Monday, December 14, 2015

Battle of the Bulge: The Charming Dinner Guest

When it comes to temptation, there are few areas that still wield power. Through force of will, I've managed to crush a number of bad habits. 

While food shopping, only the produce section calls my name, which means, in turn, that the house is only stocked with the waist-friendly and the heart-healthy. Even if there is a squirreled away gift box of chocolates, I don't even desire to look for it. I wait for what really makes me dance (Shavuous cheesecake).
Eating out never was a family pastime, and if I am ever tempted I reckon that the price of the meal could have been put towards new shoes, which I would own and enjoy for years as opposed to the 30-minute bliss (and 30-day workoff) of anything off the menu.

Of the last lingering dragons to slay, there remains this: The Shabbos meal invite. 

Platters and bowls of the often salt-infused tasty and trans-fattening is placed before me, and here's the thing: Once I am in eating mode, I can keep on going, refilling my plate repeatedly and constantly munching.
Meaning, I return home moaning, groaning, and self-loathing. 

Many a time, before such outings, I would give myself a stern talking-to. Don't overeat. Savor the food. Don't feel compelled to eat anything out of politeness. All for naught. 

I stumbled across this quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupery: 

A goal without a plan is just a wish.

I didn't get to this point in the Bulge Battle by wishful thinking; I had a system of attack. I to plot a clear guideline. 

I winnowed it down to two main tactics: 

1. Chew SLOWLY and THOROUGHLY. Chewing slowly means that 

  (a) I have to daintily put down my flatware between bites;

  (b) My stomach has the necessary minutes to register food; and

  (c) I can stretch my portion all the way to the next course, leaving little time for further sins. 

2. No seconds. NO SECONDS. No matter what. Even if it's salad. Even if it's vegetables. Make up the plate and THAT IS IT.

Marching along to my hosts, I chanted to myself: Chew slowly, no seconds. Chew slowly, no seconds. Chew slowly, no seconds. 

I chewed slowly. I took no seconds. I sailed home triumphant, having relished my appetizer, main, and dessert, while my boch was only slightly stretched. I felt civilized again just a few hours later. 


Mr. Cohen said...

Are Israeli Jewish girls really thinner than American Jewish girls?
Or is it just a myth?

In my humble opinion, which could be wrong, American culture promotes obesity.
Am I correct about that?

PS: * * * *

Daniel Saunders said...

I'm also trying to chew more, although not for weight-loss reasons (I'm happy with my weight). More about changing my attitude to life, slowing down and living in the moment, not rushing off to do other things.

(Would you believe the CAPTCHA identity confirmation just asked me to select images of food? Somehow I missed one (the pictures are too small!) and had to try again, selecting trains instead. Trains are less fattening then food.)

Princess Lea said...

DS: Oh, yeah, that too. Plus I want my food to last longer.