The best chips ever
Two days ago I went out for a long walk in the snow with my neighbour and friend, Rosie. We stopped off at a smart pub for lunch and then walked back.
For our main course, we shared two starters, a bowl of chunky fries with garlic mayo, and a dessert.
The fries were the best I’ve had in a long time – likely double fried – very crisp, golden, and with a home-made garlic mayo. I would trudge through the snow any day to eat them again.
We helped ourselves from the bowl and there were two golden crispy ends left. I asked if Rosie wanted to finish them. She said no. And I thought “why would you NOT want to have these wonderful fries?”
Yesterday it was my turn to host the cake club where four neighbourhood ladies eat cake and chat. I’d brought an Italian pandoro cake (fruit-less panetone) that was about 12″ / 30cm tall. It’s a very light cake and so we initially had half a full-height slice each. Whereas three of us then had a second portion, Rosie said “no thanks, I’m full.”
I’ve lived opposite Rosie for seven years and so she’s seen me lose weight in 2008. We have frequently chatted about my diet and food. She always seems bemused about what I say about how I eat. She says she eats a lot but that she eats healthily. I don’t think she can get her head around my eating TOO much.
But these two incidents have just strengthened what I learned from the TV documentary, Why are thin people not fat? (available on YouTube in six parts): it’s not about having a fast or slow metabolism, not about will power and not really even about exercise. It’s about whether one’s physical and mental processes which say you’ve eaten enough work perfectly. Thin people who say they eat loads and yet don’t put on weight are eating until they don’t want to eat any more. They don’t want to eat more and cannot be made to. Whereas people like me will eat something because a) it’s delicious and b) it’s available, even if we’re not hungry.
If you watch just one part of the documentary, do watch the reconstructed experiement of what children do when presented with cake soon after lunch. I’d have been the kid who, not only cleared the plate, then picked off all the crumbs.
A while ago, I thought about doing an experiment of eating what I wanted for one day – whatever was available in the house. Instead I thought about what that might be like and scared myself with the result.
I imagined that I’d help myself to a teaspoon of peanut butter. But that one teaspoon wouldn’t be enough. I’d then take the jar from the cupboard and sit and eat spoonfuls. I realised I’d eat the whole jar in one sitting and that my thought would be “why would I NOT eat this?”. And, even though I would stop enjoying it, that it’d make me sick and guilty, and that I’d have used it all up, I would have still carried on eating it.
I think that accepting that one is an over-eater – and that it is kind of a disability – is neccessary before one embarks on a diet. You can’t eat on auto-pilot like ‘normal’ people – you have to use your eyes and rationality to decide whether you’ve eaten enough and not rely on your appetite or stomach.