Working at the Car Wash

Initially I thought the title of the post would be “History of a Working Girl.”  However, I thought some may get the wrong message with a title like that. 

As I look back at my previous jobs prior to being a teacher, part time jobs that is, I recognize that each of those jobs aided in my living an unhealthy lifestyle through high school and college.

My first “job” as a freshman in high school was in sales—concession stand sales at a local playground.  Working in that environment where I was surrounded by candy bars, buttered popcorn,  hot dogs, french fries, and NACHOS among other things played largely into justifying my eating for sheer pleasure rather than as a needs to fuel my body.  I would eat as much calorific nachos and cheese and buttery popcorn and sugar laden sodas as I desired.

After a year or so of concession stands I moved up in the world.  Not very far.  The next year and a half was spent working in a snowball stand.  I must explain because otherwise you cannot know how detrimental working in a snowball stand could be to one’s health.

Snowballs are common hear in Louisiana especially during the summer months.  Snowballs are much like snowcones in other regions of the country, but they are much better and have a more addictive quality about them.   The ice is finely shaved almost like a powder of ice crystals.  The powdery ice is then covered in sugary flavored syrup made from sugar water.  That is not the worst part.  In addition to that syrup, one can get evaporated milk on top, condensed milk, whipped cream, soft serve ice cream stuffed in the middle of the snowball or a combination of two. 

Heading to the stand straight from school without anything else to eat, I often had a snowball for a snack, or two, or three, or four since I wouldn’t have dinner until after getting off at 9:00 at night.  This unhealthy habit led me to my highest weight in the 160s. 

Safari Car Wash logo.

Five years of working at the car wash as a cashier and being removed from food implied a fallacy that my unhealthy ways would fade away.  Contrarily, a different type of unhealthiness ensued.  I would sometimes work a ten hour shift only eating a bag of Ritz Cheese Bites from the vending machine with a Diet Dr. Pepper to wash it down since I was expected to eat at the counter without an official lunch break and opted out of scarfing down an entire meal while waiting on customers.  Eating a 200 calorie bag of crackers all day ended with a night of binge eating shoving one thing after another into my mouth until I was finally satisfied.  And if I did actually get a meal because two of us were working that shift and would cover each other, I often got what the other person got just because it was comforting and the socially appropriate choice in my eyes at the time.  There was never any consideration of portions or what a healthy alternative might be.

Currently, in my teaching position I get a lunch break, so no problems there.  I eat breakfast unlike in my past, and I cook dinner as much as possible.  When ordering out, I do try to choose healthy alternatives and try my hardest to not skip meals and eat a snack if feeling hungry.  I am certainly not perfect.  For instance, confessional–last night, late at night after I had already eaten dinner, I was shoveling Whopper Jrs. and onion rings in my mouth.  That was plural on the burger end. 

Why?  Because that is what my husband was eating and I was craving a hamburger and he bought me two, so after one I said I was done, but ended up eating the second just because for that moment I lost self-control and went with it.  Did I feel guilty? Yes.  Is it the end of the world?  No.  Did I make better choices today?  For the most part, I think so. 

On to today.

Breakfast—Pumpkin Yogurt Smoothie with Granola and Cinnamon Almonds.

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In the smoothie:

1/2 frozen banana

1/2 c greek yogurt

1/2 c canned pumpkin

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

pinch allspice

2-3 tbsp. fat free half and half

Sprinkle of flaxseed

All blended together.  Topped with 2 tbsp. cinnamon raison granola and five cinnamon almonds.

Enjoyed with Pumpkin Spice Coffee.

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Someone wanted a taste.

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That would be Maxwell, our cat.  I often forget he is a part of the family because he only meows if he needs food or needs to go out.  And when he comes in he meows the cutest sound of “hello, hello”  but sounds more like “heerrrrrroooowww.”

The gorgeous day began with some children’s football—my nephew’s team.

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And hanging with my twin nieces.

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After the game the in-laws, hub, and I went to Cherry Blossom for some sushi.

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California Roll + Salmon Avocado Roll + Salad + Miso Soup

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Plus I traded a few pieces of my salmon roll for Hub’s Philly Roll and one snowcrab.

Afternoon snackage included more cream cheese (guess I didn’t get enough of Hub’s) and pita chips.

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1/3 less fat onion and chive cream cheese + multigrain chips

Later on in the day I headed to my sister’s house to visit.  We ordered dinner from a cafe down the street.  I had the Veggie Wrap with fries.  The wrap contained a garden burger with black beans, salsa, cheddar, lettuce and tomato on a wheat wrap.

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I ate just about all of this minus a couple of fries and two bites of the wrap.  I wish the burger had been cooked slightly more, but it was tasty nonetheless.

All in all, it was a beautiful day spent with my beloved family.

Question of the Night:  Has any of your jobs ever influenced your eating habits—good, bad, or otherwise?  Please share.  

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