XCIX. Americans and Portion Size -

“The European system, which most accurately predicted Hurricane Sandy’s severity, shows that this weekend’s Nor'easter storm hitting the Northeast will only leave a maximum of about 5 inches of snow.
Now, if we look at the American system, the potential for snow can go upwards of 24 inches.”

                 - (Paraphrased excerpt from a cable news station; *I know the reader can only take my word for the above quotation; I heard it yesterday and didn’t whip out a pen and paper in time to jot the anchor/news station.)

Say what? From 5 inches to 24 inches. If my chemistry lab from sophomore year taught me anything it is this: The percent yield would be so off that if we were to put the snow, or the precipitate that should result from the experiment, into the vial that was given to us, we would have to fill up at least 10 of said vials: failure of epic proportions.
Seeing as how labs are once a week for give or take, twenty weeks, there is not much room to recover from that “F”, just as there is only so much money that can be allocated from our national budget in a few number of weeks for destruction caused by nature.

When expectations of a blizzard are awry, one can expect the American parking lot of every store that carries perishables, to be filled to capacity. The lines are long and the shopping carts are nowhere to be found.
There is also an unspoken understanding for why shows such as Hoarders and Extreme Couponing exists.
The stronghold opposition to reality television suddenly becomes frenemies with Honey Boo Boo and those Sister Wives.

It’s times like these, during a natural disaster, or what is expected to be a natural disaster, that we all, as Americans, turn aside our differences and stay true to our primordial need to survive.

However, our survival mechanism, much like our weather mechanism, is faulty.
There happened to be a blizzard during my sophomore year of college. At the time, I lived off of veggie burgers and crackers from the dining hall on campus and I never ever bought any consumable products to be kept in my dorm room.
The lack of calories in my room meant a lack of temptation, for whatever reason. I’m not exactly a foodie but I am acutely aware of the money spent on food and I refuse to let money food, go expired.

Keeping with the routine, I was most probably malnourished and definitely low-weight. With that said, I knew that if I was ever too hungry, I could always walk to buy a single portion size to satisfy my hunger pangs, at that time. I would be losing calories during my walk to and from the shop and not have leftover food just sitting in my room.

The blizzard hit; the dining hall was open but the food available was your choice of cheese, fries, and what I think was meat. For all I could tell, the dining hall was closed and I wasted a meal.
Suffice it to say, I was starving. I was going to venture outside to buy something when I heard that everything had been closed and the cleaning person did not pave off the snow build-up. I was snowed-in! So much for the high tuition.

Having drank my 3rd cup of coffee, I heard a knock on my door.
Backtrack - I was living in a suite such that when you open the door from the hallway, there is a bathroom to your left, a closet to your right, and 2 rooms in front of you.

The person knocking was my suite mate. She asked if I wanted hot chocolate. God bless her soul, any other time I would have declined the fattening whole-milk cum chocolate combo, but I jumped at the opportunity.

I think she saved me from going hungry, without food, for almost 48 hours.

With that lengthy flashback out of the way, you can understand 2 things about me:
                 1. My worst fear is to be fat/heavy/large/obese.
                 2. This was a learning experience; Before a storm, you can be sure that I’m going to be stocking up on necessities before winds cause car alarms to go off and rain causes me to miss my new show on T.V. because the satellite lost it’s connection.

Last night I told my mom, “I wish I had bought that cereal today.”

I’ve noticed an increase in my appetite and if I’m forced to snack, it might as well be on tasty non-fattening, vitamin-induced cereal.

What my guilty pleasures are: Non-fat whip cream (60 calories/serving); Unsalted crackers; Strawberries (with the whip cream).
I have stopped buying the above because I have no self-control when it comes to the list above. I will finish at least 3 serving sizes of crackers a day.
So, no more buying crackers and no more whip cream.
Truth be told, I was sick of them both, strawberries included.

This morning I wake up to supermarket bags on the kitchen floor.

My first thought was, “Ok, we’re set for the blizzard. Great!”

My next thought, “What in the name of…?”

I peered through the bags only to find 5 bottles of whip cream, 2 full boxes of crackers, 2 boxes of strawberries, 2 cereal boxes of a new flavor that I have never tried before and don’t even know if I like.

Are you kidding me? Do you want me to be fat and unmarried?

This is not a survival kit, this is ludicrous. After a lengthy argument with my parents I understood their reasoning: 2 for $5!

Why, America, must we go wholesale with everything?

I only ever pay full price for 1 box because I only need 1. This is portion control.
Why do we have to buy 2 boxes, to feel as though we’re somehow shopping in a more economically-sound way? To buy more for less, per se, is the antithesis of portion control.

American television, if you haven’t noticed from my T.V. show references already, are a metaphor for American life.

Ever wonder why we initiated The Biggest Loser?

Here’s an answer: Lack of portion control.