Unzip your pants then eat dessert
One night, I was watching Ray Romano on Everyone Loves Raymond. It was a Thanksgiving special and the family had just finished a huge meal, complete with turkey, the fixings and dessert. The men crawled to the couch and proceeded to unzip their pants so they could comfortably sit down and vegetate.
I couldn't stop laughing. To some, the episode may have brought thoughts of gluttony, piggishness, over eating to mind. My reaction was a result of familiarity. I couldn't believe that a national TV show was showcasing something that occurred in my family all the time.
I am from a large family of 10 kids. If you wanted dessert, then you had to eat your entire dinner. If you didn't, or refused to (I still hate brussel sprouts to this day), your dessert was not sitting on the counter later that night; it had been eaten by some invisible person in the house called, "I didn't eat it". We all learned that the way to fit our dessert into our large, protruding, already full stomachs, was to unzip our pants and add more.
On holidays, I relished the time we would gather as a large family around my parents outstretched table. Eating and talking. Talking and eating. Helping ourselves to seconds and sometimes thirds of certain food items. Then, the dessert would arrive. Tantalizing and yummy! A feast you could taste with your eyes. Ugh! My stomach felt like someone had it in their fist and was twisting it, I was so full. I looked around and saw everyone experiencing a similar thought and look on their face. ZZZIIIIPPPP!!! You could almost set your clock to it; everyone unzipping their pants, covering their guts with their shirts and putting out their empty plate to be filled with pie, cake, tarts or what have you.
I know visitors to the table and prospective in laws were shocked by some of our behaviors when they were first exposed to our unzipping ritual. Some however, after years of eating with us, even began to excuse themselves to the bathroom, only to return looking like they had more color to their face and surprisingly, room for pumpkin pie!
The sad thing about learning this tip on how to store more food in your stomach is that in time, your stomach begins to grow outwardly until we are unable to zip our pants, even before we begin to eat dinner. Obesity is prevalent in our country and killing many each day.
The battle of the bulge is one of the most heard about wars in the history of mankind. Many cannot spout facts concerning the American Revolution or the Civil War. Ask them about the Battle of the Bulge and their eyes light up and they don't hesitate in sharing their own personal experiences they have had in this never ending, often hopeless war that appears to have no real victory for most.
History used to show large bodies as beautiful. The bigger the better. Large and voluptuous women were considered sexy and sought after. The rail thin women were the laborers and the less attractive. A rubenesque woman had it baby! Men with meat on their bones were more powerful and considered more worthy than their skinny counterparts. Brains and brawn not brains and bones!
Now, healthy is compared to being thin. Muscles are more important than the curvy shape of ones physique. Rail thin is still not popular but if you look at magazines that have women sporting a curvaceous body, they most likely have a fat measurement of close to zero.
Dessert is now one of the deadly sins. It is the great debate after finishing a meal...should I or shouldn't I? Can I run the calories off or will I just accept the pound that will show up on the scale the following morning? I hear it calling my name....Stop the demons! Oh, just one bite. Can you hear the dessert talking to you? I always can.
Unfortunately, over the years, dessert and over eating have been my two best friends. It shows. I like to think that I could be called voluptuous but the truth is, I am plain fat. My boobs have a resting place called my stomach. It sounds like someone is clapping with a standing ovation when I run up the stairs (only to find it is my gut hitting my legs). I have two stomach areas; the upper and the lower. I sometimes feel like a kangaroo because of my "pouch". I have tried diets throughout my life and am still what doctors consider to be obese. I am very active, very strong and rarely sit down. My body revolts each time I try to minimize my meals by growling very loudly at me and making me feel a bit queasy. I know this will surpass in time. I just know that I have a chance. Every day. Each day I keep my pants zipped, I have scored a victory! Every time I plug my ears to the Peanut Butter Overload ice cream, I have won. I am trying to invite more fruits and vegetables into my life. Heart healthy foods that increase my good cholesterol. As a result, it is doubtful that you will hear any zipping sounds coming from my dining room. The silence is lovely.