This past week I realized that simply "Saying No" (my apologies to Nancy Reagan) was not going to cut it on my serious diet; somehow, some way I was going to have to find a way to participate in the gustatory goings-on at SE World HQ and still lose weight (albeit slowly).
Why? Because it's just too hard not to. Consider the following eating-oriented festivities that went on during the last seven days (including my birthday on Wednesday) at the office, a mere three feet from my desk:
- A pepperoni pizza taste test featuring the four big national pizza chains.
- A frozen pepperoni pizza taste test featuring five brands.
- A New York wings taste test featuring nine kinds of wings.
- An addendum to last year's Super Bowl wings taste test.
- A tasting of Bouchon Bakery's Valentine's Day desserts. (Beware the devil's food cupcake with housemade passion fruit marshmallow filling; it doesn't suck).
- An assortment of serious chocolates and caramels from Gail Ambrosius, a terrific chocolate-maker in Madison, Wisconsin. (Beware, Larry Burdick, the woman makes a mean chocolate tree frog to compete with your chocolate mice.)
This was all taking place literally right under my nose. And until we can afford to have our tastings in a different room in a different office in a different building in a different zip code in a different city in a different state, I need to figure out a way to deal with and even participate in these taste tests.
This week I think I might have come up with the answer—or should I say the answers. The Five Rules for an Eat-All-Day Diet are a series of strategies and tactics that will allow me to continue performing my SE duties while still losing weight without losing my mind.
Ed's Five Rules for an Eat-All-Day Diet
1. Do not schedule business breakfasts, lunches, or dinners on tasting days. Why? For obvious reasons. If I eat three regular meals in the course of the same day as we're tasting lots of stuff at HQ I'm going to overeat. You can count on that.
2. If the folks at HQ are tasting more than six kinds of any single foodstuff (as with the wings) I can invoke the "I'm the Serious Eats Overlord, so I'm only going to try the four finalists" rule.
3. If I do end up participating in multiple taste tests (actually even one could do me in, depending on what we're tasting) during our long work day, limit my dinner to a banana and some almonds.
4. Do not take leftovers home no matter how seriously delicious they are. Acts such as this constitute diet suicide. Sorry, Will and Vicky. Maybe if something is astoundingly delicious I can take home two sealed bags and direct deposit it onto their plates.
5. I cannot finish any one piece of anything. I must invoke my "take two bites and throw it away" rule. Maybe it's wasteful, but nobody's going to want that half-eaten wing anyway.
So that's it.
What does this mean? Well, it means that sometimes I'm going to be eating small portions of food continuously between say 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. I don't know if Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig would be down with this program, but if it works that's all that matters.
I tried to live by my rules this week. Let's see how I did. Intermediate weigh-ins were promising but inconclusive. Here we go: 223, down a pound from last week. Happy Birthday to me, happy birthday to me. The "Five Rules" rule.