me a metabolism that just can’t handle a diet of Chicken McNuggets, New York Egg Creams, and Totino’s Pizza Rolls, so be it. But I’ll be damned if I’m going quietly, universe. I’m bringin’ it like a UFC cage fight.

I think it’s cute when people say “I’m starting my diet tomorrow.” And by cute, I mean asinine. If you’ve had a 30-year relationship with potato chips…sorry, but it’s not going to be that easy.

I’ve been in love with junk food all my life. My earliest fast food memory comes in a bright red Happy Meal box…with golden arches for handles. That was when Happy Meals still came in boxes. With a toy AND little bag of cookies inside. Ahhh…good times.

Once I was at a McDonald’s in Plano, Texas, with my Aunt Liza. There was a bomb threat. And the whole place had to be evacuated. When we made it to the parking lot, I realized my Happy Meal was still inside. Blinded by panic, I broke free and ran back into the doomed building to get it. Even at six-years-old, I knew McDonald’s fries were worth risking death for.

So, am I going to have to change my evil eating ways? It’s looking that way. If I’m ever going to “realize my friggin’ potential.”

But I’ve been thinking…if you’ve been in love with something for 30 years, the process of grieving its loss in your life will, and should be, significant.

So, I’ve come up with a plan: How to mourn the loss of junk food according to Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s Five Stages of Grief. Ok, so Elisabeth was talking about people dying. And I’m talking about pizza dying. Humor me.

STAGE 1: DENIAL

This is the night before every diet you’ve ever started. And by you, I mean me. When you go to bed completely convinced that tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your skinny little life. You’re going to start { insert diet here } tomorrow. Never mind that you hate to cook and the only thing in your fridge is turkey bacon, Nite White gel, and a can of gourmet dog food.

STAGE 2: ANGER

This stage usually begins the next morning about 7:33. When you’ve got to go to work and realize the clean eating plan that is going to change your life calls for oatmeal, blueberries, an egg white omelette made with spinach, and green tea. You have five minutes, turkey bacon, and dog food. The anger continues when you brave the grocery store after work. You’re several hours into sugar withdrawals by now. On Aisle 3, you start to hate:

  • Your best friend from high school who can eat anything she wants and still have a concave stomach and zero back fat
  • The unrepentant woman currently blocking Aisle 3 with her shopping cart
  • Every restaurant and fast food establishment that exists. Plus everyone who works for them and everyone who frequents them.
  • The singers Meatloaf, Peaches & Herb, and Bread. Ok, maybe not Peaches & Herb.
  • The Friday morning, donut packing, coworkers of the world
  • Girl Scouts
  • And the kind of God who would introduce you to chocolate and marshmallow Pinwheels only to punish you for eating them

STAGE 3: BARGAINING

These are the hours of desperation. When you say to yourself, “Ok, I’ve got to finish off the Haagen Dazs in the freezer. And then I’ll never eat ice cream again.” Or when you decide tomorrow is a much better day to start:

  • “I’ll start on January 27th because 27 is my favorite number.”
  • “I’ll start on February 21st because my birthday is October 21st.”
  • “I’ll start on Cinco De Mayo. I’ll stand in victory with Mexico.”

This is also the stage of “last meals.” You know, when you indulge in all your favorite foods? The stuff you’ll never be able to eat again? I’ve eaten more last meals than the Texas penitentiary system.

PS…I didn’t even have to look up how to spell “Haagen Dazs.”

STAGE 4: DEPRESSION

I say, if you’re going to have a feeling, have it. Wallow in it. Roll around in it. Just smear it all over yourself. Then get up and go take a shower.

The same is true about depression. Am I sad Junior (as in Mint) isn’t going to watch the movie previews with me anymore? Yes.

Am I sad that all my friends still get to make out with tacos from the taco truck? More than you know.

And am I terrified of the person I might become? The kind of person who has a rolly cart just for Saturday morning trips to the Farmer’s Market? The kind of person who doesn’t eat dessert? Or the kind of person who goes around telling people how many calories are in the exact thing they’re about to put in their mouth? Shoot me now.

STAGE 5: ACCEPTANCE

The point when you wouldn’t run towards a ticking time bomb to get your Happy Meal. I’ll let you know when I’m there.

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