Monday, July 20, 2009

The Thin Man vs. Tomatoes

Doubtless, dear reader, you are a little out of breath, having rushed straight to the internets upon waking, knowing that today is Tuesday! It's Great Movies day!

Well, you know I hate to disappoint. But, it's summer! Who wants to watch movies in summer!? Hmm. Come to think of it, a lot of people must, what with the whole "Summer Blockbuster" concept. But not me. So during the coming dog days, we'll take a little breather from the Great Movies. I know, I know. But you'll just have to be patient.

Blog as Self-Improvement Platform

Last fall, I announced I was going to be posting about (1) my weight loss program and (2) my attempt to give up delicious, delicious diet cola. You haven't seen anything on either of those topics for a while, though. The first was stymied by... well, like most weight loss programs, it just kind of petered out, and things weren't helped by my inability to remember week to week whether "Wednesday Weigh-In" meant that I was supposed to weigh myself Tuesday and report Wednesday, or weigh myself Wednesday and report Thursday. No, really, I found that really confusing. I'm kind of an idiot.

Right: michael5000 turns down an offer of diet cola at a local eatery.

On the other hand, you don't read about diet cola because there's nothing to say except maybe "Mission Accomplished, Suckas!" I haven't had a sip of the cool, refreshing stuff since December. So, that went well. Of course, there's kind of a coffee problem now, but at least that seems a little more grown-up.

What Now?

I'll tell you what now.

1) Weight Loss 2.0: I'm going to try again. Starting now, I weigh in on Monday night and report immediately. You will be able to watch my excess weight just melt away. I'm going to be so freaking svelte you'll hardly be able to stand it. By midwinter or so, I'm going to take a special trip out to Colorado, find the extremely fit d (who is, obnoxiously, a decade or so younger than me), and kick his ass! Just to show how incredibly in shape I am! He'll respect that, I think.

OK, I exaggerate. It will probably take until next summer before I really qualify as a living lethal weapon. But the main thing is, I'll be posting my progress so that you, my extremely attractive readers, can say encouraging things like "Still quite a ways to go, Captain Flab!"

2) Tomatoes. I have read that if you eat something 13 times, you will develop a taste for it. This sounds like a promising area for self-improvement! However, I have also read that if you eat something 6 times, you will develop a taste for it. Also, 20 times. Also, 5 and 15 and 12 and 18 times. So, it would appear that no one really knows what the hell they are talking about.

Nevertheless, over the next month I will be, for the third time in my life, attempting to develop a taste for that most noxious of God's fruits, the tomato. That's right: every day, starting tomorrow, for at least four weeks, I shall put a small tomato in my mouth, chew it thoroughly, and swallow it, giving a good faith effort all the while not to pitch my cookies.

Please don't think this is masochism! It's not like I've decided to try to eat brie or caviar or cat poop or anything like that. Tomatoes are known to have real nutritional value! And they are often thrown into an otherwise perfectly appealing sandwich or salad! So it's not like my decision is completely random; there would be real practical benefits to becoming one of the legions of tomato pod people. I'll let you know how it's going. Please wish me luck. I'll need it.

the most noxious of God's fruits.


Michael5000 said...

And, for the record: the initial Monday weigh-in finds me at 210.6, which actually isn't quite as bad as I feared. But it ain't great, either.

fingerstothebone said...

Hey, you're the only other person I know who doesn't care for tomatoes. Most people look at me funny when I say I don't like them. (Although I do eat them if my host puts it in front of me.)

fingerstothebone said...

Oh yeah, forgot to mention that your diet cola thing seems to have transfered itself to me. In the last two weeks, I've had two diet cokes! That's two more than I've had in the last 20 years, combined, probably.

Elaine said...

But M5000! Doesn't how tall you are matter? Maybe 210 is a good weight for you, right?? (They do say diet soda consumption is associated with weight gain, though--so that part is good.)

As a long-time tomato grower, I think that trying to like tomatoes by eating cherry tomatoes is like trying to develop a taste for wine by drinking Thunderbird. Maybe try some Juliet tomatoes--they are small--but unless you are sampling something fresh, from a local garden, and preferably a variety grown for its flavor (an Heirloom tomato called Moskvitch is my favorite)... this attempt will be doomed. Just Say No!
(If you like cooked tomatoes, that is close enough!)

Yankee in England said...

really agree with the home grown fresh of the vine slightly warm comment. The cherry toms just don't have flavor unless you either grow your own or get some really nice ones from a farmers markert. Good job on the diet cola, I cut down from 2 20oz bottles a day to nothing cold turkey for just over a month and then I was parched and there was bogof offer and I caved.

I think it is time for me to start up weigh in Wednesdays again, going home in Febuary and would love to knock their socks off with how slim I am. Maybe this will kick my but into action. Good luck on all endevors.

Rebel said...

Ding ding ding - yankee got to it before me. Please for the love of all that is good on this green earth do NOT attempt your 'eating tomatoes' plan based on what you find in the grocery store. I have even been disappointed in what I've seen at the farmers market from time to time.

I have a love/hate relationship with tomatoes. I love love LOVE them if I can pick them off the plant myself, still a little warm from the sunshine, a little gritty from well...dirt. YUM! So yummy, so very yummy I could, and have, stood in a garden eating tomato after tomato off the vine.

But I hate hate HATE 90% of the tomatoes I've seen in the grocery store and by and large don't like them cooked or in sauces, and don't even get me started on teh tomatoes that are served on burgers and sandwiches in restaurants. ~~shudder~~

So good luck with the tomaters.

And you know good luck with your attempt to attain a "desirable" number on the arbitrary anatomical measurement of your choice. Sincerely.

d said...

All tomatoes are delicious. I eat them like apples with a little bit of salt. I'm currently trying to give up Coke Zero myself and having a devil of a time. What's the secret?

p. s. I am only a couple of years younger than you, not a decade, but you're certainly welcome to come out to Colorado and kick my ass anyway. It may not give you that same sense of accomlishment though.

Eversaved said...

When we were younger my brother hated tomatoes. As an avid lover of all things tomato, I thought this was just another indication that he was touched in the head. He finally, after years and years of loathing, developed a taste for them. So, it can be done!

On the other hand, even after months of living in Spain and having the best olives in the world forced down my gullet, I still hate them. So who knows. Good luck, anyway.

I'm also trying to lose weight. It's hard!! I mean, I've been trying for awhile, but now I've even taken alcohol out of the special "protected" category, so maybe that will help.

I love the labels for this post.

mrs.5000 said...

We've got tomatoes growing in the garden, as we do almost every year, and I got good ones at the farmers' market last weekend. So yes, I'm with most of you on the good tomato/bad tomato thing. So far that has not been any magic key to changing M5K's opinion--he says fresh tomatoes are worse, because they taste more like tomatoes. I suggested he pair with them with something else tasty, like mozzarella, and was told that would be "a waste of mozzarella." Just so you all know what we're dealing with here.

Elaine said...

Hmmm. Mozzarella ain't agonna help M5000, but really fresh basil and a peppercorn mix grinder might be usefulllll.
About farm market tomatoes: always ask what variety they are. Here in Arkansas, many growers stick to "Park's Whopper," a type that won't split open during rapid growth. The problem is, it's a taste-free variety. In Ohio, I ultimately settled on Celebrity, Viva Italia (a paste type that also goes over well as fresh-sliced), and Moskvitch (seeds from Johnny's Selected Seeds.) Every climate/soil/growing zone has its own issues, obviously, but some perform well in many conditions.
Tomato-EATERS, maybe not so much!

Yankee in England said...

sliced with salt and peper over cottage cheese oh it is so good I can taste it might have to pick up some cottage cheese on the way home.

Michael5000 said...

I do sometimes worry that tomato consumption erodes the logic circuits. For when a tomato-eater learns that one dislikes tomatoes, what is the invariable response? "Oh, but you must make sure you are eating the finest dew-picked garden-nurtured organic heirloom artisanal varieties!! They're so much more flavorful." (emphasis mine)

Let's think this through. I can barely gag down the slices of cyber-tomato they slap on fast food, despite the rich competing flavors of salt, grease, salt and grease -- BECAUSE THE FLAVOR OF TOMATOES IS DISGUSTING!!! Why on Earth would I jump straight to a tomato carefully crafted for maximum tomato flavor? Those are for people who enjoy the flavor of tomatoes!

I assure you -- and I know well whereof I speak on this one -- store-bought is going to be the way to go with this exercise. (Perhaps I should see if I can find a store that sells the allegedly flavor-free "Park's Whopper," but I bet it is all too flavorful in real life.)

I like the salt and pepper concept though.

Michael5000 said...

@Elaine: Oh, and I'm 5'2".

Ben said...

You look different without your glasses. Oh, and if you're 5'2", you look taller WITH your glasses.

Good luck on the tomato thing. Let me know how it goes--maybe I'll try it with (shudder) avacados.

Michael5000 said...

@Ben: Dude, avocados are awesome! There's no rational reason that you... oh, wait.

sister jen said...

Well, I know how it feels to not enjoy or even be able to stand a ubiquitous and often celebrated food item--try not liking coffee, for example, which I don't. But why fight it? Just say no. (No tomatoes, thanks!)

Not liking brie, though . . . and Spanish olives . . . hmmmmm--

Anonymous said...

I have a friend who refers to tomatoes as "the ovaries of evil." He won't eat anything that has even touched one, raw or cooked. I am interested to hear the results of your experiment, if you can change the reaction of your tastebuds through acclimation.

Elaine said...

M5000, you write much taller than 5'2"....(suspicious look, doubting your veracity.) And, honest, flavors of tomatoes can vary a great deal. But if you really feel this strongly, I do think-- just don't do it. Life is short!
I am allergic to crab. People keep assuring me that I may have "outgrown" my allergy. (People seldom outgrow allergies to shellfish.) My reply: There are 10,000 wonderful things to eat. I can pass on crab and still have 9,999 wonderful things awaiting me. It is not worth the price of testing!

Ben, try avocados instead of the inferior "avacados" and it might go better!

And Sister Jen-- I, too, disliked coffee...until I moved to Europe and tasted some GOOD coffee. Made all the difference!

sister jen said...

I swear to god I will drink coffee now and for the rest of my life if someone will foot the bill for a move to Europe. Anyone?

Yankee in England said...

Yeah don't move to the UK make sure you move to the continent because coffee SUUUUUUUCKS in the UK.

5'2 is it I really don't remember you being that short in 99 but maybe I have had a growth spurt or you have gotten osteoperosis since ESU days.

The Calico Cat said...

5'2", I was looking to high in Sisters. (The guy I almost thought was you was with a gal with long hair - Mrs. 5K does have long hair does she?)

I like tomatoes, but I like them all equally even the insipid December varieties flown in from Chile...

I make guacamosalsa - since you like avocado, maybe mix it with some tomato...

Jenners said...

Diet cola is evil ... glad you kicked it.

And I'm doing a weight loss Game -- do you want to play????

And good luck with the son feels the same about watermelon.

Dug said...

I used to share your hatred of tomatoes. I'm still uncomfortable eating them sometimes. I started eating them when I was a starving collegian. Sometimes some fool food server would not hear my "no tomato" pleas and I'd be stuck with a foul slice on my sandwich. Eventually I was hungry enough that I'd just start eating them. They weren't as awful as I thought. Soon I stopped asking for no tomatoes because I needed the extra food content. Sandwiches were the gateway drug for me.

goodworks1 said...

You know, it's possible that you are truly allergic to tomatoes, or at least ultra-sensitive to them. Do you like other nightshade type veggies/fruits?