Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Weighty Problem

Note: Canadians and Europeans (sans Brits) will NOT find this funny. This is for true-blooded gringos who slept through math class in the seventh grade.

So the world here is in metrics. Summer temperatures swelter above 35 degrees, meat comes by the kilo, and car rides are in kilometers. Fine, fine. I am not a complete idiot, as I know that 32 degrees does not mean boots but rather sandals. I did struggle once with a cookie purchase, ordering 500 grams and lamenting afterward how it was just simply too many cookies to eat (ok, not really since I love cookies more than just about anything in the world and I was probably really happy to have that many cookies to eat).

Yes, those of us from the US are more accustomed to ordering illicit drugs in grams than our food.

This problem became a weighty one a few weeks ago when I decided to weigh myself. With a life stuffed with crusty pizzas, crustier empanadas, endless rivers of red wine and a cavity inducing sweet tooth, I could feel my pants cinching my waist like a corset. So I step on the scale before my workout and immediately freak out. What is the conversion again? Since the number was just in double digits, I knew it had to be at a minimum doubled. But then what? Add 5? Or was it really multiply by 3? Shit, shit, shit, I couldn’t remember. All I knew was that this number I did know had no reference for me – it could have been equal to 200 pounds, it could have been equal to 150, I had no idea.

Since I was at the gym while all this went down, I naturally did an extra 20 minutes on the elliptical so I could think about the unsolvable math equation. Or try to help with its unknown outcome. And then I tried through the powers of reasoning to figure it out from the weight machines that litter the gym, some of which have both kilos and pounds. Forget it. I was such a neurotic mess thinking I weighted 200 pounds that I eventually raced home to find out.

I opened my Mac, I checked the little widget and sighed with relief when it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought. One kilo is 2.2 pounds, so it’s a little more than double and if you’ve a first world white girl (or probably any girl for that matter, especially here in Argentina where they sadly have the highest rates of anorexia in the world) you know that every pound counts. Which is why I don’t weigh myself too much – in kilos or pounds.

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