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Photo from photolibrarian.

Photo from photolibrarian.

We had a Staff Connection Day with work today which means the whole of the organisations staff get together.

Seeing as I get my travel paid for by my work, I was assigned to drive some of the staff for the day. As is my usual style, I got a car full of ladies. The only difference was I was driving ladies around for work rather than just as my normal Saturday night woman cruzin’ (this was me last Saturday for instance).

On our trip home we stopped in at Maccas, and I ducked across to the petrol station to grab an energy drink so I didn’t fall asleep driving home – nothing ruins cruzin’ like snoozin’. I bought myself a sugarfree V.

When we were a few kms down the road one of the girls asked if I was on a diet and pointed out the sugar-freeness of my drink. A perfectly reasonable question but one which has caused me quite a lot of angst lately.

In the last 18 months or so, I’ve noticed that I’m fatter than I used to be. I’m developing love handles and my belly wobbles a small bit when I poke it. My metabolism is slowing down. For the past decade or so when people in my family have remarked on my skinniness, someone will often point out that one of my close relatives (who shall remain nameless) was skinny as a rake until he hit 30, and then he blew up.

Now I’m not fat. But I am vain. And I don’t want to be fat. So with the dire predictions ringing in my ears, and my fear of too much abundant, belly blessings, I have begun to cut back on my sugary drink intake. Now, instead of drinking normal energy drinks, whenever possible I drink sugar-free. This doesn’t bother me too much as they all taste pretty gross anyway, so I don’t really notice.

But much more horrific to my psyche is that I’ve also switched about 80% of my Coke drinking to Coke Zero. I love Coke. I LOVE Coke. You all know that. And Coke Zero is an abomination. I imagine the difference between Coke and Coke Zero is like being married and then replacing your wife with a life size, replica doll. One is worthy of your love, the other looks the same but is actually a lifeless parody that will leave a stain on your soul. Never having been married, to a woman or a doll, I can’t verify the correctness of this analogy, but I assume it’s the same. I can’t believe I would betray the drink I love, but such is my pride.

I explained this to my passengers who took it upon themselves to sing to me so that I might be ok with my body image. “That’s what makes you beautiful” became “That’s what makes you Not Fat Tom”. I also had “Skinny Love” played in my honour. You can tell they work with teenagers, they must sing to insecure teenage girls all the time. I’m pretty sure it works too because I came home and ate a cupcake. The youth of the world are in good hands. I’m not sure they cured my pride issues, but I certainly enjoyed the cupcake. Isn’t it good the ministry Christians can give to one another?

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