No love sincerer
Writing an essay about the love of food is the kind of index exercise that writers go through, similar to how every comedian eventually has their own way of re-telling the Aristocrats joke. So this is how I'd phrase a love-of-food essay:
My diet for today. Yikes:
How did I end up here? It all started two weeks ago, when my dad visited, and paid for every meal.
Well, scrolling back further, let's look at my base diet. My diet/life has usually been: wake up, dick around on the Internet, then have either a bowl of cereal or oatmeal. After some work, 1 or 2 PM rolls around and I get a mild hunger pain, and so I get up and out and acquire lunch. Work some more, then by around 7-9pm, I seek dinner in order to catch restaurants before they close and also to offset any hunger pains that may strike me as I try to go to sleep.
Along comes my dad, and I start my day off with my breakfast routine, but then the lunches and dinners with my dad are always at nice places. And since I want to take advantage of the situation, I go for the big stuff. Without limits, I'm eating big food all the time. While as before, I'd always go to the places that had the cheapest meals that I knew: like fish tacos at Wahoos or chicken burritos at Chipotle. Eating with my dad, on the other hand, meant having chicken fried steak for lunch and then maybe lamb marsala at an Indian restaurant at night.
And then, amidst all this big food, I had two bad days. On both of these days I had exercised, and afterwards, I initially felt fine, like I normally do, but as an hour or so passed, I got really tired. Like dreadfully tired with headaches and stuff. I had trouble sourcing it, and I came to the idea that it was the food. The mantra, "eating is unhealthy," recurred over and over in my mind. My body was rebuilding muscle tissue while also digesting a steak from dinner, a deep dish pizza from lunch, and some oatmeal in the morning.
Toward the end of my dad's trip, I broke my routine, and stopped eating breakfast. This helped ease the load on my body. And then when my dad was gone, I kicked it up a notch and decided to stop eating altogether. So, if I was dicking around on the Internet, and wanted to keep dicking around, and the idea of eating oatmeal or cereal was unappealing, I should skip it! Or if I was hungry, but not hungry enough to be motivated to get up and find food, I should let it go!
As a result, I re-learned some things about my body and its relationship to hunger. I noticed that hunger pains were more temporary than I had remembered. When you are truly hungry, your hunger pains last for an hour. But back in boring, 3-meal-a-day land, I'd have virtually no hunger pains, or if I did, they'd only last 5 minutes and be very mild. And back then, I'd seize those 5 minutes and just get up and go find food, because hey, "strike while the iron's hot!" In the new way of non-eating, the trick is to wait till the iron gets hot and stays hot for a while; that's when you know you're simmering with hunger.
I also started to love food. A lot. In the new way, I have a 50% chance of savoring a meal, while as back in boring-diet land, I savored maybe 2% of my meals. Now, I eat with zest.
But before I get excited, I have to return back to the fearful nefarious message at the top of this post.
As I mentioned earlier:
That was my diet today. Instead of having square meals, I was bottom-feeding junk meals to stave off starvation. At El Chilito, I was eating some breakfast tacos, savoring the hell out of them. And then I ordered some horchata (a drink of almonds, sesame seeds, rice, barley) and drank the whole thing, which usually never happens. Since I'm on Recession-budget diet, I'd've never ordered soda or special drinks. But the exceptions I'd permit myself are when I really want something, and that horchata made my heart race. Especially when I googled it so I could read the ingredients in order to confirm that the $3 drink was going to deliver. And it did!
After that meal, I got distracted with other things. Sure hunger pains hit me, but I was busy. I was playing video games. Eventually I delayed eating so long that restaurants closed (this was a Sunday). Sure I could go to the traditional go-to late-night places, like Kerbey Lane or Magnolia, but for some reason, those sit-down places weren't conjuring interesting meals for me. Besides, I was busy running errands, no time for a sit-down place.
But as I got to my errands place (Wal-Mart), I saw a Burger King. And I remembered that Burger King had tater tots! Zip, I changed my direction and went to the drive-thru. I saw the sign, "drive-thru open until midnight!" Success. It was only 11:40 PM.
And this is when I really started to reinforce my new-wave diet. See, the way I was thinking, it's like my hunger saved me. It guided me better than my bland stupid planning ways would have. My hunger made me jump right at the Burger King, to follow my craving. If I had been planning, let's say, to get some late-night tots, because I wasn't that hungry—so lacking in hunger that I had the wherewithal to plan eating—I probably would have gone straight to Wal-Mart so I could craftily reward myself with tots. But noo, my hunger said I needed tots now, and had I gone to Wal-Mart first, I would've arrived at the drive-thru after midnight. See!
And I saw the tots on the menu, and my eyes ravished the menu. I saw chicken strips, no wait, even better: chicken fries! Wow, so I ordered both and chomped through them in the parking lot, feeling like a champ.
And then I went to Wal-Mart for my errands, but I got some thirsty-pains, and so I bought my other favorite drink, Vitamin Water.
As I drove back, I got a craving for ramen. And so I bolted to the 7-11, acquired a Maruchen ramen pack, slapped that in the pot, boiled, bam, done, and in 5 minutes, I was sucking on MSG-powder-stained noodles.
I know this is all unhealthy, but since I'm experimenting with this diet, I'm letting myself go crazy just to see what happens. But this day of junk food is making me think my diet is simply a matter of jumping from craving to craving. I wonder what tomorrow will bring when this exciting diet goes into practice during daylight hours. Will I have square, but epic meals since normal restaurants will be open? Or will I go for the junk food all the same. Who knows, fireworks in my taste buds seem eminent.