You can’t have your cake and eat it, too

You can't have your cake and eat it, too By Bob Karolevitz It used to be that an All You Can Eat ad at a restaurant was a giant come-on for me.

Now, though, I have trouble just cleaning my plate the first time.

I envy those who can make two or three trips for a hefty refill. If I did that, I'd probably blow up like a balloon.

One of the things about age, I've discovered, is that the calories stick on like ticks in your underwear. I'm partial to desserts, of course, and that makes it even worse.

Saving room for a piece of pie has gotten to be a challenge for me. I'd like another porkchop or a serving of mashed potatoes and gravy, but the ol' stomach seems to have a governor on it, and I have to quit or I'll miss out on the banana cream.

Phyllis wants me to stay healthy, so she feeds me more carrots, celery sticks and kiwis than I care to eat. I get rice and broccoli and green beans which fill me up so that I can't have an extra brownie or another helping of my favorite tapioca pudding.

When I see those All You Can Eat signs, I think of the line mothers always used to get us to clean up our plates. We heard about "the poor starving Armenians" over and over again. We didn't know where they lived, but we knew they were hungry.

Actually we're very lucky in this country. Our garbage cans runneth over as we throw away enough food to feed most of the underprivileged world. I can still remember the little Filipino boys at the tail end of World War II, running around Tarlac with their salvaged No. 10 cans begging for something to eat.

But now I'm getting preachy!

Years ago I wrote about Diamond Jim Brady, the fat little Irishman who ate himself to death. His meals included oysters by the dozen, terrapin, frogs' legs, roasts of venison and antelope, pigeons, woodcock, aspic of goose, fritters, puddings, bon bons, ad infinitum. He was known to eat a five-pound box of chocolates at one sitting.

All You Can East restauranteurs should be glad he died in 1917 because he would have put them out of business all by himself. I'm not up to that kind of gourmandizing, but I've got to admit that his bon bons sound mighty tasty.

I haven't heard of it, but I suppose there's an Eater's Anonymous organization out there someplace. When a chowhound gets the urge to over-indulge, he calls another member who hurries over and takes his fork away. At least that's the way I think it would work.

I guess I'm one of the fortunate ones. I've got Phyllis who balances my diet and keeps me from stuffing myself like Diamond Jim Brady. When I reach for a second chocolate chip cookie, she says: "You don't need that!"

She's my epicurean conscience, that's what she is.

She makes sure I avoid those All You Can Eat places because she knows my spirit is willing but my flesh is weak. I'd probably go back to the salad bar several times and make a pig of myself at the dessert table.

When it comes right down to it, though, I've reached a point where � to quote another cliche � "my eyes are bigger than my stomach." I simply don't have the desire to overload my belly any more.

I keep thinking of the phrase my old Latin teacher taught us: "My gastronomical satiety admonishes me that I have attained the ultimate state of deglutition consistent with dietetic integrity."

In other words, I'm full!

© 2000 Robert F. Karolevitz

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