OK, without going into too much medical mumbo-jumbo, I’m supposed to have a new healthy diet, which includes cutting out most carbohydrates. Not fruits and veggies, but Starchy Carbs – like pasta, cereal, rice, baked goods, potatoes, and grains (YES, even if they’re made with yummy grains and oats and the gluten that comes with them). And Sugary Carbs — like desserts, sodas, juices, and sweets.
So, I shall explain what I’ve learned about these carbs and why they are so truly “sucky” and unhealthy (unless you do a ton of anaerobic activity), in this little vignette where the carbs are the hot guy from high school/college who you so desperately wanted — who can resist carb talk and 80s humor? (Be Warned: I’m a Gen Xer so my references may be dated).
It starts like this: First, you see the hot guy (donut, multigrain bagel, bbq potato chip, bowl of whole wheat spaghetti) and you think, Oooooh you’re cute, I totally want you. Your heart beats a bit faster and you do your best to impress. Now, I realize no one needs to impress a donut to eat it, though I will admit there are times I tell the donut how I’ve worked out earlier that day, in hopes that it doesn’t think I’m a gluttonous slob.
Hot Guy is up for a little conversation – you take a bite. (I mean of the donut, not the guy — this is a comparison remember?) You love your little tête-à-tête and you want more, you crave more, your body can’t get enough (Oh that’s because carbohydrates raise insulin, which then lowers blood sugar, which causes a craving for more food.) So you talk a little more to Hot Guy and you trade digits! (Trust me the donut’s already got your number).
SCORE, you’re on a high (your adrenal glands are pumping out adrenaline and cortisol and you feel chipper and awake). You can’t wait to get a ring on your new Panasonic speakerphone with something called “speed dial” and a 20 number memory!!! You’d like to call him, but you’re gonna have a little will power here because you know how to play it cool (this is your attempt to diet/eat healthy). You use the excess energy to plan tomorrow’s outfit, because you don’t know which lipstick will go best with the UNITS outfit you’re going to piece together and pair with matching EGs. You’re thinking Silver City Pink. No no, Frosted Brownie.
Every time you take a call or have a date, you feel this high and a craving for more, but then there’s also this weird crushing feeling you get after you’ve been separated too long. (The post-carb letdown phenomenon, or the “crash”). Does he still like me? I love him, everyone loves him… he’s great. He can even pull off Z Cavaricci’s better than Slater on Saved by the Bell. You’re thinking, Ugh, that makes me Jessie, I like Jessie, but I wish I was Kelly. Jessie’s a bit too straight laced for me. I bet Elizabeth Berkley, the actress who plays her, is such a prude in real life.
You get depressed, feel sluggish, listless… it’s been a while since you’ve spoken. The last time you saw him, you gave him the mate to your silver hoop earring to wear in his left ear … and you don’t even know how it looks yet! You call again in desperation, you can’t quit him and you don’t know when you’ve gone too far. (After eating a lot of carbs free radicals, the atoms that attack cells and age you, assault the neurons that regulate when you’re full, so your body can’t tell when you’re done. AWESOME!) You desperately, ask to see him tonight.
You’re sitting at Bennigans, or Fridays, or Ruby Tuesday, or some other fancy place he took you to and all you can think is, “How does he get his mullet so feathery?” You inhale his Calvin Klein Obsession for Men as quickly as you inhale your Ultimate Nachos. Oh, you’re so into him. Next thing you know your stirrup pants are bunched up in the back seat of his Nissan 300zx and you’re fucked… You slutty carb whore, you. (Insulin was released to help allow carbs into cells where they’re converted into glycogen: the fuel stored to be used during activity, but your cell’s storage was already full or nearly full and the excess became fat! YAY!)
Now Hot Guy doesn’t take your calls or answer the door, even though you he’s home because you did a drive-by! (Over time you can become insulin resistant, which means the cells don’t open for the glycogen when the insulin comes a knockin’.)
You’re thinking, Ugh, was it the Frosted Brownie? Should I have worn Farlows, should I have thrown in more Caddy Shack quotes? (Did I really need to eat the Oreo, bag of chips … half a bread basket?)
You realize, as awesome as Hot Guy seemed, he was bad for you all along … Carbohydrates will cause you to gain weight, screw up your immune system, cause inflammation in your body which ages your organs and skin, and mess with your hormones and health the same way Hot Guy would’ve left you at the prom to hook up with a girl named Jennifer, or Kelly, or worse HEATHER!
Well, screw Heather, and Hot Guy, and carbs.
Go ahead, share this with other woman, it could save their lives… well at the very least their virginity (OK, probably not that either).