In the past week I tried a meal plan service after a colleague told me about it. We are both single girls who doesn’t cook, so a meal plan sounds like a perfect solution of one tricky problem in life for our kind. It works for her, so I thought I’d give it a try.
Since the point is to eat healthy and in balance, I chose the low calories meal in small portion (becoz by default I just assumed small is the size for me). It is a mistake, it’s too little food for me, and too healthily plain that it upsets me everyday when I opened the food box. But It’s already ordered for the whole week, I had to stick with it. So everyday, when I sat in the office pantry having my sorry-looking meal box, feeling sorry for myself, some colleagues would pass by, see it, and feel sorry for me, hidden behind comments like “Why do you even need to eat meal plan?”, “Are you trying to lose weight?”, “You’re already so skinny.”
At first I’d try to explain myself. But after a while I stopped trying, it’s not necessary to share my single girl’s eating difficulty and it’s not anyone’s obligation to relate to a single girl’s eating difficulty. And mostly, I don’t even know why I’m eating a meal plan myself.
To be clear, I’ve never been the kind of person who’s cautious of what they eat all the time – partly coz I do look skinny (*this topic is worth another separate piece), but mostly coz I just don’t wanna bother. Eating, as much as it appears to be a tricky problem for my case, is after all at least supposed to be an enjoyment in some sort. And I simply don’t enjoy eating a lot of those trendy healthy bullshit food. In the universe of food, the love of my life is chicken nuggets, and my all-time comfort meal is the “sharing box” from McDonald’s, which includes 4 nuggets and 4 wings and I literally would never share it. In fact, one day last week I forgot to bring my dinner meal box home, I was quite annoyed at myself and decided to maximize the failure by having McDonald’s instead. It feels like cheating on my meal plan when I’m supposed to be committed to it (for the week) . It feels like acting out when you’re on a rehab of something. I’m not proud it. But honestly, that’s the only meal I enjoyed eating in the past week.
On Friday night, when I was eating my chicken breast and broccoli in the empty office pantry with 6pm sunlight shedding through the gigantic office building window, (I was hungry since 4pm) I can’t help but reviewing the reasons behind a meal plan. Besides the obvious convenience of never needing to fuss over “what/where to eat”, and the hypocritical satisfaction of eating healthy (and overpriced) food, it’s really more about a sense of control, something people are kinda obsessed with and is probably oversold in our modern society. Control over what we eat. Control over how many calories we intake. Control over how many calories we burn. Control over what materials we wear when we burn those fucking calories. Control over how we look. Control over what shade the skin glows, what angle the brows tilt, what degree the hair curls. The scary thing is, the level of control would only keep escalating. There’d always be products, services, professional advices that match up with or promote a higher and broader degree of control.
To be honest, I’m doing most of the above, if not all. By all means, I do think well-being and making informed decisions are pressingly important. And I’m trying to train myself to become a more self-disciplined person in all areas. Therefore, while I’m already making so much effort trying to control so many aspects in life, the meal plan is kind of like the last straw that crushed my “I’m living a healthy balanced life” fantasy and threw me into a “absolutely joyless camp”. I stood in that camp and thought, wait, I didn’t sign up for this, did I?
Healthy or not, I guess the bottom line is being able to see myself as a fleshed human being, instead of a hinged machine. And having a meal plan makes me feel the latter (whilst having chicken nuggets makes me feel like the former).
At the end of the day, there is only a certain degree of things we can control in life, and a lot more out of our control. For me, what I eat, I decide, is something I’d rather leave it in the “not meticulously controlling” category. I’m not sure if I’d order the meal plan again, but if I do, I’d at least make sure to order a larger portion and to pair with a glass of wine when I eat.
That being said, I am perfectly aware that I should really eat less chicken nuggets.
P.S. Talking about self discipline, I binge-watched Stranger Things S3 until 4am on Saturday. What can I say. I’m just a human bean.