Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Hell hath no (greater) fury than a woman starved

Food. Nothing conjures up more tantalizing images for me. Not clothes, not jewelry, not exotic locations (unless they boast delicious local cuisine!), and certainly not sexy bods. There is a reason they call the spectacular visual presentation of food that arouses the desire to eat it food porn. Actually for me, any dish of carefully prepared and presented food, no matter how simple and humble, can be considered pornography for my taste buds.

I blame it on my metabolism. In my senior years, when I thought my constant obsession with food would finally diminish, it’s still alive and kicking. I get by with a pretty basic breakfast, usually of oats because I’ve found that it’s the one thing that can stave off my hunger the longest until the next meal. But by around mid morning, I’m already wondering what to have for lunch, the most important meal of the day for me.

When I was working full-time, lunch was the highlight of the day for me. It was a way of breaking up the work day, and I would be absolutely miserable if I was forced to eat lunch at my desk. It was an occasion to plan for, discuss with lunch mates and carefully execute. Did we want to hit the corner cafe where they had daily specials, rush to the nearest mall boasting choices galore, or make an occasion of it and splash out at a fancy restaurant? My hours before lunch were mostly spent on this conundrum.

My friends at work enjoyed our lunch forays, as we frequented old favorites or checked out new eateries, but they lamented the fact they were putting on weight while I never seemed to put on any pounds. My metabolism was at work, probably burning up the calories faster than other people. They also observed that right after a full meal, I could put away handfuls of savory snacks as well. My only saving grace is that I’m not into sweet stuff as much. Candy and desserts don’t hold as much temptation for me. Thank goodness, because sugar would probably be worse for me than all the carbs I consume.

I could never quite figure out all these slim female executives around me who seemed to subsist on a tiny salad, or worse, split a bowl of noodles (the smallest size) with a friend. I shocked male colleagues by ordering the largest size bowl available, and then proceeding to demolish it faster than any of them.

In fact, all my work mates knew of my voracious appetite, and made sure that I was fed come lunchtime. They warned unsuspecting newcomers that I turned irritable and grumpy if any meeting went past the magic hour of 1 pm. I love that word coined to describe just such a condition. “Hangry” is an amalgamation of the words “hungry” and “angry”, a word that aptly sums up my mood when faced with the prospect of no food come lunchtime. Even clients knew of my predilection for food, and once kindly assured me that we’d “eat first” before proceeding to a meeting.

Fortunately for me now, as I head into my sixties, my appetite seems to have tapered off come evening. While I still eat voraciously at lunchtime, I can make do with a simple salad for dinner, or even just some fruits and nuts. I guess my body is finally facing up to the fact that I can’t keep stuffing my face like I have all my life. Still, it’s a constant obsession and I’m always focused on when and what my next meal will be.

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