|May 7, 2001
Pizza calls my name at odd hours of the day and night.
Hellllllooooo Secra! it says. Remember me?
If I'm at work when the little voice shows up, insinuating itself into that place between my willpower and my weak spot, I can usually beat it back. At least, temporarily.
"I'm too busy to listen to you right now," I tell the voice impatiently. "Go away."
And I refill my Calistoga bottle, and I slice up another apple, and I dive-bomb determinedly into another long boring typing project, to occupy my mind and my fingers.
After a while, the voice gives up and leaves me alone.
But if it happens to catch me at a more vulnerable moment -- in the middle of a long Sunday afternoon, say, when David is out puttering around and I'm at home alone, or during those long dark hours in the middle of the night, when David is asleep beside me and my mind and my stomach are empty -- then the little voice will probably find a captive audience.
Remember me? Pizza whispers seductively. How hot and tomatoey I am? How spicy my sauce? How light and crispy my crust? How my mozzarrella melts and browns and turns all stringy and gooey? How my pepperoni slices are all burned and crunchy around the edges, and how the pepperoni oil sort of congeals and puddles up in the middle of each pepperoni slice, dribbling down your chin when you bite into it?
"I remember," I reply, swallowing hard.
Don't tell me that you actually ENJOY those stoopid little styrofoam Lean Cuisine 'pizzas,' the voice snorts derisively. How can one of those low-fat/zero-taste blasphemies possibly compare to a big hot greasy delicious slab of *me*?
"Not even close," I whisper.
Well then, Pizza says expectantly. What are you waiting for?
Ordinarily I might find it incredibly difficult to resist this sort of pervasive temptation. But I'm four months into the most successful weight loss campaign of my entire life. I've lost something like twenty pounds since Christmas: even people who hate me are starting to pay me the occasional grudging compliment. (Constipated Little Accounting Manager: "Your face doesn't look so ... so ... round.") It's been a lot of hard work, but I can say that I've honestly never felt better in my life. And the reason it's working, besides the fact that I've got a partner this time, and the best kind of motivation ... and besides the fact that I'm finally getting up off my big doughy butt and exercising ... and besides the fact that I'm not washing down my Lean Cuisine with eleven bottles of Saxer's Lemon Lager every night ... is that I don't freak out when food starts talking to me. I mean, if I have to hear voices in the middle of the night, I'd really RATHER be hearing from Grandma or Jesus or Mr. Orbison. But I don't freak out when food talks to me.
So far this hasn't been a diet about deprivation, anyway. David and I still eat out at least once a week. There is almost nothing that I "can't" have. I can have a couple of tacos on Saturday afternoon, once in a while. I can have the occasional Reuben on rye or 40-Garlic Clove Chicken Sandwich or Tobler Chocolate Orange. I can even have *real* pizza. I just can't eat enough of anything to make me 1.) sick, 2.) fat, or 3.) dead.
Plus, as much as possible, I have to work for it.
I rode almost twenty miles on the bike this weekend: a lovely, leisurely shoreline ride to the other side of the island on Friday evening, and then another eleven-mile spin around the Canal Trail on Saturday. It was the most grueling -- and the most satisfying -- workout to date. So when David said, "Let's stop and pick up a pizza" on our way home from Walnut Creek on Saturday night, it felt more like reward than relapse. We stopped at the local Round Table and picked up one of those groovy new Pepperoni Rostadoro pizzas (which, I realized as we were ordering it, is exactly the pizza I've been craving, thanks to an extremely annoying but effective TV ad campaign). We brought the pizza directly home and sat on the bed in our underwear and devoured the entire thing in less than fifteen minutes.
Craving: satisfied. Hunger: sated. Pizza jones: quieted.
As a matter of fact, consuming 43,897,621 calories' worth of dough, tomato sauce, cheese and pepperoni grease in less than a quarter of an hour seemed to completely and effectively squash ALL of my food cravings.
Until I woke up at 1 a.m., and I discovered that a new little voice had picked up the battle cry.
Helllllooooooooo Secra! said the MegaBucket of KFC Honey BBQ Wings. Remember us?!?