Cloudy with a chance of failure

Published 6:51 pm Thursday, January 21, 2010

Over the weekend, I watched an animated film entitled “Cloudy with a chance of meatballs.” In it, the main character, a plucky little scientist, devises a way to make it rain food from the sky. This marvelous invention brings flavor and variety to his town which, for a reason that I must not have caught, is plagued with eating only sardines.

One montage in the film had a second of footage that will simultaneously haunt and delight my dreams forever. The mayor of this little town grabs a rain gutter by its spout and holds it up to his mouth and out pours a colossal mouthful of crispy bacon. If I were at all paranoid, I would swear some movie-maker has, in fact, tapped into the part of my brain where all my glorious food thoughts are stored and cranked out a feature length exposé on my greatest food fantasies.

The fact that I’m waxing fanatical over an admittedly silly animated movie should give you all an indication that I’m approaching that all-too-familiar wall in my dieting. It’s at that point where everything — no matter how non-culinary in nature — has a tie-in to food. It is a constant battle in the brain of the calculation of calories versus the unrelenting presence of delectable treats at every turn.

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The strength of this particular dieting wall is greater than ever. So much so, I do indeed feel like, in this, my umpteenth attempt at dieting, I’m trapped in a world where it actually does rain down food from the sky. And though it’s not in the literal sense, it just seems like there is food all around me, taunting me with its wantonly seductive ways.

So I just want you to know, you tempting sirens, deployed no doubt by that ominous dieting wall, I am very aware of you. I know you’re out there, Ms. Buffalo Wings — throwing yourself at me whenever my new best friend, Garden Salad, has her back turned — with your wide array of accessories like blue cheese and ranch dressings. I’ll just engage your sensible colleague, Celery, whenever you come sauntering past me. And don’t think I’m not watching you too, little Ms. Barbecue. I won’t fall victim to your tangy and sweet goodness every time you team up with that cool and crisp Ms. Cole Slaw and that spicy drizzle, Hot Sauce. As for you subtle, little value menu tarts, too numerous to mention by name, you are not going to lure me in with promises of a good time and lead me further down the road to weight gain.

I’m wiser now. I know that 99 cents can just as easily get me a small bag of carrots as a double cheeseburger, or, as I call it, half of a cow on a bun with cheese.

I am also wise enough to know the only way to defeat the wall this time is a threefold attack. One, carry a mental umbrella in this storm of food to block out the bad foods and grab as much of the good as possible. Two, learn to say “no” whenever those sassy sirens are shoved in my face, as tough as it may be. And lastly, be patient. It is time, not force, that wears down a mighty wall.

I’m just a bit nervous that, in this constant rainstorm of food, I may slip and allow a few drops of the bad stuff to fall into my mouth … over and over again.