It’s dawned on me for a while that I possibly have the worst eating habits of anyone on the planet. I know all the things you are supposed to do. Here are a few (not an exhaustive list):
Eat several small meals a day. Never skip breakfast. Eat foods that are healthy for you, including several servings of fruits and vegetables. Even if you’re a vegetarian, eat protein in some form. Ignore the food scares. Carrots will not give you cancer, and eggs won’t kill you either. And what the hell is that thing about the food pyramid or whatever it is now? Has anybody ever paid any attention to that?
Okay. Here is Fakename’s food rule. Only eat when you’re hungry. I’ve used this rule for umpty gazillion years and the result is that it has kept me relatively thin my whole life. I never eat because it’s “time”. I never eat anything just because it’s good for me. And when a system works for you, it’s hard, if not impossible, to give it up. Even if it’s wrong.
My system is not foolproof.
There are many days when I’m not hungry at all, and have to force myself to eat something. But I’ve become accustomed to that and often cruise the grocery aisles hoping for a spark of inspiration.
Lucky for me, I actually like those foods that are good for you. I’m not a Cheetos addict, in other words. So on those days when I’m “not hungry”, it’s not at all uncommon for me to eat a piece of chicken and some fruit.
And then there are days where I all of a sudden become ravenous. I think it’s sort of the same phenomenon dieters experience. They can be good only so long, then they are ready to eat the doorknobs and the neighbor’s dog.
I had one of those days yesterday. One of my employees brought me lunch that he had cooked himself, so I had to eat it, right? Not that you had to twist my arm. This lunch was a classic Southern combo: a breaded fried pork chop (a thin one, thankfully); White Acre peas (aka “field peas”), and yellow rice. A note about White Acre peas. Normally they are food for animals, like cows. Somewhere along the line, someone discovered they taste really good. The only difference between us and cows, is that we don’t eat the leaves too.
He flavored them with some sort of pig parts that had small bones. Probably was the feet, but I was afraid to ask. He told me later that he also cooked them with okra, but since he didn’t know whether or not I liked okra, he picked it all out. Too bad. I love okra.
A couple of weeks ago, another employee gave me a small container of butterbeans, flavored with ham (you know, actual ham, added later, not nearly as fun). She told me that that morning, as she was putting them in the container, her boyfriend said, I thought you were going to take her some beans. This is not enough to keep a bird alive. She said, you don’t understand. Fakename IS a bird.
So I had them for lunch, along with (count them) two chicken wings. I said to the employee, Go back and tell Keith that I had trouble finishing all those beans.
Back to yesterday’s lunch. It was very salty, and I have to tell you, you almost cannot get too salty for me. I love salt, Evil Substance that it is. But this was definitely on the fringe. As a result, later that afternoon, I had an insatiable craving for something acidic. I had some grapefruit in our little work refrigerator, and before I knew it, I had eaten the entire jar (according to the jar, it was 1 pound, 4 ounces).
I ate a few Godiva chocolate pearls after that. Then as I was leaving, a customer gave an entire pizza to the cashier, so I had a slice of pepperoni pizza, cold. Of course I only ate the topping, not the crust. But on the way to my car, I was like, What is wrong with me? I feel like a blimp!
So here is the problem: I am going through a weight-gaining period. And I don’t like it. It isn’t out of control yet, but it means I’m going to have to start paying attention to food. What I eat, and when I eat it. I am so annoyed!