Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Ice Cream Excessive Portion-aholic

No political rants here today, though I'm definitely feeling a bit reflective this week for all kinds of reasons. Maybe I'll share some thoughts later after I've worked them out. For now, I want to tell you about one problem I've recently admitted to myself. And hopefully, like always, no matter where you are on the emotion-spectrum this week, we can all bond over a few laughs.

A number of months ago I had a very unfortunate experience involving a body fat testing machine, the Bod Pod, through which I discovered that I can probably never be an underwear model. Unless it's for some little-known company that can't afford to pay above minimum wage and sells underwear that focuses on comfort and utility. To blind people.

After that experience I decided that body-image issues are SO last year and that I was just going to be happy being "me." This sounded fine and dandy at first, and tasted really good, too, because of all the Ben & Jerry's. But unfortunately "being me" involves a lot of behavior that is terrible for the pancreas. Not to mention, sometimes irritating to strangers online that I happen to email.

I justified this ice cream mastication in bulk for months on end, sure that I was staying active enough to cancel out any damage I might have been doing to myself and the world around me. Not only was the regularity with which I was eating ice cream increasing, but the portion sizes were big enough to feed The First Eye for the entire month of April (his feeding month).

But it wasn't until Monday that I realized how skewed my idea of the appropriate amount of ice cream had become.

One of my co-workers invited a small number of us over to his place for a nice dinner. At the conclusion of the dinner, another co-worker who lived just downstairs excitedly suggested that he had "a BIG thing of ice cream" at his place that he would bring up for us to have.

My initial thought was he was going to have to use a wheel-barrel to contain all the ice cream he was referring to. Because, guys, "a big thing of ice cream" in my mind is at least a 50 gallon bucket. And I almost offered to help him carry it. But it was a good thing I didn't because he would have wondered why I thought he couldn't hold a small half-gallon container on his own.

When he entered the room, I had to stop myself from blurting out loud, "HOW is such a container to feed six people?!!"

And guys, it felt exactly like the Bible with the loaves of bread and the fishes. Except, no miracle. That was all the ice cream. And it did not multiply.

And that's when I realized that I have a problem.

My name is Eli McCann, and I'm an ice cream excessive portion-aholic. ("Hi Eli.").

Now, before you go blaming Bob and Cathie for not teaching me better nutrition habits, let me just say, this isn't their fault. And if Bob had his way, dairy products would be more illegal than cocaine. Seriously, he would rather have there be an influx in crack in his town than cheese.

Bob totally sounds like a druggie now. They're totally going to quote this blog post when he runs for president.

The reason he doesn't do the cow stuff is because his dad coerced him into drinking a glass of goat milk when Bob was ten or so. This experience is so awful that it forever made him hate anything that is even remotely similar to milk, butter, or cheese. Also, I've always wondered if through this experience Bob's blood became infused with that of goats. This would explain the source of my biologically-inherited cautious affinity for them.

So because of the Goat Milk Incident of 1961, Bob forever swore off dairy products. His distaste for dairy was so strong that it was rarely seen in our home with the exception of milk and butter for cooking purposes. And as a result, I lived a cheeseless childhood.

Dishes that traditionally come with cheese did not come with cheese in the McCann home. But that was all I knew, so it didn't seem like a big deal. In fact, it wasn't until I was 18 and had left home that I discovered that most families put cheese in their lasagna.

No. That's not an exaggeration. Bob and Cathie make a cheeseless lasagna. They should be charged with a crime. I would totally call protective family services on them right now if they didn't have so many pictures of me from high school that they could use as blackmail. I truly believe that that is the reason parents take pictures of their teenagers, by the way.

Good move, Bob and Cathie. You're safe this time.

Anyway, I found out about the cheese-lasagna thing when I was invited over for Sunday dinner at a friend's house during my freshman year of college. The resulting phone conversation with my sister Krisanda in 2003 went something like this:

Eli: OH MY GOSH! I have to tell you the craziest thing! Are you sitting down?

Krisanda: Yes! What?!

Eli: So, I had dinner at Paula's house and they made lasagna and GUESS what they put in it!

Krisanda: I have no idea! What!?!

Eli: CHEESE!!!

Krisanda: [stunned silence]. Seriously? Like . . . was it . . . good?

Eli: You know, it wasn't really that bad. Not like you would expect.

Krisanda: Hmmm. People put some weird stuff in their food. Also, how's the brain on drugs campaign going? Have they hired you for the commercials yet?

Rest assured, I have since discovered that not putting cheese in your lasagna is like not putting unspeakable evil in the Queen of Colors. It just doesn't happen.

And I have since become a HUGE fan of dairy. I was worried about the potential rift in my relationship with Bob, but I also couldn't stop eating large chunks of cheese, which I did in order to make up for all the lost time.

A few years after the Lasagna Incident of 2003, I felt like I couldn't deny who I was anymore in front of my dad and I decided to finally just tell him. That conversation went like this:

Eli: Dad, I need to tell you something. I know this isn't going to be easy for you to hear. Since going to college, I've explored a lot and have discovered a lot of things about myself and I can't keep denying who I am.

Bob: Son, you can tell me. What's on your mind? You know I will love you no matter what you say. You can tell me anything.

Eli: Dad . . . I think I like cheese.

Bob: Except for that. [And then standing up and pointing at the door] Get the hell out of my house!

We have since mended our relationship but we may never be able to talk dairy products civilly.

And all of this leads me to this Monday when I was flabbergasted that everyone else in the room seemed to think that a container that I usually see as a "2 person" ice cream box was sufficient for a group of 6. Well, everyone else except for Daniel who has the same problems as me, plus a few others, like having alien feet and knowing the words to Katy Perry songs. He and I made panicked eye contact with each other that totally communicated, "we'll stop by the store on the way home and right this wrong!"

But since I want to live to see myself go through puberty (I really think it's getting close, guys!), I am attacking my excessive junk-eating habits. Every week for the rest of the year, I plan to choose one new thing that I'm going to do to be a healthier eater. No extreme stuff. Just an accumulation of habits that will help ease me into a new year's resolution, come January. And this week, I'm starting with cutting back my ice cream intake to only the occasional small portion.

But I won't give up cheese, Bob.

Anyone want to join me? I need ideas and support, please. Also, if you could all move to Palau for the next two months so we can keep a closer eye on each other, that would be great.

~It Just Gets Stranger

41 comments:

  1. Primal/Paleo eating is a good place to start. It's a tad hard at first but it gets easier as you go along. With Primal, you don't need to give up dairy, you just consume smaller amounts. I do paleo most of the time and I love it.

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    1. Someone gave me a book on Paleo eating once. I was mostly too lazy to read it. But since I had the book for a short period, I usually pretend to be an expert when it's brought up.

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  2. I remember that when I was a kid I would walk down the street and get a quart container of ice cream from a place called the Dairy Dreem (sic). Then I would eat the whole thing. As a ten year-old. I'm still not sure how I wasn't three hundred pounds. Sadly, I rarely eat it now as it triggers my asthma. Wtf???

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    1. It's really amazing how much junk a kid can put away. They may be exaggerated now in my mind, but I remember eating around 200 pounds of Halloween candy every year.

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  3. Eli you are my hero - you made me laugh in one of the worst weeks I think I have ever had - Thank you! That alone deserves some ice cream!

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    1. You and me both, brother/sister.

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  4. My name is Ashley, and I too am an ice cream excessive portion-aholic. ("Hi Ashley.").

    I want to join you on cutting back my ice cream intake, too, but I have to finish the half gallon currently in my freezer or else it will haunt me.

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    1. "I want to join you on cutting back my ice cream intake, too, but I have to finish the half gallon currently in my freezer or else it will haunt me."

      I swear to you, that is almost an exact quote from Daniel two days ago.

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  5. Eli, funny. But, dad actually does not like dairy because as a young boy he loved eating cheese and would eat lots and lots of it until one day he got the stomach flu and threw up all the cheese he had eaten earlier in the day. From that time forward he has never touched milk, sour cream, cream cheese, butter, cheese etc. but......he has devoured large containers of ice cream of ice cream quicker than anyone I have ever seen - I think that is where you get it from! ;) he also LOVES real whipped cream......do you have a problem with whipped cream? I could never cook with any of the dairy products mentioned hence your dysfunctional childhood as far as food is concerned. Dad would have starved if I had not learned how to cook without dairy products hence the cheeseless lasagna. True it was more like spaghetti with wide noodles but you all loved it. Mom. Xoxo.

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    1. Mother,

      That is NOT the story I was told growing up. But this surprising epiphany is making me wonder what else I was told as a child that isn't exactly true. Do you really have an eye in the back of your head that allowed you to me pull Geegee (my blanky) out of the washing machine to save it from you erasing its special scent?

      Eli

      P.S. I still love your lasagna. But seriously, you should think about adding cheese to it. Think about what the neighbors are saying.

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    2. Taking into consideration that my mother would have murdered me if I had posted something like this about my family on the internet, I now think you are the coolest mom ever. :)

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    3. Eli...you are right, dad just told me about the goat milk. That IS why he won't drink milk. The flu and throwing up cheese is why he won't eat cheese etc. you must be very very special because he told you about the goats milk! Xo Mom. PS. Dan...is that your comment about the coolest mom? If so...ThAnK. YoU!

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    4. Mom, if you guys ever go on the Newlywed Game Show, I hope you list me as a lifeline.

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    5. Eli, you ARE hilarious! And you always have been and always will be my lifeline! Xo Mom

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  6. I found your blog through that site "the kids are calling Pinterest", because instead of laying on the floor eating candy I find pictures of things that I want to do someday instead of actually doing them. That being said I am going to read your blog because on my list of to do someday is move to the South Pacific. Until then I will read about your antics.... keep up the silly.

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    1. Welcome! And if you happen to move to the South Pacific in the next year, could you bring me some new underwear? I didn't pack enough.

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  7. Love your blog, Eli. The fact that your mom posts on here with corrections makes me love it even more... although are we sure that's your mom? Maybe she's someone just messing with you...

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    1. Oh it's her. The capitalized Xoxo is a dead giveaway.

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  8. Wow! I have been a subscriber for a few weeks and I think this is my favorite blog so far :) Literally had me laughing out loud.

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  9. This was absolutely the best thing I have read this week. Thanks, Eli. Also, I can't decide if it would be funnier if that were your mom correcting you, or if it were someone messing with you... amiright?

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    1. They could make a pretty entertaining reality tv show out of my mom correcting me.

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  10. Oh frack, this post reminded me of the time my sons' pediatrician offered FREE medical care for both my sons until they turned 18 if my husband quit smoking on the spot. My youngest son wasn't even 1 at the time. My husband's response to the offer, "but I have a whole carton left." I need to kick him in the shins again.

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    1. This story made me laugh out loud. Thanks for sharing.

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  11. I once took about half a gallon of ice cream, a liter of root beer, and said,"This should be enough sugar for studying for the next few hours." Best root beer float ever.

    By the way, I'm in Nigeria now on a business trip, and if you want to lose weight, try eating a local favorite - ground up yam paste...bread...bricks... Whatever. They are... unique. By unique I mean terrible, of course. The other food is great, though!

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    1. Thanks for the tip! Oh, and while you're in Nigeria, keep an eye out for Prince Heyowana. He's supposed to mail me back a check for $10,000. It's been 3 months and I still haven't seen a dime.

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    2. The Prince gave me your cash while I was in Port Harcourt the other day. (Dropping names of actual cities - makes me sound all educated about Nigeria, even though I've only been here for 5 days of sleep deprivation.) It was while I was in a military caravan heading from the oil refinery. He said you had been super patient, but that he just could NOT find Palau on a map to send you the check! I told him we go way back so I'd take care of it. ;)

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    3. Speaking of Nigeria, you want to have a trip that will give you stories to make Bob and Cathie have long term nightmares, just take a week here "couchsurfing!" Good gravy have I had some fun, and I've had constant military presence. I have stayed in a couple 'hotels' that could double as military bases with 12 foot walls and more security than it took to get onto an Air Force Base in the U.S. Yes, A HOTEL. Heck, the oil wells have 60+ army with machine guns just hanging out all the time. Imagine the Old West - with machine guns and cell phones. That's Nigeria. :)

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    4. Speaking of Nigeria, you want to have a trip that will give you stories to make Bob and Cathie have long term nightmares, just take a week here "couchsurfing!" Good gravy have I had some fun, and I've had constant military presence. I have stayed in a couple 'hotels' that could double as military bases with 12 foot walls and more security than it took to get onto an Air Force Base in the U.S. Yes, A HOTEL. Heck, the oil wells have 60+ army with machine guns just hanging out all the time. Imagine the Old West - with machine guns and cell phones. That's Nigeria. :)

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  12. I've got a great way of curing what ails you. Just get a good dose of lactose intolerance. The pain alone will be enough to harness those forays to the ice cream tub. And if they don't you could always be harnessed to provide cooking gas for a small third world nation.

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  13. You could always use the old alcoholic cure and add some ipecac syrup to your ice cream before you eat your next big bowl.

    Aversion therapy. Works.every.time. *gag*

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  14. Hi, I'm Sara, and I am also an excessive ice cream portion-aholic. But that's not the only reason I write. I just wanted to say that I wish I had found your blog a few weeks ago....back when the kind folks from Liberty Tax were calling EVERY DAY for some man who had expressed interest in opening a franchise, and apparently left MY number as his contact. They wanted to set up a time for a phone conference with one of the head honchos. If they call me back, I'll be sure to forward the info on to you. I'd be thrilled to have you represent me, and the stranger dude who used my number, when discussing business plans.

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  15. So hilarious! Omg. Love it!
    Another successful ab workout from laughing so hard

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  16. Eli, your posts always brighten my day. I wish you could just write all the time so I don't have to wait a couple of days to hear what's next. My brother and I call each other after every post and read our favorite parts. In this one it was your conversation with your dad where you told him you like cheese and your mom's comment in the comments.

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  17. Eli,
    I want to join you--I really do. It sounds like a great idea. I am also really glad to know that I am not the only person eating excessive amounts of ice cream. But my ice cream excessive portion-aholicism is just too out of control. I just like ice cream too much. So I probably won't join you, even though I want to.
    -Erika

    PS-I am soo happy that you finally discovered cheese haha

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  18. I sincerely apologize for breaking this to you but you might want to cut out all ice cream while in Palau. On a recent trip to Africa one of the volunteers learned (the hard way) that ice cream can often times be infected with typhoid. But hey on the bright side, knowing that might help you with your goal of eating better!

    Sorry again for the unfortunate news!

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    1. Ignorance is bliss... you MONSTER! You probably just ruined the best thing ever for him. Kind of like milk is ruined for me now since I tried unpasteurized milk and then learned about how terrible pasteurized milk is. I loved milk, so much. Now I am drinking soy milk, but I think there will forever be a gaping whole where delicious milk was and will never be again.

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  19. I grew up with a diabetic father; mom was kind enough to use actual sugar in her cookies and pies, etc., but when it came to Koolaid, we used a little something called Sugar Twin.

    What a freakin' revelation it was when I went to a friends house at the tender age of 9 (give or take) and I watched Tiffany pour an entire cup of sugar into the Koolaid pitcher. And good golly, the TASTE! Real sugar heightened all the right flavors of the beverage, and I was hooked. Honestly, I marched myself home across the street and had a little heart-to-heart with my mother. Why on earth would that company have the audacity to call such a strange, powdery substance Sugar's TWIN? And, by the way, mother, have you even TRIED real sugar in Koolaid? It's remarkable! -From then on, we had TWO pitchers of Koolaid in the frdige at all times: the lighter pitcher was for dad's filthy sludge; the darker pitcher was for Koolaid in its purest form.

    Fortunately, I'm not diabetic and neither are any of my brothers. (Not yet, at least. A few years ago at a family reunion, I learned that basically all of my dad's grandparents and great aunts and great uncles died of complications of diabetes.)

    Also? Can't imagine a world without cheese. My mom made pizza without it once, years and years ago, and we haven't let her live it down...

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  20. Dearest Eli,
    I have decided, after spending hours reading your oh so funny posts, that we must have been friends in the pre-existance.
    Holy crap man, your humor is food for the soul.
    I will now continue to read everything you have ever wrote on here instead of studying for finals.
    Ps. I too am addicted to ice cream. Its like heaven in a carton. Not giving up on it anytime soon.
    Stay cool,
    Hannah M.

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  21. "I lived a cheeseless childhood." NOOOOOOO! You poor thing!! I have half a mind to call child protective services on Bob and Cathy for making you live such a terrible childhood. I am so serious.

    Also, I am glad I'm not the only person who thinks it's totally normal to binge eat ice cream. Mmmmm ice cream.... If you haven't already discovered gelato and frozen custord, I suggest you go get some NOW!

    I think the most disapointing thing I have discovered about adulthood is that I just can't eat shit tons of ice cream and not be sick. LAME!!!!!! So lame! So, so very very lame (lame). It is terrible. I hope you never experience such things.

    As I do agree with a healthy diet, you cannot make yourself miserable. So diet and exercise but eat the crap out of unusual amounts of ice cream.

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