The Hungry and the Fat

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Ladies and gentlemen: my autobiography.*

I have, apparently, become a Chihuahua with the appetite of a St. Bernard. Or so my family doctor tells me. I’m paraphrasing. Of course that wasn’t a direct quote, no doctor would be so blunt, especially not in today’s extremely sensitive (and litigious) atmosphere, but that was pretty much my takeaway. I had asked him to please, for the love of all that was holy, give me something – gastric bypass, lobotomy – anything, to take away my horrible lack of self control when it comes to food in the pursuit of the ideal BMI. But all he would recommend was just to eat less. That is what he said. “Eat less.” And then he made me step on the scale and, having dispensed with that particular slap in the face, reminded me once again by measuring my height that I stopped growing right before I hit five feet. Dear United American Tiki-Tiki: my mother would like her money back.

Annual physical exams are excruciating. The results are fine when you’re in your twenties, a nubile sylph made of Teflon. Otherwise, to paraphrase Samantha Irby (I am paraphrasing a lot today, aren’t I?) we are all sacks of meat that are slowly beginning to rot. Notice I say slowly; the bloodwork and the cholesterol results, the heart rate and lungs and all that, came back okay. Which is something to be glad about. But, to paraphrase Lady Gaga (here we go again) there could be a hundred good results on a lab report…

There isn’t a  lot of wiggle room when you are short. “Small,” says my doctor, an adjective which, in any other circumstance, I would be fine with, but not in this instance because we are now talking about me growing vertically as opposed to horizontally. He went on to remind me that it’s just like overfeeding a pet – you can’t stuff your cat full of lasagna if you don’t want it to be Garfield, yes thank you, Captain Obvious, why did I have to go and pick such an implacable doctor – all I really wanted was some wonder drug or other, but the only drug being prescribed that day was common sense. I have no self control, goddamnit, but really who else do I have to blame? I should’ve just gotten pregnant. At least I could’ve blamed weight gain on the baby and coasted on into my forties overweight but with a lot less self-loathing. Maybe I should take up cigarettes? Hypnosis? A political cause like Gandhi?

Whatever it takes, I acknowledge that my doctor is right about the only way to go about reversing the effect of the past few years. I do not want to enter my forties as a Hindenburg impersonation. I may not be the nubile Teflon sylph I used to be – and likely never will be again – but I took a little heart from noting the weight gain didn’t just happen overnight. In comparison it should be faster to erase it than it took to gain it. Your thoughts and prayers would be much appreciated, and see you in the produce section.

* no it isn’t

Taste the Rainbow

Taste the Rainbow

Last week, Starbucks debuted a limited edition drink called the Unicorn Frappucino. The name alone evoked magic and cotton candy, which sounds interesting on paper, but turned out to be all sorts of extra. I’ve downed my fair share of bubble teas that have run the gamut of colours, but even this was just a little much too much.

The Unicorn Frappucino (April 18-23, 2017, RIP) was a blended drink that was created to dazzle the eye.  It had a pink, sparkly, mango-flavoured cream base, was laced with a “pleasantly sour” blue ripple and, as a final flourish, topped with whipped cream and a light dusting of pink “fairy dust.” In other words, it looked like someone took major elements of gay pride, put it in a blender, poured it in a venti cup and topped it with diabetes. Continue reading “Taste the Rainbow”

Bee My Valentine

Bee My Valentine

That bloody bee is back at it again, tugging at all our heart strings with a trilogy of Valentine’s Day ads. I salute the evil genius behind the Kwentong Jollibee Valentine campaign. Well played, sir. As if I don’t struggle enough to curb my emotional eating, this comes along and convinces me true love tastes better with an an upsized glass of pineapple juice and an extra box of Peach Mango Pie.

While “Date” is emotionally shattering and “Vow” is unintentionally hilarious (all I could picture after that twist was Jorah Mormont in the friend zone), it’s “Crush”  I enjoyed the most.

Continue reading “Bee My Valentine”

A Moment on the Lips

A Moment on the Lips

The heart is highly overrated. It’s easy enough to assuage loneliness and homesickness in the age of Skype and Facetime, but the stomach isn’t as easy to please. Forget the heart, home is where the stomach is. My parents know this, which is why they welcome me with open arms and loads of fresh mangoes, cuchinta, bud-bud and puto each time I come home. Food figures heavily in our hearts.

Most days, I end up making my own home-cooked meals. Not fun when you’re used to buying it at a carinderia but a necessity when a piece of fried bangus is easily $6. A bag of malunggay leaves costs $2.50 + tax. It sucks because it’s mostly ice (they freeze the leaves in water) and I cry in the shower when I realize I’m ponying up $2.50 for a bag of leaves I used to pick off a tree in our backyard at home. But there’s only so long I can go without having Filipino food and if I have to cook it myself, I will. Needs must. Our neighbors are Filipino, and sometimes the hallway smells like chicken tinola. It’s all I can do to stop myself from knocking, bowl in hand.

They have plans to open a Jollibee in Toronto next year. Continue reading “A Moment on the Lips”