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No, I didn't have any pizza - and that's ok!

Monday, January 27, 2014

I work in an office where there's a lot of food. Candy in the work area, donuts in the lunch room, and occasionally pizza-wherever-you-look, on "pizza day." For one entire year now, I have been declining pizza. That's about a dozen pizza-eating opportunities, give or take. I have been consistent with this - I ALWAYS ignore the pizza. Every. Single. Time.

And every single time, this act of apparent willpower and sacrifice seems to draw the awe and astonishment of people more than almost anything else I ever have done or could do. "YOU TURNED DOWN PIZZA?? HOW COULD YOU TURN DOWN P I Z Z A?!!!!"

Yeahhhh it's not as hard as you think.

"Don't you like pizza?!?"
Well yeah - who doesn't like pizza! Of course I like pizza.

"Are you lactose-intolerant, or going gluten free?"
Nope, no allergy or intolerance stands in my way.

"Wow, that's some incredible willpower!"
Well, actually........... not so much.

In the early days of My New Lifestyle, yes, there was willpower involved. The first time pizza was proffered, there was much gnashing of teeth, in fact, as I grimly turned my back on the pizza box and pouted in my cubicle, with the scent of melted cheese and pepperoni wafting through the entire building. I'd say I grinned and bore it, but I really doubt I was grinning at the time. However, after an hour, the air was clear of mozzarella fumes, my tasty packed lunch was consumed, and the gnawing Need To Have Pizza was all but forgotten. Lesson learned, there IS life after pizza! Passing up on a "free slice" really doesn't have any lasting negative impact on one's day.

The second time, the third time, the fourth time that pizza came calling, it got progressively easier to smell it, acknowledge that it existed, shrug my shoulders and walk on by. The confrontations by well meaning food-sharers still felt awkward though - "are you sure you don't want..? not even one piece?" Nah, really not hungry, thanks all the same!

Then one day pizza came, and... wow. Yuk. YUK. Ok, look at that stuff. It's the cheap take out from the 2-4-1 place, it's mostly thick bland crust, gone cold and soggy in the box, with some greasy cheese product on top.... I remember how it tastes... I remember it as being "kinda good" but wow, not THAT good. Not as good as the hummus-and-baby-spinach pita in my lunch bag! Not as good as the chicken dinner I'm saving up to enjoy tonight! It's just... not good enough. And when I perceive the food as "not good" or "not good enough" - it becomes REALLY easy to say no.

People find this amazing. *I* find it amazing that this is all I have to do to impress. Pass on a slice of mediocre cold-and-soggy 2-4-1 pizza, and I Am Legend.

"So, do you just not eat pizza anymore?" I was asked, during the most recent office pizza-go-round. Oh, no, I DO eat pizza. I just don't eat THAT pizza. Thanks all the same, but I just don't like THAT kind anymore!

That's the thing about having a small calorie budget to spend coupled with an unadulterated love of food. The smallish amount of food I eat - BETTER DARN WELL BE GOOD. It better be the BEST pizza. It better be twice as amazing as whatever's in my lunch bag. If it's not - WHY would I eat it? Because it's technically pizza, and pizza in any form cannot be denied? Because it's free?

I no longer remember exactly, all the reasons I had for eating it. I must have had a lot of "good reasons" because I know that I was a champion pizza-consumer in the not-too-distant past. I'm... pretty glad I have managed to replace them with reasons to give myself something better. That's the key - have something BETTER. Sacrifice and denial are not good long-term motivators. Reward, on the other hand, is. Soggy cold greasy pizza - is no reward. I deserve something more.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thanks for posting your lesson. I oftentimes don't get far enough past that "one time" rejection of whatever-food-I-like to move on to that 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and so on times where it gets easier to pass it up. I have to remember that it starts with that first right-direction step!!!
    2448 days ago
    Way to go! You are so right. I will try to remember this. The free food always around is NOT better than whatever I packed for lunch. :)

    2454 days ago
    Good for you!!!! emoticon
    2460 days ago
  • 123ELAINE456
    Awesome Blog!!! Congratulations on turning pizza down 12 times. WTG!!! Keep It Up. You Can Do It!!! WTG!!! God Blessings Always!!! Keep Sparking!!!
    2460 days ago
    ..and Your Perspective does get to the heart of the matter!!
    All the Best,
    2460 days ago
  • CLARK971
    Great post! I love your perspective on not eating the pizza.
    2463 days ago
    Isn't it funny how folks assume that just because they like something, that everyone else automatically has to, too? Or that it is impossible for someone to have their tastes in food change?

    I haven't had the same issues (although it's getting more challenging to find restaurants that make foods as good as I do at home), but the Man has run in to this on a weekly basis, too. He's not on calorie restriction at all (he needs to eat roughly double what I do to maintain, and has a hard time getting there), but he's finding that the usual pizza / chicken / deli sandwiches / cookies / muffins that are part of at least 2 lunch meetings each week are just "Not Good Enough" anymore. He has become even more of a food snob than I am!

    So nice to see a blog from you, especially where you share your Secret Magical Powers to avoid the *P I Z Z A* emoticon
    2464 days ago
  • no profile photo CD14034154
    emoticon Good for you!!! I've been there and done that, and I grew stronger because of it. Now, even when I go grocery shopping, I can go anywhere in the store and it no longer bothers me, and I'm not hesitant either. It feels so good to walk by what I use to call the forbidden foods, where I would avoid the isle, and not have any reaction! God blessed you and me, both!

    - Nancy Jean -
    2464 days ago
    The more we turn down the stronger we get
    2465 days ago
  • TROY88
    "There IS life after pizza!" I love it! Great insight and empowering truth. I enjoyed this blog very much as I have been realizing over the past couple of days that I've gone about a month without and don't feel I miss it, whereas before I couldn't go for a couple of days without a slice!

    ~ Troy
    2465 days ago
  • LYNDA522
    Delightful and insightful read. Thanks.
    2465 days ago
    YEA! Great attitude! :) I'm proud of you!
    2465 days ago
    Great post. Thanks. I too work in an environment where food is a constant. A grocery store to be exact. In my office I work with the owners, three of them and the managers. The owner makes it very clear that every time I turn down the chocolate from Italy, the cheeses from Ireland or the fresh made breads I am deranged in some way.
    It is good to know I'm not the only one being challenged. Though all the foods I am offered are worthy, they have also helped get my wasteland to an embarrassing circumference.
    Stay strong and be well.
    2465 days ago
    emoticon emoticon Do you ever make your own pizza? emoticon
    2465 days ago
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