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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Are you on a diet?

come on, fess up........

Alright. Alright.
Before you throw your coffee cup at the computer screen and stick pins in your voodoo Judi doll.....let me try to redeem myself here.
I'm not trying to out anyone or mock anyone or pull a look-at-me-I-lost-115-pounds on you.
I'm not doing a na-na-na-na-na-na.
And, I'm most certainly not poking fun at anyone at all.

I'm just askin'........
Are you on a diet?

And, why in the hell am I asking if you are on a diet?

Let me explain.

As you know--us Lapbanded folks can't really eat that much.
So, unless you want to be pretty wasteful with both money and food, you have to adapt your eating--especially when going to restaurants. After awhile, it can become second nature--especially if you frequent the same restaurants over and over again. You can get to know the portion size and you know what you can eat and you know what you like.
That's the way it is with me--we tend to go to the same favorite restaurants over and over again. I don't even have to look at the menu to know what I am getting. For some people--that might not sound like all that much fun. But, for me--it's one of the happy results of my Lapbanded life. I get to order something I love and not worry at all about the calorie content. And, I can spend the time that I would normally spend reading the menu and trying to decide what to order, sipping my wine, enjoying the company and just relaxing. As far as I am concerned--it's a win-win.

Last week, while in another town, we made plans to have a leisurely lunch at a place that came highly recommended to us. Going to new restaurants and visiting little out-of-the-way places is something we have come to enjoy as empty-nesters. We have had some lovely times exploring wine lists and comparing martinis as well as experimenting with menu items. Other times, we go for a specific recipe that comes highly recommended. That is what happened with this little restaurant---I heard rave reviews about the polenta. And, if there's anything that I absolutely love--it's polenta. But, not all polenta is created equal. My mother's polenta was the best. So I guess you could say I've been trying to find a polenta that tastes like hers. Because of that, I typically do not order it if it is on the menu unless I have it on good authority that it is worth eating.

As it turned out--the polenta at this restaurant was heavenly.....just like my mother's. It was so close to what I remember of my mother's, it actually brought tears to my eyes. It was the absolute perfect consistency, smothered in a delectable sauce and dusted with just the right amount of superb quality romano cheese.

Oh, how I raved about that polenta.
Anyone within 20 feet of me could tell--I was smitten by my polenta.
I was madly in love and on the verge of orgasmic while eating it.
Paired with the lovely wine and the quaint surroundings, I was as content and at peace as a girl could be.
I was happy.
No, no. I was beyond happy.
I was ecstatic.

So, when the waitress came back to check on us, I just had to tell her--this polenta is the most amazing polenta I have tasted in 37 years.....
She told me that people come from miles around just for the polenta.
OOOOH, I can see why! I told her with gusto!
I could have sworn my mother was in that kitchen doing her polenta magic.
It was just a lovely moment in time.....savouring that polenta and thinking of my mother in her full apron stirring polenta.....

As our meal was winding down and we were gazing out the window at the snow-covered country side, sipping our wine, the waitress came to check on us. She looked down at my plate and noticed that a very large portion of the polenta was still sitting here.
"Is everything okay?" she asked.
"Yes...." I purred--satisfied and filled to the brim with the wonderful polenta.
"Oh...." she said with some measure of concern---looking at my plate once again.
It was then that I realized that she thought I didn't like my polenta.....
"OOOOH.....I just loved my polenta," I told her.
"Are you finished?" she asked, a bit surprised
"Yes, I think so. I just loved it!" I told her, trying to convince her that I loved it so much that I somehow left over 3/4 of it on my plate.
"Are you sure?" she asked again, this time, very perplexed--bordering on panic.
"Oh yes!" I told her with great enthusiasm, "I just don't eat all that much..." I said, searching for the right thing to say.....
Her mood brightened a little and she smiled with if she just figured it out!
"You're on a diet!" she said, knowingly shaking her head in understanding.
For a moment, I wanted to say "no, I am not!"
But, then I realized.....if I said that--I would have a little more explaining to do.
Or, at least that's how I thought about it!
"Yes," I told her, whispering a bit.
"How do you do it? Just eat a little bit? Especially this polenta!!" she said, searching for the secret to my will power.
I wasn't quite sure what to say.
" just make myself do it," I said, stumbling a bit.
I took a big sip of wine, trying to soothe my guilt.
(she was probably thinking "she might not eat a lot but she sure does like her wine..")
The wine did not ease my guilt.....because I knew exactly what the server was thinking!
I was once that girl.
I have no idea how anyone could NOT completely devour good food in abundance--especially if it is sitting right in front of them!!!
I am always baffled by will power and self restraint when it comes to eating something as amazingly delicious as exceptional food.
Perhaps that's why diets never worked for me.
And, the funny truth was---for years and years before my Lap band--I was always on a diet.
So, no matter when you would have asked me--the true answer was YES, I AM ON A DIET....even if I had just devoured an entire pizza with a 1/2 dozen garlic bread sticks as a chaser. I WAS ON A DIET!!

Yet, there I sat in front of an almost full plate of the most amazing polenta I had eaten in 37 years and I am not on a diet yet I am lying that I am on a diet.

Blows my mind.

So...... just to be clear.......I am not a diet.
Unless I'm going undercover as being on a diet.
Then, yes, I am on a diet.


Kathy said...

What a wonderful story Judi. I'll bet it was a real treat to taste something so familiar. Do you take a togo box home with your leftovers? I do, or I try and order something and share it with my husband or someone else. But sometimes I want what I want, not what they want so I just take the leftovers home and eat them the next day. Have a beautiful day, my friend. Oh, and NO I am NOT on a diet!!

Anonymous said...

Bravo! This post is the perfect example of the reasons I love your blog Judi! YOU GET IT GIRL!!!! Thanks for being here on my own journey and thanks for alwasy responding to my emails with your insite and advice! Sorry I do not comment much but I usually read your blog from work every morning and don't know if I can do the comments from a work computer (reading your blog makes my mornings much much better). I was off today and I missed you all day! I could not wait to come home to read your blog! I had to wrestle the computer from my son but it was so worth having to listen to his whining (that he is doing as I type this!)
Jill L.