Eating: A tradition unlike any other. Food offers comfort where family, friends and human contact fall short. Humans are emotional creatures and nothing fills the emotional and literal holes in your life quite like food. The concept of “emotional eating” has recently started emerging as a “problem” in our culture. Quite honestly, I don’t see the issue with it. Maybe you fall into each of these categories, maybe there’s only one you relate to. Nonetheless, I guarantee you’ve fit into at least one of these categories at one point or another.
RAGE EAT, ENGAGE. You come home from a bar after a game didn’t go your team’s way, lost out to a less drunk sexual competitor at the bar or maybe you ran into awful rush hour traffic. You have to often replace the knobs on your cabinets since you regularly open them with such force that you rip them right out of the wood grain. Terry in accounting really getting on your ass? There’s an entire can of Pringles for that. That asshole in the Prius change lanes without signaling? That’s what Pizza Hut’s $10 Dinner Box was invented for. We’re all animals at heart. Feed the beast.
Treat yo self. Nothing says “I just had a monster quarter” like dropping $15 big ones at Wendy’s. Every Baconator needs a Frosty, a baked potato and a Junior Bacon Cheeseburger to go with it. Congratulations, you’ve been alive for 25 years. Celebrate with a quesarito WITH guac. Throw some chips in for good measure. Any celebratory situation calls for calories. Your best friend got engaged? Triple Dippers at Chili’s on me, my man.
I’m pretty sure Daniel Powter wrote “Bad Day” while he was face deep in a tray of General Tso’s chicken, while wearing a shirt covered in crab rangoon crumbs. Listen to the chorus: “You had a bad day, you’re taking one down…” I’m pretty sure he means an entire bag of Cheetos when he says “Taking one down.” Sometimes, the only solace you have is the comfort of food. As sad as that sounds, it’s true. Food is the only thing that understands you.
Taking pride in how much you can eat might be the most disgusting trait one can have, but in ancient times, being able to eat a lot meant you were wealthy and sophisticated. It’s ingrained in our minds, somewhere deep in the medulla oblongata, because some rotund member of the Medici family took down an entire Beef Wellington in front of a fair maiden before fathering her 17 children. Five Totinos pizzas for four dollars isn’t a bargain to you, it’s a challenge. How dare anyone ever question your intestinal fortitude. You’re simply the best.
The world is a cruel place. You don’t really feel like drinking away your problems. You’ve done that enough this week. A workout might do you some good. Endorphins are always good for the spirit, but can endorphins give you the temporary satisfaction of downing an entire Caniac Combo from Raising Cane’s? Doubt it. Stress comes from the “fight or flight” response. You can either run away from your problems, or you can feast on the remains of your vanquished enemy (“Remains of your enemy” = Four McDoubles).
Nothing Else To Do
Boredom can get the best of you sometimes, and when boredom strikes, you turn to food. Nothing is on TV. Your friends are out of town. This situation calls for an hour-long feeding frenzy. That entire box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch isn’t going to eat itself. Sometimes a six-hour Netflix binge can really take a toll on your psyche. Reach for those leftover meatballs. You don’t need to heat them up. Eat ’em cold. Boredom can be cured with a simple call to Jimmy John’s.
Binging On A Budget
Another week, another $20 dollar trip to the grocery store. You can’t afford real food and you’ve come to terms with it. Unfortunately, you had a long day at work and you’re starving. You want to push your stomach to its physical limits, but you’re stuck with the worst possible combination of food you can imagine. You’ll stand over your kitchen counter and shovel spoonfuls of peanut butter into your mouth, while microwaving two packs of ramen noodles and wash it all down with a string cheese quesadilla. If only you had five dollars for a Hot-N-Ready, this might be slightly less embarrassing.