Being healthy is the worst.
I should really clarify, I suppose. Behaving in a healthy manner is the worst. Having physical health is an okay thing, I suppose, though if behaving in a healthy manner is what it takes to achieve it, I fear it may be highly overrated.
Recently, I decided to be a healthier person in an effort to, you know, not die. I began to watch what I was eating more and I started exercising every day. While my intentions are good, the issue I run face-first into every single day is that I hate it. Scratch that. I loathe it. With every fiber of my being, I despise it. I hate running, I hate lifting weights. I’m not even really all that fond of moving so the exercise part is a huge bummer. I had also carefully cultivated a diet consisting of the four most important food groups: cheese, grease, carbs, and a second but even meltier layer of cheese. This meant that all of my favorite foods were to be replaced with things like vegetables and whole grains.
Despite my hatred, I have stuck with it. After all, my body is a temple, or at the very least it is temple-like. It is not always easy, though.
Today, I walked into work and what greeted me was not the usual aroma of stale coffee or the stench of that one coworker who loves essential oils, but a fresh-baked smell. There, on the break room table, sat bagels. Dozens and dozens of bagels. Small tubs of cream cheese were laid about the bagels in an inviting pattern, one tub per every two boxes of bagels. I glanced, but as I am now a very healthy person, I continued on. Then, past the throngs of people groping and grasping for cinnamon bagels, I saw it.
The crumbles of cheese reflected the unnatural fluorescent lighting giving it the appearance of a halo, very appropriate in this case. If you listened closely, I am fairly certain you would have heard a chorus of angels singing in honor of this blessed object. See, what set before was the most perfect thing man has ever created, a perfect opus penned in dough and cheese.
There sat the Asiago cheese bagel.
There are few things I like as much as Asiago cheese bagels. I like them so much that there was a chance at my wedding that I would say “I take thee Asiago Cheese Bagel…” If a doctor told me I could live another 70 years by giving up Asiago cheese bagels, it would not be an easy decision. When I reproduce someday, my son’s name will be Asiago Bagel Badley. Unless I have a daughter. Then she will be Asiaga Bagel Badley. When I die, I want to be buried in a pile of Asiago cheese bagels inside of a casket made of Asiago cheese bagel with a giant Asiago cheese bagel as a tombstone.
I did what I knew I should do, though, and I swallowed my strong Asiago feelings. I remained strong and headed to my desk far away from the siren’s song of crisp Asiago goodness. Every so often, someone would come by and speak to me while eating a bagel. We received an email from the department administrative assistant reminding us of the looming threat of bagels in break room.
As one does when they become healthy, I began to try to justify eating a bagel. Cheese is dairy which has calcium, so that’s good…
That was all I could come up with. Not a strong pro-bagel case.
I turned to my coworker. He is a much healthier individual then me, so I was hoping to hear him explain that bagels really aren’t that bad.
“What I like to do,” he said, “is skip the cream cheese. Then I take a spoon and scoop out the middle of the bagel so I don’t eat all of the extra bread. I just get the good part on the outside. It’s still not great for you, but it isn’t as bad.”
That sounded like a lot of work. I really should have stopped listening at “skip the cream cheese.”
After a few more minutes of wavering, I gave up my bagel dreams. I pulled my chocolate flavored protein bar out for a snack. It was as good as a chocolate flavored protein bar can be, but it was no Asiago cheese bagel. I swallowed the dry chalky bar, satisfied with the idea that instead of a terrible bagel full of empty carbs, I was consuming 180 calories of protein and other vitamins. 180 calories of something resembling chocolate. Yum.
I continued to work, but eventually I had to go to the printer. In my office, the printer is right next to the break room. I would be thrown back into the lion’s den and there was nothing I could do about it.
I walked past the bagels, glaring at them. I had found my new mortal enemy and I would not become a victim. I went to the printer and grabbed my piece of paper, then went back through the break room. I passed by them, then I remembered a very important thing a person once said.
The great Oscar Wilde once said, “Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.” I wanted to be successful! If Oscar Wilde said it, it must be true. And that is why I ate a bagel with cream cheese. And I left the middle of the bagel intact.
Did I have any regrets? Sure. Namely that protein bar. I will never, though, regret an Asiago cheese bagel. Never.