Discovery of the day: The Donut Lesson

Some things always seem like they're going to be better than they actually are. Like donuts. I'm not going to tell you how many years I ate donuts just because they were donuts!!!, without stopping to ascertain whether they were good donuts, or even worth the saliva it took to chew them, much less the calories.

One day some years back, standing in the breakroom at work with a stale jelly donut in my mouth, I caught myself thinking "Man, this thing is stale and lame. I'd better finish it so I can go see if there's anything better left in the box."

Even though I had had the exact same thought countless times over the years, for some reason at that moment the lightbulb came on. Stuffing a stale donut I didn't want in my face so I could go find a better one was not going to help me reach my dietary goals. In fact, it was plain stupid.

Reflecting upon that, I realized that for the most part, I don't really even like donuts that much. I like cake donuts, preferably glazed, and with a cup of coffee nearby for dunking. I've decided that just about any other kind of donut just isn't worth it.

Sounds silly, but it was a major breakthrough for me. Got me thinking how many other things I eat just because they're 'special' without really considering whether they are any good. Since then I've gotten much better at turning down the stuff that's not worth it. I still have my moments, but I'm getting there.

Yesterday was a classic example. Sunday morning I went for a run and by the time I got back it was close to 11 am. My SO and I hadn't eaten breakfast and my son was starting to sniff around for lunch. Sounds like brunch to me!

So we headed out to the pancake house, purveyors of classic American gut-busting breakfast food. I know for a fact that my eyes are much bigger than my stomach these days, and I've known since childhood that pancakes are one of those things that I usually hurt myself with, so I opted for 2 eggs with hash browns and bacon. I figured even if I ate all of it, it probably wouldn't cause me too much physical pain.

My son and SO, however, were all about the pancakes!! My SO is just now realizing that one of the side effects of eating like me for the last nine months (aside from losing 25 lbs without much angst) is that he simply can't eat the sheer volume of food he used to. And when he tries, he usually regrets it. Unfortunately, he didn't remember than when ordering pancakes!!

When the platter arrived, I think his lightbulb came on. He ended up eating not even half of the six Mancakes (as we dubbed them) before he surrendered. I picked a little at my son's but that was about it for me.

I think my SO learned the Donut Lesson the hard way. And I have a feeling it'll be a while before we head back to the pancake house.

It's fascinating how long it takes to rewrite those outdated eating scripts in our brains, especially for those of us who have been eating for half a century, give or take.

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