It was the summer of 2011, and I was in a rush. I had two more days to finish a report and send it off to my space bosses in Milwaukee. Before I started on my work, I stopped over to the supermarket to get myself a snack. I browsed through the aisles and passed up my usual work snack of goldfish (the crackers, not the animals) when I saw the area where they held the trail mixes. Trail mix has always been a favorite snack of mine, but I had never bought any before. The simple mix of peanuts, raisins, and m&ms is just amazing, and I don’t absolutely hate almonds. So, I went ahead and bought the package with the best value, so I ended up taking a large 1 pound sack of trail mix home with me.
Arriving back at the apartment, I set up my workstation with the bag of trail mix at the ready, and began to work. I worked and I ate, and I worked some more (while eating). The trail mix gave me energy, and I poured that energy directly into my report. So I would then obviously pour more trail mix into my stomach, to feed that glorious cycle of productivity. I felt good, I felt alive. I don’t drink coffee or energy drinks because they make me feel jittery, but I realized that this must be like what coffee drinkers felt like.”This is how I should live! I could be so productive! This is the best!” I probably shouted to myself between hearty munches on my snack.
It was over in three hours. I had done it. I was happy.
But something was wrong. Something was different. I could still feel the excitement fifteen minutes after I sat down on the couch to relax. But that was the problem, I didn’t need to relax. I couldn’t sit still. I took a glance back at where I had been working. The bag was empty. The large bag full of salt and protein was empty.
Before I try to explain what this did to my body, I should let you know: my body is easily stressed by food. I eat white rice or noodles with pesto for probably half my meals. Pizza is too rich for me, I enjoy it much more when its cold the next morning. If I drink a soda, the carbonation and sugar makes my stomach angry with me for the rest of the day.
I grabbed the package and looked at the nutrition information. “Serving Size: 30 grams. How many grams in a pound? Google says 450. Shit shit shit shit. How many servings is that? 15 servings. Thats too much. I’m going to die. Okay well they always have serving sizes as way too small. How many calories in a serving? 140. Okay, I just ate 2100 calories. Thats how much I’m supposed to eat in a day. Right? I could have that wrong, lets check google… Nope, its equivalent to four Big Macs. I can’t believe this is going to kill me.”
I ran outside and hopped on my bike. I biked 25 miles all while sure that I would die at any moment. I finished up my ride still feeling way too energetic. I then put on my running shoes and ran 5 miles. That seemed to tire me out a little. In the end, I ended up surviving, but I did not feel hungry for the next 36 hours. Seriously, I took in nothing but water for the entire next day. So a word to the wise, if you’re going to be snacking while doing homework, don’t be an idiot and almost eat yourself to death like a freaking goldfish.