Ed Levine's Serious Diet, Week 70: The Diet Blues, or 'Can One Bad Day Screw Up 70 Weeks of Progress?'
I should have seen it coming. There I was, standing around kibitzing and hanging out in the San Francisco Chronicle food section's amazing kitchen Wednesday at lunch time, surrounded by some of the foods we are going to be serving serious eaters at the Great American Food & Music Fest: Pink's Chili Dogs, Southside Market barbecue, Anchor Bar Buffalo wings, Junior's Cheesecake, Tony Luke's sandwiches, Katz's pastrami, Graeter's ice cream, and Barney Greengrass's bagels with smoked salmon and cream cheese. How could I possibly resist eating a lot of the food arrayed before me standing up, thereby violating every diet rule known to man and woman-kind.
Well, I didn't. I had more than a few bites of many of the items mentioned above. I thought I deserved it, having schlepped the food from Barney Greengrass, Katz's, and Tony Luke's myself in a cooler that must have weighed a hundred pounds. That cooler was so heavy I thought I was going to kill one of my fellow passengers getting it down from the overhead bin.
Everyone on the plane managed to escape unharmed, which is more than I can say about me after my afternoon at the Chronicle. Thinner had accompanied me to San Francisco, and she read me the riot act when I jumped on her yesterday (Thursday) morning.
According to Thinner, my little standing room-only performance at the Chronicle food section offices had cost me four pounds of hard-earned progress. When I saw the numbers 218 my heart sank. I was literally sick to my stomach (see above).
In the old, pre-Serious Diet days, I would have just said the hell with it, and gone on another 5,000 calorie jag yesterday. The ingredients for a diet debacle were all there: my hotel was a block from the Ferry Plaza building, which houses some of the world's greatest food shops; I was headed to a radio station armed with more Katz's pastrami, a Junior's Cheesecake, and some amazing salted caramel almond sticks Charles Chocolates owner Chuck Siegel had dropped off at my hotel; and I had a long list of places in San Francisco I wanted to try on my way to the airport.
But yesterday I didn't say the hell with it. I let the radio station employees eat all the food I brought to them, I didn't go too crazy at the Ferry Plaza building, and I left most of the Charles chocolates for the gracious front desk staff of the Harbor Court Hotel. Finally, I gave my taxi driver the cocoa-dusted almonds and the salted caramel sticks I was planning to eat on the long plane ride home. He was most appreciative.
Needless to say, I am not looking forward to this morning's weigh-in. I would have liked to take a week off, but that would have been a cop-out. Here goes: 216. It's not great, but it's a lot better than 218. In the old days it probably would have been 220, so I suppose I have made some progress in the last 70 weeks.