Tiburón -Shark- Žralok

Tiburón -Shark- Žralok: Writing Cooking Traveling

Monday, October 26, 2009

When Food Hurts

It happens without you realizing it. Things are hunky dory, life is better than you could ever have expected it could be, and then... you reach the line. Sometimes in the heat of passion, often fueled by alcohol or starvation, you're three miles in before you even realize it and then there's no turning back. Other times you cross it knowing full well what you're doing but praying that maybe this time, maybe today... it won't be so bad. But it is. It always is. Its worse than awkward sex because it lingers and it adds rather than subtracts calories from your already substantial thighs. Its that feeling of eating WAY TOO MUCH.

I'm there right now. Smutty Nose Pumpkin Ale and three... yes, three.. helpings of Savory Pumpkin Pie. There was no need, and no amount of whole wheat crust will ever set things right. Overeating on weekday nights is tantamount to shooting up heroin in some people's minds. I'd venture to say in most. Overeating on the weekend or on vacation or at food events is a relatively harmless offense, often a cause for celebration, an achievement, its fun! But when you cross the line any time from Monday to Friday its the end. You had no business drinking in the first place and who told you to make something so decadent anyway? That's a WEEKEND meal.

Don't get me wrong, it was good. Very good. Even though I burnt the pumpkin and the crust was too thick in places and it tasted mostly of cheese and onion (as if this was bad), the bits of pumpkin that did shine through were intoxicating, and once you cross the one stick of butter threshold you know you're in a good place. So why do I feel guilt ridden and sick?

Heroin. I can picture skinny model-type girls in Gestapo uniforms breaking down the door of my den of decadence and grease, taking away my kitties, while I sit strung out on cheese, too busy shoving homemade quiche and muffins down my throat to stop them. One of them helps R up, takes the pancakes and bacon out of his hands, hell, out of his mouth, gone slack from an intense food coma. She determines his waistline is still salvageable. Handing him a piece of celery and a small container of low-fat Ranch dressing, he crunches down greedily, his lovehandles deflating almost instantly. His eyes come back to life, cleared of the haze of fat and sugar. He smiles. So R and Ms. Skeletor walk merrily out the door holding hands, happy to be rid of the odor of smoking oil and spilt beer.

OK, maybe I'm being just a bit melodramatic.

I've already covered this topic in various manifestations, from how the French do it and stay beautiful, to the place gorging on food holds within all important events and celebrations. In light of both extremes its impossible to miss why the weekday binge becomes such an unpleasant hiccup in the landscape of your self-image. A plague worse than swine flu chokes this great nation of cheeseburgers and French, pardon, Freedom fries.

Obesity hangs heavy and menacing over our heads, threatening like a vulture to inflate an ear, a foot, a nose, a tummy to gargantuan proportions, if ever we neglect to pay attention. Here in New York the dangers of obesity are spoon fed to us, so to speak, in Bloomberg's subway ad, in the calorie-counting menus of chain restaurants, in the food blogs. As New Yorkers we figure we're safe. Just stay out of McDonalds, we say to ourselves, we'll never be fat, we say, chomping down on a bagel with cream cheese and lox, we walk everywhere, we tell ourselves, our mouths full of perfect chocolate chip cookies six inches in diameter, we shop at Farmer's Markets and Whole Foods. That can't happen here.

In California its worse. They ritually purify themselves of their desserts on treadmills and in

weight rooms, exorcising any suggestion of flab from their perfectly toned bodies which threaten to let loose, droop, and swell if ever you dare miss an appointment with your trainer. Everyone knows you die then, alone, hated, judged. The people of the coasts, we walkers, joggers, yoga-addicts, we young and beautiful foodies of the coasts have declared war on this affliction and confined it to the center of the country, to the fat states where the clown and the Colonel to reign unchecked, a lawless land of fried chicken, high fructose corn syrup, and MSG. We beautiful, young foodies turn our noses up at the fat tourists who take up what could've been our seat in the subway, self-righteously congratulating ourselves on losing more and more weight the longer we remain standing, holding onto the pole with out muscular hands. We are the true martyrs of America.

OK, I'll stop right there. I know overeating once in a while is not the fast ticket to death, isolation and obesity. But doesn't it sometimes feel like it, though? It must be those ads on the subway. They make one feel fat. But I know I'm OK because those pumpkins... they came from the Farmer's Market so its OK. Everything will be OK.

***While the first picture is from Flickr and was now taken by me, it resembles the final product that I made. I promise to start taking pictures again.

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