I usually try to avoid buffets. Too many temptations, too many chances to make bad decisions. I  try my best to keep myself out of situations where I can make a bad decision.  I don’t bring my ATM or credit cards to the casino with me.  I don’t test drive new expensive cars for fun.

Previous co-workers and I used to frequent a Chinese buffet in St. Paul once a week for lunch.  We had a ball – laughing and eating and joking and eating and telling tall tales… and eating.  Many good memories of these lunches, but I am sure my waistline didn’t benefit from all the fun we were having.

Over the Christmas holidays, I was fortunate enough to find myself at a breakfast buffet at a luxury resort in the Virgin Islands. The food spread was truly amazing, the view of the ocean spectacular; all systems go towards heavy eating.  All the usual excuses were prepped and ready to go in my mind.  They included, but were not limited to:

  1. “I am on vacation”
  2. “It’s the holidays”
  3. “I haven’t been to a buffet in like a year”
  4. “I deserve it”

I sat down at our table, got my plate, and prepared to set “Operation Gorge” in motion.  Looking around, I suddenly noticed an annoying trend.  All the “skinny” people in the restaurant had plates heaping with good decisions.  All others who were “not at their optional weight” had plates heaping full of bad decisions.

An older gentleman sitting to my left looked to be in his 60’s and height/weight proportionate. He was powering through a delicious-looking plate of fruit.  Fresh mango, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, kiwi, and pineapple.   I decided to follow suit, and went and got myself the exact same plate.  It went down easy, but was not exactly as tasty as my original planned first plate of french toast, sausage links, and an oversized gooey cinnamon roll.

By now my neighbor had moved on to his second plate.  I carefully inspected it in my peripheral vision – small serving of scrambled eggs, one sausage link, and a slice of wheat toast.  Sigh.  I followed suit and got the same.  Still delicious, but not as good as I had planned my second plate to be.

At this point, I had discreetly inspected most other nearby diners (and their plates), and saw the same trend.  Coincidence?  Maybe, but unlikely.

Breakfast concluded, and we made our way back to our car.  It was sort of nice to not have that “I am sooo stuffed, I can barely breathe” feeling.

I guess my lesson learned is that all different types of people make all different types of food choices throughout each day.

I have met people in my life that are in their 40’s, but still have the metabolism of a 20 year old.  Unfortunately, that is not me. I have learned the hard way that I will need to watch what I eat forevermore.  Even at buffets.

J

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