Sunday, August 29, 2010

On Eating Yourself to Death

The other day I was at my local supermarket waiting my turn for service at the deli counter, and there was an elderly gentleman standing next to me who was ahead of me in the queue. When he ordered the Mickleberry baked ham that I was about to order, I struck up a conversation with him about how good that particular brand of ham is. I did this for a couple of reasons the first of which is my appreciation for the ham and the second of which is I like talking to elderly people. This guy looked to be close to the age my dad was when he passed away, 82, and I guess it just strikes a sympathetic chord with me when I see someone in that age group. His response to me was that it had a little fat on it, but that at this stage of the game it did not matter to him. I replied that it is the fat that makes it taste good, and from there the thread went on about how people think they're getting a good piece of meat when it is very red with no fat in it, and we both agreed that meat with no fat is nothing but a piece of shoe leather once it is cooked. The majority of the public have been conditioned to think just the opposite and shy away from meat with any fat in it. Not me! I look for meat with fat, and if I spot a cut with little rivulets of fat laced throughout it, I pounce on it like a Puma just in case there are any other fat lovers nearby waiting to do the same. When you get a steak, or any other type of meat like that, it's like eating Prime grade meat but without the steep price tag, which makes it all the more enjoyable!

Back to my conversation with the seasoned citizen, his comment about allowing himself to indulge in a little fat consumption because of his advanced age led him to volunteer the story about his friend who recently passed away. After his friend retired all he did was sit on the couch and watch television day and night. That would be enough to make you want to end your life if not drive you absolutely starkers. The whole while what do you think he was doing? You guessed it, eating constantly, probably as a defense mechanism to keep from going insane. His weight balooned up to 290 lbs, and with that came a whole host of problems, not the least of which was Type-2 Diabetes. From there, as they say, it was all down hill, because he only lasted three years out of retirement. This is sad on at least a couple of levels: the guy obviously had no other interest outside of work and coming home to eat, watch television and sleep was all he did. When the work component was taken out of the equation, well he just did what he knew and that was watch TV, and eat. The guy did not have the initiative to find something other to do with himself than waste away on the couch. That is too bad, but, really, he's to blame for his own untimely demise, and, who knows, maybe he had a secret death-wish, and this was just his way of going out happy. Although I don't know how happy you could be once you contract Type-2; I don't believe that it's a picnic by any stretch. Anyone see the irony there?

This little anecdote shared with me by a complete stranger, although one I felt a kinship with, just got me thinking about the over importance we as humans attach to eating. My God, is it that important to just keep gorging yourself when it's so evident what it's doing to you? It's hard for me to fathom, but I guess not everyone shares my philosophy about eating. The question we all need to ask ourselves is very simple, and that is "Why?" Why do we eat the way we do? Then try to divine what your own special relationship with food is, and maybe you can gain some greater understanding why you eat the way you do. Once achieved you will have gone a long way towards not eating yourself to death!
 Tip #5 would apply here...