I love food. Food in any form. Soups, breads, biryani, pulao, curries, stir-fries, pastas, pizzas, burgers, fries, cakes, cookies and any kind of desserts, parathas, rotis, papads, milkshakes, icecreams, tea, coffee, milk, even WATER. Yes, I admit it. I am a foodie through and through. In fact, I believe everyone in my family is a foodie – my obese father who constantly criticizes my mother’s cooking, my timid mother who spends the time spent not cooking, watching culinary shows on TV and my brother who would rather have a slight paunch than control his food habits. Growing up in a family like this, is it any wonder that I have a relationship with the food I eat?
When I am miserable, I cry into a bowl of creamy macaroni and cheese flavored with just a hint of garlic and topped with herbs and chili flakes. When I am ecstatic, I celebrate by baking my world famous (okay, famous within my family) double chocolate brownies. Yes, I am that girl from Mean Girls – the girl who eats her feelings. On most days, I look fairly normal – not fat, not skinny. But there are days when my feelings run amok. On those days, my hands constantly reach for the fattiest food items that I can find and stuff into my mouth.
Last week, during all seven days, my feelings were running amok due to some personal stuff (which I will share on my blog later, if I feel like it). And now I’ve gained a few kilos which, trust me, look like a few dozen kilos on my small frame. So, starting today, I am going on a diet indefinitely until I feel like I’m skinny enough. Or until I get fed up with eating low fat food, which is more likely to happen.
When I diet, I don’t suddenly start avoiding the fattening foods like yogurt, chocolate, potato crisps, cheese, milk bread etc. I would if I could, but I can’t. Instead, I switch from normal fattening foods to less fattening foods – low-fat yogurt, sugarless chocolate, baked potato crisps, you get my drift.
So, I went on a little shopping trip to the local supermarket today to buy some dieting prerequisites – whole wheat crackers, baked chips and diet nutrition bars to snack on during hunger pangs, sugar-free natural fruit juice, fruits, whole wheat bread, low-fat yogurt, nuts, green tea etc. When I was cruising the canned foods aisle, next to a jar of canned apricots, I saw a familiar yellow-capped jar with pale brown contents. I knew I shouldn’t, but I couldn’t help it. My hand reached for that jar of creamy peanut butter as if of its own volition. I told myself “You’re on a diet. Put it down right away.” But my traitorous hand wouldn’t let go of the jar. I stood in the middle of the aisle staring at the jar of peanut butter in my hand as if all the mysteries of the world were written on that sunny yellow label on the jar. My rich-food-starved mouth was already watering, anticipating the taste of that creamy, divine flavor on my tongue. After a couple more minutes of staring at the jar (which caused one of the salesgirls to look at me weirdly), I arrived at a compromise. I wouldn’t buy the big 450g jar. I would go for the smaller 330 g jar. Although I felt good about myself for not going for the bigger jar, I knew I would finish it off within two weeks and I would come back for more.
Yes, I might love all kinds of food, but my real weakness was the harmless sounding peanut butter. My self-control vanishes when peanut butter is around. It is like I am Jack Twist and PB is Ennis Del Mar, and I wish I knew how to quit it.