[This is #2 in a series I call ‘Scenes from a Low Carb Life’ that I originally wrote for my book but removed as I have decided to take a different approach. Think of it as an excerpt from a book that will never exist. There *will* be a book – this just won’t be in it.]
There are certain foods that I have such a weakness for that I am wary of even being in their presence. Like Superman could be made weak by kryptonite, I could be made into an uncontrolled eating machine by pizza. It was my final test, the true test that the ketogenic low carb was working rather than willpower and it was body chemistry and new habits and routines practiced over 18 days that I hoped would allow me to fend off an assault by pizza when that fateful day where pizza was thrust in front of me would come.
I needed to do this: stare a pizza down. Make it blink first.
I had thought this earlier in the day, not knowing that fateful day would be today. As if on cue, my daughter called me on the way home and asked me to order a pizza. A Sicilian pizza, the square one with the thick crust, she asked specifically. With onions and mushrooms on one half.
I hung up with her and called the pizza place from the car. I have them on speed-dial. It was done. On the way to my house, as I was. I would meet my biggest, scariest food foe this evening for a cage match.
The pizza arrived home about the same time I did. It was hot and fresh, and a good-looking pie. I checked it out carefully, examining my own reaction to it. I was hungry. The pie did look good, but again there was a detachment that again I can’t claim to be some inner strength or willpower, no grit or self-mastery here.
No great strength seemed necessary to resist, instead it’s pull over me had diminished. I didn’t need to hate pizza, or say it was bad for me; I didn’t need to demonize or rationalize, nor ‘be strong’ – it was like: ‘hey pizza, I’m just not into you like that anymore.’
It was a food I just so happened wasn’t eating at present. I have no doubt I’ll be eating pizza again, surely – but for right now, I’ll pass. I’m getting the feeling I will try to continue this induction for as long as I can until my vacation in December: it simply wasn’t bothering me – why stop now?
My younger daughter wanted a piece. I took a slice out of the box and gave it to her. I hung out with my wife and daughters while they ate for maybe a half-hour, until I went upstairs to read.
The lone showdown
It was about 9:30 when I realized that my calories for the day were way too low. I think by that time I had only eaten 700 or so. I really could have gone to sleep without eating more, but the whole point of this diet is not calorie restriction – even when possible. It is about the right amount of calories, and nutritious ones. Starving yourself was not allowed.
I went to the kitchen to eat about 1,000 calories or so.
Of course when I got there, the pizza was there. I was alone with it. No one would notice a missing slice. It’s said that character is what you do when no one is looking. If I was putting up a noble front while my wife and kids were around, it was free to go now. If there was any deep subterranean desire to gobble up pizza that I had convinced myself wasn’t there, this would be the acid test where the facade would crack. I know, because it has happened so many times before that I would go to the kitchen for a simple snack and end up turning the leftovers in the fridge into an impromptu all-you-can-eat buffet.
Honestly, there wasn’t much to eat that interested me – I wasn’t all that hungry when I went to the kitchen. I ended up have some hard cheese with mayonnaise, again measuring the cheese with the scale more for the novelty of the new digital scale than anything else. 3 ounces. I eyeballed the mayonnaise at about 5 tablespoons – I think that was about right. I also weighed out a serving of pork rinds – 9 grams. So that’s what it looks like. I had that with the salted Belgium butter.
There was that pizza, though. In the box, it’s cheesy goodness mocking me. There was a way, you know…
I grabbed a plate and slipped off the toppings of one slice. Mozzarella cheese, maybe a teaspoon of sauce, mushrooms and onions. 4 ounces total. I sprinkled some hot pepper on it – how I like it – and ate the cheese with a knife and fork. Satisfied, I went to bed.
I got some, but it didn’t get me.