The right bite. August 27, 2008Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
Tags: eating habits, French Women Don't Get Fat, Marcel Pagnol, weight loss
Silence Dogood here. I just finished reading French Women Don’t Get Fat, the 2005 bestselling entry in the weight-loss wars. (I know I’m behind the trend here, but it was on a dollar sale rack benefiting my local library, and I was curious.) The book basically preaches a commonsense approach to weight loss: Eat as small a portion as you can bear and lead as active a lifestyle as you can manage.
Let’s just say I can bear smaller portions of some dishes than others, but it’s hard to argue with that message. However. In one chapter, the author insists that you chew each mouthful of food to pulp before swallowing. This advice always ticks me off, and it was especially outrageous coming from a woman who spent almost the entire rest of the book proclaiming what sensualists French women are.
I, Silence Dogood, am here to tell you that no one can be sensual who chews their cud like a cow. Sensualists want to enjoy food at the perfect temperature, texture, and aroma, and it quickly loses appeal if it’s too warm, too cold, or starting to congeal, get mushy or hard, lose its scent or become overpowering, and so on. I cannot think of anything less sensual than putting a bite of food in your mouth and then sitting there, masticating away, thinking “I need to chew this 100 times before I swallow. 44… 45… oh, wait, I’ve lost track!” Unless, of course, it’s looking at someone else while they’re earnestly chewing their own cud.
There is one thing to say about this sort of eating, and it is “Yuck!!!!” But as a weight-loss tactic, it would work for me: I can’t think of a more effective appetite suppressant. Not only would a single endlessly-chewed bite be enough to kill my appetite, but by the time I’d managed to swallow it, the rest of the meal would be cold, congealed… gross. Might as well just stick a wad of gum on your plate and get it over with.
Lest this post leave you with a bad taste in your mouth (I really did try not to say that, at least for five seconds), let me leave you instead with a truly great and insightful quote from the end of the book: “The great Provencal writer Marcel Pagnol believed that God gave laughter to human beings as consolation for being intelligent.” Better to chew on a thought like that than a single interminable bite, say I.
’Til next time,