I thought I knew of all the bogus bible verses people throw around. “The Lord helps those who help themselves.” or “Idle hands are the devil’s playground.” or “Do or do not, there is no try.”
I seriously thought that, “Moderation in all things.” was actually in there somewhere. In my mind it was right after the part where Paul tells young Timothy, “Stop drinking only water and use a little wine for your stomach’s sake.” But, nope, it ain’t. No where.
The only reason I thought of it at all is that I am on this stupid diet and I have a growing sense of doom that when all is said and done, success will come down to (he sighs) portion control. This truth has not come without warning.
Years ago, in high school, I was blessed to be in the presence of a prophet of sorts. Rick was a massive young man. I was big but he was more bigger. We both played football, he was the “strong side ” tackle, I was the “weak-side” tackle (coach’s terms, not mine). For a few months of sheer joy we were encouraged and rewarded for eating with abandon and packing on 20 or 30 useless pounds. This bliss was immediately followed (within days) by wrestling season where all those celebrated pounds were suddenly ridiculed and screamed off of us by (in our case) the very same coaches. If the allotment of three oranges a day didn’t do the trick, they provided us with rubber suits in which we could do sit ups in the drying room until we puked. All of us that is, but one. Rick had no goal weight, his weight class was titled, “Unlimited.” He would make a point of strolling by the drying room eating Doritos.
All of this is to set the scene for the day after our last wrestling match and the last (for some of us) weigh-in. To celebrate this happy day my happy Mom made me a batch of nicely over-sized peanut butter cookies. Rick came over to pick me up. We were headed somewhere but I can’t remember. As we were leaving, to my horror, my Mom held out my plate of cookies toward Rick. My cookies! Rick smiled and with phony politeness said, “Oh. No, thank you. I’m trying to watch my weight.” My Mom nodded her approval at such a polite young man. “What a total load of crap,” I thought to myself. As I left I grabbed three cookies to torture Rick with.
Barely out of the driveway and here it comes,
“Give me a cookie,” Rick says with his giant hand out.
“No.” I say firmly.
“Come on. You have three.”
“Why, yes I do, don’t I?”
Come on. I’m hungry,” he pleads.
“Then why didn’t you take one when they were offered.” I inquire.
“That would be rude. They were your special cookies,” he explains, like it was a stupid question.
“That’s right,” I say, quickly finishing the first cookie.
“You know, I’d give you one,” he says sadly.
Crap. I know that he is telling the truth. He would share.
“Fine,” I say, surrendering the second cookie.
We both take a bite of our cookies and enjoy the moment. Mmmm. “These are really good.” Rick says, examining the remaining half of his giant cookie. Then, he throws it out the car window! My mouth drops open, cookie chunks falling in my lap. I stare at him in disbelief. Rick looks over, truly surprised at my reaction. “What?” he says, “I’m on a diet.”
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you……..Portion control.