What makes my guilt a bit easier to swallow is that my female friends seem to be missing their own iron will in the diet-resolution department.
So the other day, we were having a little get together, a Friday “splurge,” when the confessions of diet slippage began. Soon, admissions were being dished out as fast as the cookies and chips, the cheese and crackers and the leftover Christmas candy.
I think I started the disclosures by telling about being at the grocery store and spotting an acquaintance I hadn’t seen in years. The last time I saw him, he called me fat, and I was horrified he would see the ice cream in my basket and raise an “I-told-you-so” eyebrow.
Desperate, I ducked into the next aisle, the toilet tissue section, and performed an act I normally find repugnant. I pushed the two frozen Blue Bunny containers behind a stack of TP and skedaddled to the checkout stand with my spinach and broccoli, certain Mr. Fat Monitor would slide up behind me in line.
Quickly, in my most disapproving voice, I informed the clerk that some reprehensible cretin had left ice cream on the TP shelf, and she sent the bagger to reshelf it. I scurried from the store without further contact with the guy, my morals, or my lovely ice cream.
Following my story, another in our group admitted to having a secret forbidden affair with marzipan. They meet regularly on the Internet, where she orders pounds of the rich confection, without her husband’s knowledge.
Amid the complicit laughter, another friend confided how one Saturday food indiscretion led to another caloric no-no and yet another, and having blown her diet anyway, she topped it off with an entire tub of Haagen-Dazs ice cream.
My ears perked to attention. Yet, I shouldn’t have been surprised at our mutual sneaky relationships with food. After all, wasn’t it Eve who started the whole food temptation issue.
Eve was probably on a diet – there was that lack of clothing problem, you know, and Adam probably made some thoughtless remark about the cellulite on her thighs. And I bet she was tempted by something more enticing than an apple. Like an apple pie a la mode. Or a frosted apple Pop-Tart. Or fruit from the caramel apple tree. I’d also bet she didn’t stop with just one: A woman can restrain herself from forbidden fruit only so long before she’s consumed the entire orchard.
The result, as you know from Genesis, is that Eve gained a few pounds, as Adam did also, and God made them put on leafy clothes. As part of the curse, mirrors were invented, and Eve began demanding of Adam, “Does this fig leaf make my butt look big?”
Since then, food has continued to tempt Eve’s female progeny into stealthy junk food behavior. I think men tend to just dive in when it comes to illicit food: “Eve put it on the shelf and I ate it.”
I’m exhausted thinking about all this. I need a bowl of ice cream. And I want to find that online marzipan site.