When did food become Public Enemy No. 1? We’re constantly in food fights with ourselves (the eternal battle for self-control) or occasionally, consciously or not, we’re subverting the diets of the ones we love. Why they’re even having food fights in our nation’s Capitol!
This week, I’ve got tales of all three.
Food Fights No. 1
My girlfriend and I went out for lunch recently and all she did was talk about her weight. While we ate, she worried non-stop about what foods she could/should eat and not eat.
At home that night, I — fresh off the heels of a yearlong diet in which I lost 29 pounds — relished each bite I ingested. Yet, afterward, I worried. Had I eaten too much? Should I have had less pasta? More salad? Less steak?
Oh, food, food, food, when did you become Public Enemy No. 1?
Food Fights No. 2: Keto
Just yesterday, while the dental hygienist scraped my teeth, she mentioned she and her boyfriend were on a keto diet. He, a burly guy in the Navy, was losing weight faster. So, sneaky she bought all his favorite candies for Halloween. In retaliation, he included non-keto cookies in her lunchbox! Ah, the course of love and dieting is never smooth.
Bitter is the Tea!
At my Pilates class, the stalwarts in the group, mostly young, strong gals also obsess over their weight. Amid the killer ad and leg exercises, these super-fit women lament about food and simultaneously sing the praises of their new weight loss “miracle” discovery — bitter melon tea.
I read about this tea and the side effects seem as intense as our advanced Pilates workout! Abdominal discomfort, heartburn, constipation or diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, dizziness. The list goes on. And it doesn’t even taste good! The ladies all admit it tastes and smells nasty.
What happened to just enjoying what we eat and doing so in moderation? I don’t know. I certainly cannot do either. For me, it’s gorge and lament.
No. 3: D.C. Food “Fight”
And about those D.C. food fights …
As some of you know, Handsome Hubby chaired a federal government agency for five years. He was, in fact, the longest-serving chairman in the history of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The agency oversees the wholesale power grid in the U.S.
The chairmanship is a big job and HH is rightfully proud that he did a great job there. He was first appointed to the commission by President George W. Bush and then, re-appointed (and named chairman) by President Barack Obama. His recommendation to the commission came from the late Senator Harry Reid.
HH is the first to say that he was able to accomplish a lot because he had the support of a terrific staff. He respected, trusted, and admired their skill, hard work, and dedication.
A Reunion Plan Gets Complicated
Last month, HH observed it was almost the 10th anniversary since he left the agency to return to private practice where he continues advocating for clean energy. He said, all excited, “You know, I’ve got a trip scheduled for D.C. I’d like to schedule a reunion dinner with my personal staff to see everybody and thank them for our time together. What do you think?”
I thought it was a lovely idea and faster than you can say, “class reunion” or “the band is back together,” HH contacted people, lined up a restaurant, and picked the menu.
EVERYBODY was excited … until one invitee, who still works at FERC, pointed out, “Uh, you know Mr. Chairman, since you occasionally appear before the agency on regulatory matters, you can’t pay for dinner for those of us who are employed here. No worries, I’ll pay for those dinners.”
An Ethical Food “Fight”/Concern
And faster than you can say, “The wheels on the bus go … screech!” HH was red-faced. He, of course, planned on paying for the dinner. Yet, there are strict ethics rules about buying meals and such for federal employees. Those rules are good. HH is an ethical person, but still … This was different and surely nobody could think he was trying to influence-peddle his way by celebrating a fun dinner with old friends including a number of staff nearing retirement age who were his former personal assistants?
So, ethical HH called the FERC Ethics Office to discuss the matter and was told, “We understand, Mr. Chairman, but the rules are the rules.”
In turn, HH — as is his wonky way — did a deep DEEP, multi-hour dive into THE RULES and found an exclusionary clause relating to “personal relationships.”
“A-ha,” he cheered, promptly calling the ethics office guy, who in turn said in a deeply respectful voice, “Ah.” Still, the man deferred, saying he could not possibly make the determination on his own but would send it up the ladder … to the White House for a decision.
As the World Turns
And while the Middle East ignited and Ukraine continued burning, HH sat at home working on our overheating planetary issues (i.e., climate change) and waited not-so-patiently to hear about the fate of his dinner reunion.
Just yesterday, he got the word.
The White House had authorized the former Chairman to pay for the dinner. It seems for once in Washington, D.C., common sense had won out.
Bon appétit to all!
Now, if only we could put an end to fighting of all kinds around the world.