On Day 4, I arrive to work in the morning and head straight to the kitchen to store my trusty tupperware full of Whole30 goodness in the communal fridge. As I open the refrigerator door, I am greeted by a half-eaten, three-tier, 12-inch carrot cake complete with cream cheese frosting. There is no cake cover or plastic wrap separating the cake and my chubby fingers. Instinctively, like a wild cat who spots a baby antelope led astray from the herd, I lunge forward towards my prey. Fortunately, I am saved by the bell. The bell is the voice of a nosy coworker who has just entered the kitchen.
“Why are you leaning your head into the fridge like that? Is there something wrong with the fridge?”
I politely extract my body from the fridge and quietly excuse myself out of the kitchen. I return to my desk and proceed to think about carrot cake for the next 45 minutes. I get zero work done. I don’t even like carrot cake. Carrot Cake – 1, Nisha – 0.
Fast forward several hours, and it’s lunch time. I make my way to the kitchen, taking the shortcut through the conference room, where attorneys occasionally eat their lunch together. Today, one of my coworkers is sitting at the table by herself, and sprawled in front of her is a quesadilla the size of my ass. Melty cheese is bubbling out of the corners of a perfectly pressed tortilla and the whole contraption is topped with a mountain of guacamole and sour cream. My coworker wants to chat, but I can’t comprehend anything she says because I’m transfixed by the scent of sweet Mexican delight wafting into my nostrils. I exit the conversation as quickly as possible and head straight for my own lunch. This time, carrot cake is still present in the fridge, but she’s been shaken down since this morning and all that’s left is one little slice. Baby slice speaks to me and says,
“It sure is lonely being the only slice left. I wish I could join my brothers and sisters and lay to rest in the warm bellies of chubby Americans. Eat me. Eat me. EAT ME.”
I tell myself that I’m too good for such a small, needy piece of cake and walk away nonchalantly. Carrot cake – 1, Nisha – 100. Because it took 100% of my willpower to not eat a slice of cake that I don’t even like.
I think that the temptations are done for the day, but alas, I am wrong. I have a particularly stressful afternoon at work. By way of background, I work at a non-profit as an attorney for low-income tenants, and today I was seeing tenants who have been illegally locked out of their apartments by their landlords. One of my clients is blind and is forced to sleep on the streets. The next client starts crying in my office about her ex-husband and her 17-year old daughter’s promiscuity. I turn to offer her a Kleenex but I’m freshly out of tissues. Another client informs me that he is going to sue every god damn person in the city, including all of the judges and lawyers in New York City.
Following these client meetings, I have an incredibly ridiculous call with Time Warner Cable customer service in connection with one of my cases. I am told by a whiny-voice customer service representative several times that “I am not a real lawyer” because if I was a real lawyer, “I would already have all of the answers.” I tell him that he is the stupidest person on earth and hang up in the middle of our conversation.
I am cranky and overwhelmed and it’s barely 6 pm. All I can think about is curling up on my couch with a bottle of the forbidden nectar of the gods, i.e., red wine. As I head to the communal kitchen to make myself a soothing cup of chamomile tea, my eyes are drawn to the fridge. The pathetic carrot cake is finally gone, but directly on top of the fridge are FOUR bottles of wine. Apparently there was an office party yesterday and no one thought to clean up these bottles of liquid gold.
The temptation is all too much for me, so I throw my hands in the air, let out a muffled scream, and leave the office.
I hit up Trader Joe’s on my way home, as it’s conveniently located a block from my office and I want to pick up a few items for dinner. Products that I have never even seen before start popping out at me. Cookie butter cream cheese, falafel chips, chocolate covered gummy bears, and other weird combination items that would ordinarily make me want to vomit. To distract myself while shopping, I pull out my headphones, turn on the hard-core rap station, and listen to Eminem tell me that I have only one opportunity to seize everything that I’ve ever wanted. And just like that, I say good-bye to the carrot cake, greasy quesadillas, and cookie butter cream cheese.
To see what I’ve actually been eating for the last week for Whole30, you can check out my new Instagram page.