Close up Hands Tea x

Sit a bit and hear some observational stories I’ve been steeping.

Eat More, Weigh Less!

This is the evil, tantalizing subject line that popped into my emailbox and – despite my card carrying gold membership in the “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” club – I was sucked into opening it, because I’m a bonafide foodie.  And oh, my foodie brethren, I know you would be right next to me with breathless anticipation, if you thought we were on the brink of discovering the secret potion or brand of snake oil that would give us license to try the Gnocchi di Ricotta Alla Romana, Beef Braciole, Radicchio Fritto, Tiramisu and have our spoon stuck in our seatmate’s Semifreddo at one sitting without altering our jean size.  Honestly, I wanna believe in that urban legend much more than I ever cared about the definitive proof of Sasquatch or the Loch Ness Monster (really, what’re they gonna do for me once we’ve proven they’re out there?).

So, I open this magical email full of promise and sweet talk and right off the bat, the first paragraph mentions mashed potatoes and cake.  “Well, whoohoo!  We are off to a pretty good start,” I thought to myself.  Then, with html horns practically popping off the screen — the words sprint, kick, squat and sweat showed up.  In one sentence.  It was like discovering the winning lottery ticket in your hand had all of the right numbers for tonight’s spin, but was purchased for some other game a useless three months ago.  Null. And void.

The old bait and switch is what it was.  Just an ad for some sports club in West Los Angeles.  Oh, who cares that your shiny new exercise facility sits in the heart of all that is hip, slick and cool.  I will read no further, you heartless charlatan!  Fool me once, and all that.  Sprinting might not be my forte, but I can click delete faster than your average bodybuilder any day of the week.

Eat more, weigh less.  Pshhh.

How about Read More, Say Less?  Where’s the all-out campaign for that baby?  Because, that is a concept I could wrap my head around.  And my backside, too, for that matter.   Big ol’ cushy chair, a hot cup of cocoa and logs crackling in the fireplace.  And no squirrely gym rat chit-chat.  Here’s my paperwork, Giacomo and this is one recurring membership that I’ll show up for, too.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m all for a good workout (despite the irritating ping/cling/ding of weight machines – why, in heaven’s name, after all these years, are there no rubber shock absorbers on those things?) and some of the gyms out there are pretty impressive places to hang out (exotic juice bar with a view of the basketball court?  Bonus points!).  But the sportsclub that tries to bait me with their Eat More-Weigh Less shtick better have some serious sort of cream pie and whole milk frappuccino waiting at the door when I’m either arriving or leaving.  I mean, if you really want to prove a point?  Allow me to be your poster child: Fill me up and work me out.  Don’t lure me in and leave me to my own devices.  That?  Could… oh, who am I kidding WOULD be, disastrous.

The Holiday Season has officially begun and the rich, decadent foods and beverages of November, December and January have started showing up everywhere I look.  Even the dry cleaner counter isn’t safe this time of year with their innocuous “Have a cookie / piece of pound cake / hunk of fudge on us!”  [See, that’s some good business sense, right there.  Once you’ve dropped some gooey bittersweet chocolate on that gift sweater from Aunt Mabel that she’s expecting to see you in over Christmas, you’ll be baaaack.]

This year I tried to trick myself into not doing the whole annual Store for the Winter Like a Big Fat Squirrel, Beginning with Your Children’s Halloween Treats (I could SO write that book and give Nigella Lawson a run for her Pleasures and Principles of Good Food money).  I started by freezing all of the evil mini bars of candy that came into my house.  See, I figured if they were frozen they’d be hard and unappealing and I would not go through the trouble of eating them.  Ah, but with middle age comes that excellent parlor trick of taking something out of the freezer and then getting interrupted by something, like going into the garage to get napkins, only to return half an hour later (with paper towels, fabric softener, lost Thanksgiving decorations and those nails to finally hang the picture frame that’s still sitting on the coffee table) to discover that those five innocent looking little Snickers bars are now perfectly divine for consumption (lest you think I’m delusional about the nutrition content of fun-size candy, I know full well that three of those itty-bitty babies add up to one honkin’ mama sized bar – still, this does not stop me).

You do not have to be a government fuel efficiency expert (they do have those, right?) to understand that fuel consumption is determined by the vehicle’s heat of combustion requirements – in other words, what does your engine require to go-go-go?  If your “vehicle” body type is say, the equivalent of a mid-size family van, one that only gets from the fridge to the sofa then your fuel needs are few, you have to eat less in order to weight less.  Even if you’re one of the new, leggier sports cars models, you are still ruled by the law of Miles to Fuel ratio (going from East Coast to West Coast will require a veritable feedbag, of sorts) so you can begin to see how that whole proposed Eat More, Weigh Less theory works, you can do it as long as the miles are put in.  Not quite the sleight of hand I imagined it to be, but I was really hoping the email might have contained one of the three wishes I’ve been hoping for.

I can’t help but wonder exactly how many calories it takes to open and delete an email like that in less than 3.5 seconds.  Surely enough to justify one winky Three Musketeers bar if a person hopped up and down in justified outrage a few times first.  Not that I did that.

It might be a good idea for me to get all of those miniature candy bars out of my house, so that I’m not tempted to put the crazy Eat More, Weigh Less theory into practice.  But, in order to do that, I’m going to have to take them out of the freezer first, so nobody better interrupt me.  Because that… would be disastrous (and by disastrous, I mean having to sprint, kick, squat and sweat my out of it).

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