Over the last year, Adam Goodman on the Travel Channel, has gained a degree of notoriety and fame with his television show, “Man vs. Food.” He also appears to have gained weight.
Goodman takes “eating for sport,” as my kid brother used to call it, and elevates it to a whole new level.
It’s not about adventurous eating. It’s not creative new spins on familiar flavors. Usually he chows down burgers that are a tower of stacked beef, cheese and bacon as tall as a Venti Frappucino. It’s burritos the size of a full-term infant, pancakes the size of manhole covers and ice cream sundaes the size of a two-gallon bucket of paint.
It’s gluttonous eating. “Consume mass quantities” as the Coneheads in the classic, ol’ Saturday Night Live sketches with Dan Ackroyd said years ago before downing an entire six-pack of beer and wolfing down a whole bag of potato chips in one minute flat.
My husband Ernie asks me, “Why are you watching that? Doesn’t it make you want to eat more when your goal is to lose weight?”
I reply, “Actually, it’s so appalling – it makes me want to eat less. It almost makes me want to hurl. Almost.”
We both laugh.
Goodman chows down as adoring throngs of people cheer approvingly shouting, “Halfway done!!!” and “Two more bites!!!” as he figures out how to down the last of a 14-inch meat lovers pizza or a dozen platters of raw oysters.
This is ugly eating. Sweat pours from his brow profusely. His fist sometimes bangs the table.
There’s a possibility he eats petite portions between his pigout fests. But no doubt his girth has increased over the last year since the show began. That can’t be a good thing.
Okay, I’ll be honest. Compulsive over-eating has been a challenge my entire life. I know it’s a physical reaction to emotional stimuli. I get a handle on it for a couple years and I’m happy with myself. Then, I fall off the wagon and I’m not so happy with myself.
Of course hope springs eternal when the new year comes around – so I’ve just written down some fresh, new goals with fresh, new enthusiasm to get back to health and release the unhealthy foods from my life. Isn’t that what we do when the New Year comes around?
Here’s the truth: I’ve never scarfed down a bag of Oreos, bag of potato chips or a quart of ice cream. Once, I ate a pint of Haagen Dasz raspberry sorbet while watching Oprah. I have a good excuse: I was going through a divorce at the time.
But eating mass quantities in a single sitting isn’t my downfall. Grazing on sugar is. It’s one brownie. Then a couple hours later a second brownie. Then after dinner a third brownie. And so it goes…
Eating is supposed to be pleasurable. When we eat consciously and mindfully we slow down and really taste the food rather than wolf it down. It’s about satisfying our need for nourishment not entertainment to just have a certain flavor in our mouth like chocolate or salt. It’s not about feeling full – although that happens. It’s about the pleasure in slowly getting there.
This year I’m going to focus on eating adventurously but also eating mindfully. Tasting, savoring, lingering and then stopping.