I saw an advertisement titled “How to Convince Your Brain to Stop Overeating”. I have never been able to convince my brain to do much of anything it didn’t want to do, but hope springs eternal. The ad turned out to be a plug for some new product, but I liked the concept, so I sat myself down and gave my brain a good talking to.
I used good health as reason number one. I reassured my brain that after losing a few pounds, we could reward ourselves with a nice ice cream sundae, dripping with hot fudge, and a few dozen shortbread cookies.
Things went okay at breakfast. As I drank my coffee, my brain wondered how one silly little cupcake could be life-threatening. By the time my usual mid morning snack time arrived, I was thinking a cracker with some jelly on it would taste almost as good as peanut butter toast. My brain was thinking more on the lines of French toast slathered in butter and syrup.
When noon rolled around, I ignored the left-over Chinese food in the refrigerator and reached for the fruit, but the gray matter was fighting me. It kept whispering “sesame chicken won’t kill you”. Since my brain knew more than I did, I gave in and had a small side dish of sesame chicken with my cantaloupe and watermelon, topped off with some cottage cheese doused with maraschino cherry juice. I compromised by sacrificing the Peking dumplings.
We all know that Chinese food never stays with you, so by 2 pm, my head was pounding from hunger. My brain wondered if we should grab a snack, or wait for a blackout. I agreed to a small bowl of ice cream and a tiny brownie, just to avoid a complete collapse.
Dinner was relatively silent. The sister shoved a piece of broiled chicken and some spinach in front of me as everyone else kept their eyes positioned downward on their juicy meatloaf, baked potatoes and corn on the cob. I graciously told everyone I was fine with my dried up hockey puck and the green crap.
But each time the little guy sunk his teeth into those buttery kernels just snapping with sweet juices, the sound of pure ecstasy echoed in the silence at the table. His mother glared at him each time he wriggled with delight as butter trickled down his innocent little dimpled chin. I remained determined to choke down every last morsel of my “healthy” dinner, even though my brain kept telling me to snatch that butter soaked corn cob away from the little bugger and beat him over the head with it.
After dinner, my brain kept telling me how close we were to my spicy gum drops and macadamia nuts, as I kept telling my brain how filling a glass of water could be. I finally gave up and headed upstairs to bed. On the way, I noticed a trail of potato chips smooshed into the carpet leading up to the middle child’s room. Apparently the cardinal rule, “No food upstairs unless the person transporting said food is over the age of thirty” had been breached. Normally, I would have saved this transgression for my early morning rant, but my brain and I were under such pressure, I snapped, stormed into the kids’ room like a deranged banshee and screeched, “Who the hell smuggled the chips up here?”
The middle child looked at the little guy and said, “You’re an idiot.” He responded in kind with a left hook to her shoulder. She, being the actress she is, crashed to the floor as if she were critically injured.. His eyes bugged out and he screeched, “She’s faking again!” Before I could grab either of them, they took off running to mummy like babies. I grabbed the potato chips, slammed the door, and went to bed.
The next morning, I found a note on the kitchen counter from the niece explaining that she told the kids not to eat chips in front of me. She suggested they bring them upstairs. The note was strategically placed between two chocolate covered donuts and a big fat slice of banana bread. As I shoved the second donut into my mouth, it dawned on me that the entire concept of people stopping their brain from overeating is flawed. Brains don’t overeat, people do.