I have many pet peeves at the gym: plastic surgery commercials on the TVs, jerks who hock loogies into the drinking fountain, people who pee on the toilet seats & don’t wipe it up & women who’s only form of greeting is “OMG!! Have you lost weight?!?”
I could probably do a post on each one of these (Hee! Welcome to the Great Cynicism Experiment!) but I usually try to focus on the positive and not let people’s little quirks get me down. And I hope they are equally forgiving of me. But when the pet peeve is repeatedly shoved in my face – well, that’s a bit harder to move on from.
Indulge My Long Rambling Tanget
Let’s call her Jen. A typical conversation with her ends only one way: as a plug for her pyramid-style “business.” She’ll first try to recruit you and if that doesn’t work, then she’ll try and sell her product to you. Girl is relentless. In fact, her ability to turn any conversation on any topic towards her business is, well, quite a talent really. Take this conversation with Gym Buddy Candice the other day:
Candice (not speaking to Jen): I found these really great protein bars. They taste really yummy so my kids like them and…
Jen (sprinting across the gym): Did you say protein bars? What kind are they?
Candice: Um, X brand, I really like them and…
Jen: Are they “all natural”? Organic? Monkey-fur free? Endorsed by the International Department of People for Protein Bars (TM)?
Candice: Why would I need…
Jen: Because my company’s protein bars do! Plus they…
And she continues on. Until we leave.
Now I’m not against people marketing for themselves. After all, if you don’t talk about your business then who will? But to turn every conversation to it is a bit much. Especially because, despite reciting her product list to me for an HOUR while I was held captive on the elliptical, I don’t think she has ever once asked me how I’m doing. Or how my kids are. Or what *I* do for a job. (Okay, that last one is so boring no one should ever ask me that question. I’m warning you – don’t ask me! You’ll want to poke your eyes out with sharp objects and/or utter the phrase “what has happened to today’s young people?” whilst sounding exactly like your parents. Just don’t go there.)
Protein Bars with a Punch…in your stomach
That long rambling story has a point. (Well, two, actually – the first being: Jen, if you are reading this STOP selling to me. Thank you.) My main point before I went off on Jen (seriously, girl, I LIKE you but STOP selling to me. Please!) was to talk about protein bars. I know, it was a long and circuitous route but I had to find a way to tell you about a read tip I received. I know!! I finally have enough readers that they are giving me TIPS! It’s like I’m a real blogger:)
Reader Mark (thanks Mark!) pointed me to this bre
akdown of the perenially popular Power Bar. In case you already didn’t know that protein bars are not a substitute for food & are one of the most processed “food” items on the market, you should check this out. In addition to several different types of sugar, including the Epitome of Evil High Fructose Corn Syrup & a coating described as “Chocolatey” (the “y” because it contains no actual chocolate), is “maltitol”- an ingredient that produces “gas and bloating, [and] a laxative effect so powerful that Australia and New Zealand require a warning label on foods that contain it.” That’s right – “health” food that gives you an illness.
I’m not telling you to never eat your fave protein bar if you love it – just consider it a treat instead of a meal replacement. Choose varieties with the least number of ingredients (and skip the maltitol). Or, better yet, make your own
. And, if all else fails, stay close to the bathroom (Jen, I’m PEEING here. Do NOT follow me in the bathroom. Fine – at least wipe the seat off for me.)