Archives for: July 2006, 13
Or, maybe this could also be titled, “Portions- Out of Control”. As each day passes by, a large segment of society (no pun intended) seems to continue to become more......robust. While the foods that we choose to eat play an important part in determining our current ‘size’, the portion size of those foods consumed has a large part to do with one’s increased girth as well.
In USA Today recently, there was an article about how most Americans check food labels. And yet, it also reported that 2/3's of Americans weigh too much. While it’s one thing to check fat, calories, and sugar, as stated in the article, many of us who have used ER4YT to great benefit in our own lives know that WHAT is in the product is just as important.
Several weeks ago, my girlfriend’s daughter (let’s call her Miss M) attended a week long writer’s day camp at an in-state university. The girlfriend would drop her off in the morning, and the grandparents or I would pick her up in the afternoon.
On our way home one day, we stopped at a place called Johnson’s Dairy Bar, on Route 4 in Northwood. Route 4 is the main road to the seacoast from much of New Hampshire, so it’s hard to miss Johnson’s. It was a hot day, so I figured it was a good day for an ice cream. I know, I know, I’m an O, what was I doing having an ice cream? The last time I had an ice cream cone was about this time last year, so I’ve been a pretty good boy! : )
We got up to the window, and I ordered a small black raspberry. The lady behind the counter asked me if I wanted it in a cone, or a cup? And I’m thinking, “It’s a small, why would I need a cup?”. Little did I know, but I was about to find out how important her question was. As Miss M and I are waiting for our items, I turn around, and see this woman with a H-U-G-E ice cream cone. So big, I figured that by law, each cone had to be stress-tested before it could be used! Allow me to paint a picture. You know how some mushrooms are really wide, and yet sit on a very thin stem? It was like that, but with ice cream just MOUNDED on top of the cone. There was so much ice cream on top of the cone, that if it rained, the woman’s hand and wrist would never get wet holding it, because it was underneath the mountain of ice cream!
Apparently, Miss M was the smart one, because she ordered a root beer float. Unbeknownst to either of us, I was about to become her entertainment. We received our items, and headed for a nearby picnic table. Johnson’s “small” would be considered a large or extra-large almost anywhere else. What sat on top of my cone was not a simple snack, but a meal unto itself. Was there a chance to enjoy the delicious black raspberry before it melted? Hardly. It had suddenly become a race, me against the clock. As the heat worked its magic on the ice cream, I was quickly chewing into the small mountain of ice cream on my cone. Would I make it to the cone first, or would Mother Nature’s warmth have me wearing a good part of my treat?
It was no contest. I was no challenge to Mother Nature. Black raspberry ice cream descended in little rivers down the length of my arm, and to my elbow. And Miss M, sitting across from me, continued to consume her root beer float, repeatedly chuckling as I wore more and more of my ice cream.
My only saving grace for the afternoon was the fact that I hadn’t had lunch. My thoughts of lunch took a back seat, as I wanted to make sure that I was where I needed to be to pick up Miss M., on time. Get on her bad side, by making her wait? Nope, not me. I value my life! *chuckle*
But our little incident together made me look at the larger picture about portions. How many people drink a 20 ounce bottle of soda in a single sitting? Many. Yet, if you look at the label, it says that there are two and a half servings per container. If you go out to eat at many of the restaurants, their portions are huge as well. What they bring you as a meal could often be considered as two large, or even three meals. So, I’ve started to become more aware of just how much I was consuming, whether it be food or liquid. After a few weeks, I no longer feel the need to consume everything before me in a single sitting. Did you have the kind of parents that always said, “Clean your plate” at the dinner table? Old habits die hard. Now, I don’t worry about finishing something off right away. I don’t think twice about drinking half of a bottle, and putting it back in the fridge for later. It just means I’m keeping the unnecessary girth in my waistline to a minimum, and the amount of money that I spend on my groceries. A win-win.
So the next time you sit down with food and drink before you, ask yourself, just how much do you really need?