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See Food Diet

July 8, 2019

This is an old joke. Perhaps I first encountered it in an animated Garfield short when I was a kid. That cat was always on some kind of weight loss regimen or another. Does anyone remember the one where he could only eat what could be sucked through a straw?

Of course the punchline was that he was still able to devour a whole roasted bird through it by tapping into the power of his sheer desire for delicious food.

Usually diets made Garfield grumpy. And for obvious reasons. Restrictive diets suck. So everyone was surprised when he was so happy on a new seafood diet. To which our hero explained, “It’s the best, I see food, and I eat it.”

Now, I have no idea if this was a Garfield episode or not. Maybe I happened upon it in an Archie comic with Jughead Jones playing the role of the voracious eater. While it’s not a recipe for weight loss, it is a condition from which I suffer. So today, I thought I would offer up a little confession.

For anyone concerned about my physical well being, I’m fine.

Just last night I took my blood pressure, and my numbers are good. My weight is back within my acceptable parameters. I am even getting a bit more sleep. But this weekend I went to another goodbye party, and there was a table full of food. I find in these situations, I have very little self control.

A moderate hamburger, all on its own, is a perfectly reasonable treat. Over the past several months, I’ve joined team #SixFries Well, really, I’m more team #TwelveFries but I think I may be the only person on that bench.

On a recent Friday at Field Notes, I had a decadent burger with a delicious salad. In the past, I thought that combination was ridiculous. But when the greens are that good, and the burger has an egg that runs out and mixes with the salad greens, and when you save the salad for last so that it helps to cleanse your palate after the heavy sandwich, it’s really an excellent if non-traditional combination.

The point here, is that one burger is plenty to satisfy. At the party on Saturday, I had two. And a half.

Here’s what happened. Our friend was out grilling burgers, and bringing them back in on platters. And as a generous host, he made plenty of food. However, as someone who can’t stand to see food going uneaten, I ate more than I wanted. Substantially. Which isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy them. I did. Tremendously.

I think the guilt comes in when there was a sad and lonely half-patty on the platter, which I snatched up with my fingers and ate out of hand, enjoying a few last beefy, fatty, salty, and cheesy bites… like an animal. Well, that and the fact that I was grazing for hours on other foods too, including chips, a vegetarian kielbasa, and pie, to name a few.

The bottom line was that I ate more than I wanted. I lost control. I ate when I wasn’t hungry, simply because of my proximity to tasty food. And this is the modern American dilemma. For most. Which makes it even more tragic that food insecurity is still a thing. We have so much of the damned stuff, that it’s making us all overweight. Yet at the same time, our neighbors are quietly going without.

For what’s it’s worth, the meal sustained me for most of Sunday. But while I’ll readily confess my transgressions, I have yet to truly learn the lesson. Because this upcoming Sunday I’m going out for the Fussy Little Tour to end all Fussy Little Tours. Hopefully a few of you will be able to join me and share some treats at a few places around Albany. Because if I have to eat them all by myself, I think I’m going to be in trouble.

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