I, as many of you have probably done, saw the documentary “Super Size Me” with Morgan Spurlock, a few years back. It was an eye-opening (and sometimes horrifying) look into the American fascination for everything big and bigger. We have been so accustomed to this dynamic that we don’t even notice it sometimes. We “supersize” everything and don’t think twice about it, seeing it as a good thing and complaining when we feel we’re not getting enough (aka “our money’s worth”). I can only say this, of course, from my own experience, although I suspect I’m not the only one who’s been through this.
Well, it’s definitely not a good thing. Our penchant for always wanting huge portions and going for seconds or thirds has turned us into a nation of fat people (present company included). We have deluded ourselves into thinking that more and bigger is better, and yes, this has spilled into our eating habits. We eat more because we feel we have earned it, we deserve it, it’s the American way. I’ve witnessed people mocking other countries’ habits of eating smaller portions, again, thinking that more is better. How naive and how far from the truth. I consistently see people from Europe or other countries who eat everything (there are no “bad” foods in their opinion) but in moderate amounts, and they remain at a healthy weight. Yes, Europeans are sometimes very vocal about what they think of our eating practices, but honestly, are they wrong? I think not.
Just a few months back Starbucks announced a new size for iced drinks – the “Trenta”. 30 ounces of iced tea or iced coffee. That’s more than the average adult human stomach can hold! Am I the only one who thinks this is insane? Have we lost all sense of proportion, of reality even? This frightens and worries me. As a nation, we seem to be lost in a never-ending battle to have more, do more, make more, be more. Where does it stop? When do we say “Enough”?
Well, I *did* say Enough.
When I saw that Starbucks announcement, I was shocked and even a little disgusted. And I also made a conscious decision right then and there to always get small drinks whenever I go to Starbucks (or any eatery) from that point on. So whenever I go to my favorite Starbucks, instead of getting a Grande or a Venti, I now always order a Tall (12 ounces) if it’s an iced or frozen beverage, or a Short (8 ounces), if it’s a hot beverage. ENOUGH. It doesn’t matter how thirsty I am, I will always stick to that limit. Some of my friends think I’m crazy, but so be it.
I have also adopted the same philosophy when it comes to eating, be it at home or out. I have decided to adopt the European view of food as nourishment for my body and also something to savor and appreciate, not something to shove into my mouth while doing countless other things, effectively becoming a zombie while I eat. Smaller portions make my meals seem more special, and help me enjoy them more. By adopting this healthier view of food and drink, coupled with more walking and some yoga on the side, will allow me to lose some weight while still enjoying one of the truly fun things in life – food and drink. Bon Appétit!!!
How about you? Have you made any changes in the way you view food in general, and your own eating/drinking habits in particular? I would love to hear your stories! Please leave a comment or take to me on Twitter. Thanks for reading!