Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Bon Appetit!

I have what some people, in an attempt to be politically-correct, call a "healthy" appetite.

Put a little less sensitively, I eat a whole damned lot.

Now, I don't always eat a whole damned lot. There are many weeks when I eat like a bird-- always consuming enough, but really just picking at things. There are weeks when I see eating every 4-6 hours as inconvenient as having to use the bathroom more than once a day.

But more often than not, there are weeks when I simply cannot put enough food into my mouth during the course of a normal day. I wish I could say I were one of those runners who is very diet-conscious, eating nutritionally-sound meals and snacks, always aware of what exactly is being consumed into their bodies. Alas, I am not one of those. Sure, I can enjoy a crisp, delicious apple or a fresh garden salad with fresh, ripe vegetables as well as anyone. But if there's chocolate chip cookies within any reasonable paramaters of my current physical location, you can bet my hands will be into them.

I've determined, should I ever find myself in the most unfortunate of situations as to be stranded on a desert island, I could survive on cheesecake alone. Whether it be traditional American cheesecake, New York cheesecake, key-lime cheesecake, raspberry truffle cheesecake, white chocolate cheesecake, turtle cheesecake, caramel pecan cheesecake, strawberry swirl cheesecake, mountain huckleberry cheesecake, black forest cheesecake, irish creme cheesecake, mocha cappuccino cheesecake, dulche le leche cheesecake, vegan cheesecake or lactose-free cheesecake. Let's just say it like it is, folks: there is no bad cheesecake. Sure, once in awhile, it might be nice to have a meal of shrimp sautéed in butter and garlic, crabcakes, fresh steamed broccoli, wild rice pilaf and a loaf of steaming hot garlic bread. But really... give me cheesecake and I'll always be good for another day.

I once had a comment made to me by a former employer that still replays in my head occasionally. We'd had a staff lunch meeting and afterward while making small-talk, he said to me, "you've got a really healthy appetite, don't you?".

Excuse me??

At the time, I wasn't exactly in my most trim and fit of physical states, but I wasn't a poster child for Weight Watchers either. It totally caught me off-guard. I mean, what do you say to that? "Why, thank you... I do love my food"? I'm sure I nervously laughed it off, but it made me self-conscious about my healthy appetite for years afterward.

Now that I'm at a point where I feel like I'm in the best shape of my life, I'm not nearly as sensitive about my appetite as I once was. I do feel better, however, knowing my running is fueling my appetite and the other way around. I never really felt guilty eating three or four cookies in one sitting before I became a runner, but now that I am, I really never feel guilty about eating three or four cookies in one sitting. Comments like the one my boss made could now be actually seen as a compliment.

Why, thank you... I do love my food. Say, are you going to eat that cookie?


Chad said...

Nice post. I like food too. Especially good food. I can avoid the bad stuff, in fact I can go for a day or two without eating much if the fare is not very good - but I also have a "healthy" appetite when the food is good.

But that's why we train - so we can eat good food when it materializes.

I might quibble with you on whether lactose free cheesecake is really good cheesecake - but never having tried it I will accept your opinion for now ;-)

Ovens2Betsy said...

How can you call yourself a runner when you allow yourself to eat such junk? I ONLY put healthy, lean, nutritious food into MY body. What will it be next? A dessert pizza?


P.S. When my darling and I got married we nixed the traditional wedding cake for 20 different cheesecakes -- all with their own bride & groom topper! The main cake was a tiered key lime one with a Day of the Dead topper.

Angie said...


When/if you and your husband renew your vows, plleeeaaasse invite me?

I promise I'll save some of the cheesecake for the other guests. Please??