The Telegraph (UK) has published an article claiming that “It’s not poverty that’s fattening, it’s bad eating habits.” It’s sort of true, but it doesn’t paint the whole picture.
I’m broke as fuck. I also have trouble eating well. The problem? I get up at six in the morning to get ready for class. I barely have time to make and drink enough coffee to wake up before I leave, let alone make breakfast. So I usually skip it.
My first chance to eat is during my hour between my first and second classes of the day: 10-11. For my first four waking hours, I’m starving. Sometimes I get a chance to eat, usually I don’t. So after my last class at 2, I usually grab fast food really quick before I go to work, because it’s the easiest option.
When you’re broke and busy, the easiest option is always the best option.
Fortunately for my waistline, fast food prices have skyrocketed here lately. My wife and I used to be able to eat for under $10 at these places, and now we can’t get out for under $15, $20 if we’re not holding back.
Can you eat well cheaply? Absolutely. But you have to trade time. You have a choice: that frozen dinner that takes two minutes to make or a cheap healthy meal that takes an hour. I don’t have a fucking hour.
If I cook dinner and my wife and I sit down to eat together, that’s basically a date. That’s how infrequently it occurs. We’re at the mercy of our busy schedules.
I’m not fat, but I’m not in shape. I weigh 277, at last weighing, but I’m a big guy. I stand 6’2 or 6’3, depending on time of day, and legitimately have a big frame (I’m not saying I’m “big boned”). I do basic bodyweight exercises, because I can’t afford a gym, and once it warms up around here, I’m going to start running. I quit drinking my calories, drinking coffee in the morning and water the rest of the day.
But I still eat shit, and it’s because I don’t have the time. That’s my point. Poverty exerts stress on the system and wreaks chaos on the schedule (assuming you’re trying to climb out of it). I take my meals when I can get them, and don’t worry about it.
By the way, if you’ve never mixed a bit of peanut butter with your drained ramen noodles, give it a shot. Everyone I tell this to seems to think it’s gross, but fucking try it. I also throw a shot of hot sauce in there. Throw the seasoning packets away. That’s my broke-ass tip of the day. Also microwave burritos rule, with a bit of hot sauce sprinkled on and cheese (if you can afford it) sprinkled on top before the second nuking. I’ve dubbed it Das Uber Burrito.