As I write this I am in a hotel room in Palo Alto awaiting the start of the The Great American Food & Music Fest. Thanks to the remarkable efforts of fest partners Jim Lewi, Steve Martin, and everyone at the Agency Group, our collective, nearly 20 year-old dream is going to be realized.
But just because I have been thinking about a fest like this for twenty years doesn't mean I have to eat twenty years' worth of food there. That, serious eaters, represents real progress. In fact, I realized today that It's not all that pleasant to force-feed myself like a foie gras-producing goose at the fest, that it's okay, even desirable to stop eating when you're full.
In other words I realized today that I should eat only when I'm hungry rather than eating because there is seriously delicious food available and it's mealtime.
Yesterday serious eater Carey Jones graciously met me at the San Francisco Airport. By the time my plane landed at 12:30 p.m. Pacific time (3:30 p.m. according to my body clock) I had had a bowl of oatmeal at the airport, two 130 calorie bags of blue potato chips, and two teensy bags of cashew nuts on board. Carey suggested we stop at a conveniently located In-N-Out. I'm always up for In-N-Out, so chowed down on a few bites of burgers and fries with various nicknames (animal-style and the Flying Dutchman, which was a plain double-cheeseburger that was just plopped down on our tray. It looked like a cheeseburger puddle).
Anyway, after that we went to the fest site, which looks amazing (you'll see shortly), and stopped at the local bakery where Nate Appleman has sourced the most delicious bread for the fest PB&J sandwiches before Carey dropped me back at the hotel. I told Carey that if she and her parents were free I would love to take them out to dinner. I was quite full from the burgers and fries, but I thought it was the right thing to do. Carey called and said her folks were busy and that she had work to do, so I was on my own for dinner. I contemplated eating at a couple of intriguing restaurants near my hotel and the room service options. The smoked mozzarella, Italian sausage, and caramelized onion pizza on the room service menu sounded seriously good, but how good can room service pizza be? I also started munching on the fresh and dried fruit plate the hotel had sent me as a welcome gift as I watched the Laker game.
I kept perusing the room service menu and eating the fruit. I realized that I had had just enough food during the course of my day without eating another thing. So I did the unthinkable: I skipped dinner.
Skipping dinner along with my interim weigh-in results left me feeling reasonably confident about the weigh-in. I want to at least lose the two pounds I gained last week. Here we go: 214. Down a deuce. My serious diet lesson learned: Eat reasonably when you're hungry. Good things will happen if you do. Look out, Michael Pollan.
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