Anthropologists tell us they can determine much about a society and a people by digging around in ancient trash sites and cooking sites. So, ask yourself this, what would an Anthropologist say about the backseat of your car?
You see, we may think we have one kind of diet, or may truly believe that we are not the kind to eat sweets or junk food. We may even convince ourselves that we don’t eat out that much. The truth of trash is, rubbish don’t lie!
What brings this to mind today is I just returned from going to meet with a potential new
business client to discuss his marketing needs. I had to stop for gas o the way and while the gasoline ticker was slowly erasing contributions to my retirement, I had time to clean out the accumulated clutter from my floor board and back seat.
Since I travel quite a bit, I use the term “I live in my car” to describe how much time I spend in it and to justify the generally cluttered nature of it. Being “too busy” is another common excuse. It is just quicker to take stuff that is in the front seat and toss it in the back when I go pick up my daughter from school or some other function.
Once it is in the backseat it becomes “out of sight, out of mind.” I, after all, do not ride in the back seat, so it is not in my way, right? However, when i am going to see someone “important” like a client, the in-laws or my parents, I always try to clean it out so they will think me a more or less respectable person.
That was the situation today.
What I realized today, though. Was my eating habits prior to this journey were even worse than I had allowed myself to believe. By doing a quick audit of left over receipts, counting the bags, bottles, and logo’d napkins I was able to take an account of how much I had been spending on quick foods, fast foods, liquid calories and just how much I had been consuming.
One receipt from taco Bell revealed a grilled steak burrito, a regular beef burrito, an order of chips and salsa (those are dinky bags right?), so I thought i could have the small little desert snack of cinnamon crispas and a Large Dr. Pepper. Only two burritos and a couple of “dinky” sides. I would think that is a reasonable size meal. Well, maybe reasonable if you have ever dreamed of being 470 pounds and that is a life goal of yours! I totaled it up, that one meal was almost 2,000 calories.
That receipt was not alone. My back seat read like a Hall of Shame with inductees from McD’s, BK, Wendy’s, Hardee’s. The carcasses of meal gone by were lying everywhere with sack scattered like bones in an elephant graveyard.
Some of my favorite receipt reminders and take out sack testimonials did not even come from restaurants. No one of my personal faves are all the wrappers and sacks from gas stations. Yep, gas stations. I am a connoisseur of gas station cuisine. I can tell you every gas station, convenience store, and stop-n-shop within twenty miles from me. I can point you to the best truck stops between Louisville, KY and Indianapolis. I can even tell you which exits to stop at and which to avoid between here and Dallas, TX or Eastern New Mexico.
Which, by the way, if you are ever on I-20 west of Abilene, look for Allsup’s convenience stores…their burritos and sautillos are not to be missed. Heck you can get a burrito and a 32 oz drink for less than $1.99. I ask you, How can you pass that up? But I digress…
I thought to myself, 2 sausage biscuits or a bacon sandwich with one sausage biscuit is small in quantity so it should not be diet deadly. That was a fairly consistent order of mine from the local gas stations that offered short order grills. Each one of those biscuits, come to find out have over 300 calories and enough fat in the two that I would eat to give me my daily fat allowance for two full days! Ad my ubiquitous 32 oz of Dr. Pepper and I was easily pushing 1000 calories just for breakfast.
Now, all of these remnants were not a week’s haul, to be sure, but an anthropologist would say that it told a story of the civilization that once inhabited the PT Cruiser. It was a civilization that was too busy, unfocused, gluttonous (if not in amount then to be sure in calories), and careless about where and on what they spent their caloric and monetary budget.
I may have been surprised when I first stepped on the scale and saw 470 lbs. I may have even wondered how I got to be this size as I slowly crept upward, one belt notch at a time. I doubt an anthropologist would be.
It is no doubt, that we in America love our cars. They are entertainment systems, means of transportations and in many cases our dining rooms. So if you want to know the real story about what you and your family eat, don’t survey yourself. I know as a marketer that people tend to lie to researchers in order to paint themselves in the most positive light. So, don’t ask yourself to recall what you ate over the past week. Instead, put on a pith hat, pick up a trowel, and conduct your own archeological dig in your back seat.
If you are not a person who ‘lives in your car’ or you are more fastidious than I tend to be, then check your garbage pail before you take it to the curb for collection. See what the ratio is between fast food, take out, pizza boxes, and veggie peels or pulp. See how many pre-packaged and processed containers you find among the rubbish. Then ask yourself as a newly appointed juicing journey junior archeologist, “What does my trash say about me?”
I can’t speak for you but mine said, “Joined the Journey just in time to keep my civilization from going extinct.”
Juice On; Join the Journey.