Come to me, my demon. Hunger, I hate you. Let's wrassle.
When I worked in the woods - dear god run, I'm starting yet another story with those words, some old fart longing for the good old days, can't I just shut my yap and have some prune juice; could I get some prune juice please(?) - when I worked in the woods, I could eat anything. Yep. "No, it's just me today. Yes, a booth would be nice. Two large deep-dish pizzas. Extra cheese."
Then I stopped working in the woods, but I didn't want to stop with the mountain burgers, Navajo tacos, pad thai; the eat-three-of-these-and-they're-free type things were still my kinds of food.
This to the left here is for real. You can get one at the Pine Brook Inn. The Pine Brook Burger is their double-decker specialty: a first 1/4 lb. patty with corned beef and swiss cheese, then (not to be outdone) a second 1/4 lb. patty with ham, 'merican cheese, two strips of bacon and mayo. And what burger is a burger without fries, I ask you. Heh. No such animal.
I have finally crawled from my second tour of kitchen work in Bly's man cycle. It's time for some garden work, but compost isn't so appetizing so I'm going on my first real diet. I thought once you went through getting the key and your finger pinched and losing the gold ball and all that you'd be on your way, but I guess there was a diet in there somewhere and because I skipped it - you see - life sent me back to start a third childhood down at the bottom of the wrungs.
It's okay if you didn't get that. Read Iron John. You can skip the poems, or at least I did. In one of them it must have said, "And a thousand shamans will baptize the wind" - but only if Ron goes on a diet.
Hunger and I go back a ways. I wasn't always this way, but I worked at a job for three years that paid nothing. I don't mean "nothing" in a figurative, union-complaint sense, I mean they paid me X amount of dollars and then my expenses (which were not reimbursed) came to X dollars. Three years. Nothing. Three years living on rice, maybe some dandilions and asparagus if it was spring. A little salad dressing or butter would have been nice. I got to know hunger, and it was not voluntary.
When I got out of that, I made sure to keep my belly full. I promised never to go hungry again, and the idea that I could be prosperous and go hungry voluntarily sounded to me like some kinda stupid, I tell you what.
And now, welcome to my world. I'm both old and fat and I don't like it. 23-year-old Ron is giving me all genres of shit for being old and fat. I respond in kind, "You did this to me, you glutton, hedonist, stonie. You, who couldn't reign in a damned thing from your 'head' to your toes, wants to rail on me for being fat."
Fat, old and yelling at my reflection in an office building window. "My 23-year-old self . . ." I blurt to the startled passer by. I gather my composure, grateful that in a moment anyone who witnessed the outburst will be replaced by other strangers who don't see me as any different from themselves.
Just kidding of course. I may want to stand on a street corner and rant, but I'd never do it.
I found myself in group therapy once. When they asked me what I wanted to work on, I said immediately I thought I had an eating disorder. Dumb looks. Apparently eating disorders have something to do with not being able or willing to keep food down. My problem, assuming it is a problem, is not in any way related to that.
My parents impressed on me the importance of cleaning my plate. No problems there.
A few weeks ago, a pain in my side became more than I could take, and I was told by the emergency room doctor that I had cracked ribs. These were the very ribs and muscles I would need if I ever wanted to split wood again, and I'm not ready to consign that to things I used to be able to do. Part of the solution was to lose weight, so here we go.
I don't know if eating only 1,000 calories a day is going to do the job, but that's my initial plan.
Some things will be acceptable. Others will be forbidden.
Fruit - somewhere in between. Okay in moderation.
Raw vegetables, very desireable. Most consume more calories in the digestion process than they contain.
Beer. Beer is basically out of the question. There are beers that have relatively few calories, but they're disgusting and still have as much calories as an apple. But if I want an Old Speckled Hen or a barleywine - well - I might as well buy a Santa suit.
I don't know what Landshark is, and the ad doesn't make me want to drink it. Mojo, on the other hand, is fabulous. Man, I miss it.
Oddly enough there are some sweets that are diet food. Take Salty Licorice Fish for example. The licorice doesn't have enough flavor on its own, so the ancients had the wisdom to incorporate ammonia. Mmmm. Ammonia. Each one brims with flavor and can last 10 minutes. Six of them have the same calories as a Bud Light. Bud Light isn't beer. Salty Licorice Fish is licorice at its best.
Smart Ones are actually pretty good if you toss the plastic pan and heat them in a Pyrex pie plate with a half cup of peas. We have that for breakfast all the time.
Oatmeal with Splenda - a new favorite for sure. Eighty-seven calories per cooked cup. I'll take three.
Liverwurst has a very nice flavor-to-calories ratio, if you eat it on some skinny buns (100 calories for the bun; two hundred for lots of liverwurst).
But, could I have a Pine Brook Burger? Please?
T-minus 190 pounds and counting . . .