Where Life Meets Lunch: My Secret Affair

546150140_3cee75ca1fI am a married man, but I have a second love.

If you know me, then you may have guessed what this illicit love is.  Hopefully, you’ll keep this little secret to yourself because I am going to go out on a limb and tell you.  I love food.

I love everything about food.  The taste, the smell, the color, writing about it, thinking about it, watching it get cooked.  I love that little sizzle that onions or meat or tofu makes when it hits a hot pan with oil in it.  Sadly, I think I love food too much.  Since at the time of the writing I currently weigh a dizzying amount of weight.  And so even though I love food, I am trying as hard as I can to separate myself of it.

Some call it releasing weight, some call it dieting, some call it slimming down, but whatever it is, I am trying to make that little number on the scale drop by about 120 from where I started.  Basically, I am trying to reinvent my body and reinvent myself.

The good news is that I enjoy exercise.  I like lifting weights, playing racquetball, swimming, and the feeling I get when I look down at the elliptical and say “Ha, I OWNED you for 30 minutes!” (even if the truth is more like I was in awful pain and hated life for all 1,800 seconds I was on the [bleep]ing machine.) 

There is, however, one thing I won’t give up.  I am pretty sure that I am unable to give up my love of food, so I am not going to try.  Instead, I am learning a new concept: moderation which I think comes from the Latin for “[Bleep]ing [bleep] of a [bleep] I’m still hungry, but I am not licking my plate clean” or something like that.  Basically, to acheive this moderation-thingy, over the past several weeks I have been doing four things:

  1. I am leaving food on my plate or, depending on the meal, putting it in a doggie bag.  This tactic works better with an attentive waiter who can get my plate out from under my nose quickly, but it does work.
  2. I am slowing down.  I am trying as hard as I can not to shovel food anymore.  Instead, I am taking time to taste each bite, savor the different flavors, and then swallow.  Since I am eating less (per #1), I still want to engage in the culinary pleasure of eating and slowing down is one way I am doing that.  Overall, I am finding that my enjoyment of food has actually increased.
  3. I am avoiding temptation.  No buffets or Mexican restaurants for me except for one meal a week.  All chips are out of my house as are Jelly Bellys, Stephen Colbert’s Americone Dream from Ben and Jerry’s, etc.
  4. I earn my rewards.  Anytime I want something, say like a Dr. Pepper or a treat, I make myself earn it.  That means going to ju jitsu or the gym and working for it.  In the end, this means that instead of depriving myself and risking a slide back into my old habits, I am accepting a slower pace of weight loss in exchange for a lifestyle I can do.

Now, I promise not to turn into a health freak.  I am going to try to do more healthy recipes, but that’s more because that’s what my readers seem to want.  (This of course excludes next January where I will do a second Unresolution month, but that’s another story!)   I wouldn’t normally even talk about this type of thing except it’s been on mind so much and that’s from where these little vignettes come.

So is it working?  I’d caution a guess and say yes.  Last week I lost 13 pounds.  Tomorrow I face the scale again.

Wish me luck?

(Thanks Rick for the pic!)

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