Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Seven Deadly Sins -- Gluttony

And now, back to the Seven Deadly Socks of Sin...

What's on tap for today?

Ahhh, gluttony. What a great topic for the New Year, the time for resolutions. Let's see. Day 7 of 2009. Have we lost a pound? Ummmm. That would be a resounding no.

One of the problems with travel is that one keeps going to all these interesting new places in new countries. And of course one has to try the [insert food item here] because one may never return. So one eats and eats and eats and... one packs on a few kilo.

Of course, that's not the worst thing in the world, as three years ago, post-South-African-trauma, expateek weighed 10 lbs under her normal weight and subsisted entirely on a diet of biltong and red wine. Said diet didn't do much for the cholesterol count (although perhaps the red wine counteracted the effects of the dried red meat tidbits) but it sure made her look skeletal. When she returned to England in 2006, instead of people raving about how gloriously thin she was, they instead raised an eyebrow and said, "God, expateek, you look a bit ... gaunt."

Probably not the look she was aiming for.

On the other hand, the new Polish diet of pierogis and Żubrówka vodka hasn't done wonders for the waistline. Starch and booze. One hundred percent carbohydrate. Vitamin deficiency, anyone?

So Mr D and expateek have embarked on the 2009 self-improvement program, which involves eating healthfully (urk!), taking vitamins (urk!), and cutting back on booze (double urk!). What a bore. Naturally, Mr D who is the picture of discipline woke up on New Year's Day with a spring in his step and his usual single-minded ability to keep these New Year's resolutions. Exasperating, times 12.

For expateek? Not so easy. There are good days (2) and bad days (5) but all in all, it averages out.

If when you average 2 and 5 you come out with 4, which is actually better than 50% in expateek's world of crappy math! Yay! We round up, on expateek's planet. Except when we're looking at the digital scale, in which case we round down, and then subtract two, because we already ate breakfast. And then we move the scale because the bathroom tiles are kind of uneven and we try again.

But see? Here's the formula expateek used for calculating her dieting compliance average:

x=I/2 * p(d/dx) f(x)/g(x) = ( f '(x)g(x) - f(x)g '(x) ) / g^2(x)

where p is the number of pierogis consumed at each sitting,

f is the brand of Scotch expateek ordinarily likes to drink,

and g is expateek's girth in millimetres,

resulting in x, which equals the actual number of days, on average, that expateek has been compliant.

You'll notice that there's no z variable for Żubrówka, because we've definitely given up vodka for the new year. Wasn't that easy? At least one thing's going right!

Anyway. Compliance? Not expateek's strong suit. You do the math.

So to take our minds off food, let's carry on with a bit of Wikipedia research:

Derived from the Latin gluttire, meaning to gulp down or swallow, gluttony is the over-indulgence and over-consumption of anything to the point of waste. In the Christian religions, it is considered a sin because of the excessive desire for food, or its withholding from the needy.

Excessive desire for food. Right now. Keep typing. No fridge. No pantry. Keep typing. Do not get up from chair. Stop thinking about biltong, there's none in the house. Do not think about muesli either. Or brie. Or chocolate. Or heuvos rancheros. Or damn this is difficult. Keep typing. No biltong. No pretzels. No pierogis. Certainly no red wine as it's 11am. Please! We're not going for the Ernest Hemingway school of writing. The Old Man and the Sea. Ugh. Most boring book ever. Although come to think of it, there are many very tasty fish in the sea. Like salmon. Tuna. Both of which make delicious sushi. Which there's none of in the house either. Dammit!

Excuse us for a moment while someone goes to find a rice cake. You can just keep on reading.

Medieval church leaders (e.g., Thomas Aquinas) took a more expansive view of gluttony, arguing that it could also include an obsessive anticipation of meals, and the constant eating of delicacies and excessively costly foods [red wine, biltong, brie, Scotch]. Aquinas went so far as to prepare a list of six ways to commit gluttony, including:

  • Praepropere - eating too soon.
  • Laute - eating too expensively.
  • Nimis - eating too much.
  • Ardenter - eating too eagerly.
  • Studiose - eating too daintily.
  • Forente - eating wildly.

Eating wildly? Okay, enough! expateek is running off to eat wildly for a few minutes. Whatever that means.

Probably the rice cakes will be history....


Christine said...

I do the same thing with my bathroom scale. I am sure I read it somewhere in the Operating instructions. You are supposed to have a flat surface.

I hope you don't mind if I use your compliance equation. I will only have to substitute veriniki for the pierogi and Pinot Grigio for Scotch.

expateek said...

C-- good girl, for reading the operating instructions! I take more of an experimental/scientific approach, which involves numerous trials after which unpleasant results are discarded. Works/doesn't work for me! :-)