OK. So, it’s probably like an alcoholic who’s going into rehab the next day. I’m all about one last hurrah.

It’s weird though if you think about it. The notion that a person is used to eating a certain amount of food. Maybe not at every sitting, but you know how even you probably get at say, Thanksgiving. It usually involves eating alot. If not to the point where you’re uncomfortable, at least more than you usually do.

So, that’s me.

Eating more than you usually do.
Eating more than I usually do more often than I usually should
Resulting in more poundage than a person should usually carry
Ending in health effects not usually found in a person my age.
Following so far?

But I genuinely love to eat.

Not just because it’s gluttonous, which it can be, but because I like the whole ritual. I like selecting the location and the preparation and anticipation of getting into the car with friends. I like the changed atmosphere of eating at different places. I like the contemplation of the different choices and weighing what the restaurant’s specialty is against my likes and dislikes. Many of my friends know I can never make up my mind in the end, and usually ask the server do you like choice A better, or choice B? Always following the advice of someone who probably has had each dish a hundred times.

I like to take notice of the table setting and how nice things are laid out. I like to be greeted by friendly folks, who seem happy to see me, even if the goal is to solicit the largest tip they can garner from me.

I also like the chat and banter with folks I love while waiting to see the various selections come out of the kitchen and land in front of each of my friends and family. I adore the oohs and ahhs as we see what each other ordered. Maybe I should have ordered that? “Can I have a taste?” Or maybe “I’ll just order that next time.”

And then there’s the meal of course. If it’s good, preferably large portions. Because I like the taste. And I don’t want it to be over quickly. I like the different textures. Rob and my family have gotten used to my odd manner of eating by mixing up all my food on the plate. The end result may look a little scrambled everything – but that’s how I like it.

I like to see how the flavors mix together and yet, how they are separate. I like the different flavors mixing together and yet remaining independent enough for me to discern what I’ve taken a spoonful of. And, I like the texture of meat, and a vegetable and I really like it when there’s a crunch-thing somewhere thrown in there.

Yes. I love to eat.

Of course, this is a curse as much as a blessing. It’s a blessing because through lots and lots of error in my adolescent attempts at cooking (just ask my brothers and sister about the debacles of cinnamon spaghetti or ketchup and chili pepper shepherd pie), I’ve learned over time how to cook. What goes good together – what textures do NOT work together, what colors look most appropriate on a plate and how to create a dish out of what you just have on hand. I can do these things. All because I love food.

The curse is self-evident. There’s no need to go into long detail here. There’s by-products that some know about of course. Sleep apnea, elevated blood pressure, constant fatigue, inability to sit in certain seats, choosing tables over booths at restaurants, walking a much shorter distance than the beautiful scenery deserves, running out of breath after just a few steps of stairs. etc. It really does go on ad infinitum but it culminates in an overall appearance and feeling that leaves me feeling left-out. Not part of society. Not like everyone else.

I’ve had airline stewards stand by as I seat myself on a plane with a warning that if my seat-belt doesn’t fit around me I may need to make other arrangements, such as purchasing an additional seat (if one seat belt doesn’t fit how will two seats side-by-side belts work?), I’ve missed every swimming season since 1996 because I refuse to be seen in a swim-suit which has resulted in a pale freckly skin that hasn’t seen the sun in a decade. And most recently kids pointing and calling me names which brought about all manner of horrible high-school flashback.

No. The time has come to be willing to trade the love of food and eat – rituals and all to become a member of society again. Some people can balance their love of food with a healthy life and waistline. I – it would appear – after years of failed trying – that I am not one of them.

So, while I’ll be able to eat anything I want (well almost anything – no popcorn, carbonated beverages, flour products like tortillas – what? tortillas!?!!) I won’t be eating in the quantities that I’ve become accustomed to. I’m kinda sad about it. But NOT depressed!

I’m too looking forward to the change in my life to be dragged down by what I’ll be missing. I hope you join me in that sentiment.

So on to the pictures. One of my favorite restaurants in Austin is Magnolia Cafe. I’m going to miss breakfast tacos. But, I’d also like to go swimming and ride my bike again.

We had a beautiful weekend. Sure it rained, but the sky was amazing and the rain drops were huge! Also the wind really kicked up and sleeping with the windows open I watched the trees whip around all night and rustle me to sleep.

There’s a funny restaurant here called “Fran’s”. In itself it’s not a funny hamburger restaurant but there’s a very similar restaurant called “Dan’s”. So similar, it’s identical. Identical because they are! Fran and Dan got a divorce and had to split their business. So, half the restaurant’s are Dan’s, and half are Fran’s – otherwise, exactly the same.

Lastly, we went to my favorite restaurant in Texas, so far, on Mother’s day. It’s the Silver K in Johnson City. They have the most amazingly delicious food. Here’s some fantastic chicken they serve there, pecan crusted fried chicken. Yum.

I hope this finds you well. The count down to May 20th has begun. That’s the date of my surgery. Today the scale read 271 which is down from 281 when I started eating an all protein diet in preparation for surgery. It can only get better.