Folks, I am from Florida. A state in which residents complain about needing to bring a light jacket with them because the air conditioning in the restaurant is too cold. I lived in this humid, swampland for close to three decades so to say that this Bomb Cyclone nonsense is throwing off my game would be an understatement.
As a winter outsider I always find it fascinating how the standard of socially acceptable attire is directly proportional to dropping temps. Me? I embrace these lowered standards and just put on as many articles of clothing that will fit on my body at one time.
Additionally, why does the weather forecast inform you of the“feels like” temp? In this situation it was 19 degrees but “feels like” 3 degrees. I vehemently disagree with this concept. I propose that we should be the ones telling the weather forecast what it “feels like” since we are the ones walking around in this effing nonsense.
In case you were curious, this was 19 degrees but “feels like” an infinite number of tiny icicle swords crafted by evil winter gnomes who hurl said swords at your eyeballs in unison while laughing at your ridiculous winter coat.
You know their judgement through the tears formed by their swords and the shame.
What does this have to do with Whole30 you might ask?
Well because this Bomb Cyclone of Winter Death has decided to hang out with me this week, I decided to do something I never do…go to Whole Foods during hours other people will be there.
Compounding this effect — resolution-ers.
But our gym is right next to Whole Foods and you better believe I was not making a separate trip. So me, my ridiculous winter coat, and the army of tiny, angry winter gnomes decided to make it happen.
I walk in and it was definitely a mess, but the endorphins from the workout were kicking in and I made it through the store pretty easily, navigating the sample stations and crowds like a pro.
“Sample of a maple infused granola bar, miss? Only 100 calories!”
“No thank you!” — #NSV
“Sip of vanilla infused soy milk? Great in coffee!”
“Nope, not today!” — #NSV
Riding high, I make it to the check out lane. It is packed, and the lines are long, but the gnomes are outside and I’m feeling like I’m going to be okay.
The couple in front of me has a cart full of produce. I found myself feeling a bit of vegetable camaraderie with them (I eat those too!) and settled in to wait. Since we had so long to stand in line together, I noticed that none of their dozens of pieces of produce were in bags, but rather rolling around in their cart.
Then they were up. This couple starts putting the produce, literally dozens of items, on the belt out of order. The Whole Foods employee was having to scan and weigh them one by one.
I felt my heart rate elevate a bit.
Then they need to divide the transaction into three different forms of payment.
The self talk kicked in, “Okay, take it easy. It is not their fault that you are sweating profusely down your back because you are indoors wearing literally one hundred articles of clothing and you can’t bend your arms to hold the basket because your jacket is like a puffy coffin.”
Then the woman buying one thousand pieces of individual fruits and vegetables gives the Whole Foods employee back three apples of the seven or so apples in their cart. Whole Foods employee has to flag someone down to take the apples back.
More back sweat. It starts to pool.
Then, I swear to God, the woman digs through one of the bags that has already been packed, pulls out a single cucumber and asks the Whole Food employee to take it off of their bill.
Folks, inside me was born a fiery ball of cucumber-induced rage. After buying no less than two hundred dollars worth of vegetables how could this one cucumber possibly matter? What happened in that moment that would require such a specific and disruptive course of action? That cucumber just didn’t feel right? The woman speaks vegetable and the other vegetables in the bag didn’t like the cucumber? He was a bully and punched the grape tomatoes? You just don’t need that kind of negativity in your home?
My fists were balled, my back sweat was real, but in an instant I stopped and heard Melissa’s voice in my head. This was Kill All The Things.
Strangely knowing that this was a documented and expected thing made the rage subside. I still didn’t understand the cucumber thing, but I breathed easier, trying to send my produce-loving-line-friends on their way with good energy from me instead of the cucumber shaped eyeball daggers I know I was sending.
I moved up in line and ultimately made it home, with no immediate signs of hypothermia and my compliant goodies in tow.
I continue to be so grateful for the normalization that come with this process. It is so comforting to know I am in good company with thousands of others who are changing their lives and not trying to murder strangers in the grocery store with their eyes.
So to all of my fellow Kill All The Things comrades out there, I feel you. Together let’s raise a can of LaCroix to the next 25 days and to the ever-present promise of Tiger Blood, while simultaneously resisting the urge to punch our families for chewing.