I have a horrible habit of going on a Cheetos binge about once a year. It only happens once a year because afterwards I feel guilt-stricken by the thick layer of cheese dust on my thumb and pointer finger from a solid thirty minutes of mindlessly putting fake food in my body.
Why is this even a temptation? It’s bad for me, it makes me feel gross, and it only tastes good for like the first 50 Cheetos.
I need to remember this weakness every time I get on my high horse about eating healthy and whole foods. Remember, you love Cheetos. Let she who is without junk food cravings cast the first stone.
In fact, I have even less room to talk because I used to prefer Velveeta and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter to cheese and butter. I know – you’re shocked. I, the girl who has made a cake that required 8 sticks of butter, used to not like butter and prefer its nearly-plastic counterpart, margarine. I shudder at that word now. Margarine. And Velveeta? I know these products exist as cheaper versions of the real thing. I know they exist to make you think you’re getting the real thing when you can’t afford the real thing, but, oh, it’s bad.
I used to dislike macaroni and cheese made with real cheese because it didn’t taste like Velveeta. And Velveeta tastes like lightly flavored glue. That’s how deluded I was. I also didn’t like potatoes in any form but French Fries at this juncture in my life, along with broccoli, beans, avocados, salsa, eggs, any salad dressing other than ranch, hummus, red pasta sauce, spinach, and just about any other good thing you can think of. I eat all those things now (still don’t eat meat though. That likely won’t ever change). I wouldn’t eat the actual blueberries in blueberry muffins but would instead perform surgery on each muffin to take all blueberries out and commence to eat the muffin with just the “stain” of the blueberry left. (Quote: Ashley McDonald, 2000) With I Can’t Believe Its Not Butter, of course.
Satisfaction is an interesting thing. I was more than satisfied with this lifestyle. I ate what I liked and turned my nose up at some of the foods that form the staples of my diet now. Real cheese and butter – these are the good things. These are what my body knows how to process – since it hasn’t already been processed for me. Potatoes?!? How could I not like potatoes? I was satisfied with boxed macaroni, frozen pizza, and peanut butter and jelly.
Satisfy, according to Merriam-Webster’s is to be provided for, to be gratified to the full, to be convinced.
It doesn’t mean to be right.
C.S. Lewis, in The Weight of Glory comes to mind:
“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
Like an ignorant child who wants to go on eating gluey cheese and ignoring real food. I am far too easily pleased.
Tonight, following my shameful Cheetos binge when I got home from the grocery store, I will eat a salad. And not even with ranch dressing. And I will remember that just because I am satisfied does not mean that I should be.