Is there a 12-step program for foodaholics?

June 29, 2010 at 7:56 am | Posted in Playing with Food | 7 Comments
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My boyfriend and I enjoying taco night

The first step is admitting it.  I am a foodaholic.  I eat food for the pure enjoyment of taste. I think about food weeks and days in advance of consuming it. I research the best wings, best mac and cheese, best pizza, best sushi, best chocolate, best ice cream, best cupcakes – you name it.

I can remember as a kid having contests to see who could eat the most slices of pizza. In day camp, whenever we took a trip, we’d stop at McDonald’s and I always got a #4 (a McChicken sandwich).  In high school, I would always go to my favorite pizza place to hang out with friends during lunch, eat a slice of pizza and a pepperoni roll up.  On the days I didn’t go there, I went to the local deli and got an Italian combo.  In college, wings were the thing. So many flavors! And every so often, we’d order in from the calzone place at 3 in the morning. Basically, I ate like a growing boy.

Now that I’m older, I’m much more aware of when I’m eating something I probably shouldn’t. It doesn’t stop me, but I’ve been working on controlling portion sizes and trying to make healthier choices.  At some point, my metabolism will give out and I don’t want to be caught off guard, so I’m taking a preemptive step against instant weight gain.  My weight has remained consistent since high school, give or take 5 pounds.

Eating better isn’t just about maintaining a healthy weight.  It’s about giving my body the nutrients it needs.  Eating salmon because it’s good for my skin, or blueberries for the antioxidants.  I don’t do diets.  They have never worked for me. It’s probably because I don’t really need to lose weight. Of course, everyone can afford to lose a little weight, but I think that’s really a societal pressure to be skinny or perfect.  Have you seen artwork from the 1700s?  Women were not toothpicks. If they were, they were seen as poor and of a lower class.  Carrying a little junk in the trunk was a sign of wealth and wellbeing.

I also feel that life is really too short not to enjoy food.  One Twinkie once every three years won’t kill you. I had a fried Twinkie in Denver back in January. It was amazing, so I probably won’t have another Twinkie until 2013 at the earliest (since it was fried, I should probably tack on a couple years for good measure).  But there are just some foods I simply cannot live without.  I have to have chocolate almost every day.  I crave pizza, cheese, bacon, sushi, avocados, ethnic foods.  I enjoy smoothies on a hot day and hot chocolate on a cold one.

It’s just about balance.  Now, if I eat healthy for 2 meals a day, and I have French fries for dinner, I think it’s ok.   Food, like travel, is about adventure and enjoyment. Not everyone is so lucky to have so many choices of food at their fingertips so live it up while you are still living!

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