The slim man

Not long ago, Ro and I were talking about the amount people eat – being overweight, the effect on what you eat on your health – the sort of thing that young men are interested in nowadays. “You’ll never be overweight,” I said. “I’ve known that since you were a child.” He wondered what I meant, so I explained.

For one thing, he never overate. When he was full, he stopped eating. He was not a fussy eater at all and ate most foods, but if he said he had had enough, even if it meant removing a half-chewed mouthful, that was it. I did, once or twice, encourage him to finish the plateful, or even the mouthful, but since it inevitably made him sick, I quickly learned it was best to accept the situation … he very rarely couldn’t finish a mouthful, mealtimes were not disgusting occasions in the Z household.

But the other reason, and this is the one that counts, is that he didn’t eat crumbs. Tell me the truth – if you are eating something Totally Yummy and bits fall off it, do you not wet your finger and pick them up and eat them? If you are eating something with delicious nuts on, and one falls off, do you not pick it up?*

He didn’t. Never mind how good it was.

I told him this and he was surprised. He didn’t even know – well, I don’t know if he hadn’t realised he didn’t do it, or if other people do (of course, this could just be me, I’m relying on you … relying on you, you hear? … to tell me it isn’t) – but it was something he was unaware of.

Today, Al had in the shop bunches of red mooli. They were beautiful. Great red radishes, still with the leaves on. When he’s had mooli (I don’t know, ignorant woman, if the plural is moolies, moolis or mooli) before, they have been white ones.

He also had bunches of little radishes. I bought both, just so that I could show Ro a radish. “Call this a radish?” I brandished it. “This” – waving the mooli – “is a radish!”

I did him a nice little dish of mooli, radishes, little savoury biscuits and a tomato/chilli dip. He ate it and brought the dish to the kitchen. The bowl which had the biscuits in had a little pile of sunflower seeds and sesame seeds. Now, would you not have eaten them?**

He is 6 feet tall. He has a 30 inch waist. I expect he will retain it.

*Somehow, this reminds me of the Merchant of Venice…”If you prick us, do we not bleed?”
**You may be wondering if I did. No, I didn’t. I put them in the hen-food pan.

8 comments on “The slim man

  1. Wendz

    No no – not just you Z – I wet my finger and pick up every last crumb. Hence, probably, my eternal battle to stay slim…in future I will avoid doing this – I had never thought about it.

  2. Z

    I knew I could rely on you, Wendz. You and I are totally normal.

    I don’t think it’s the calories, I think it’s indicative of an attitude. Sadly. But another thing is, if there is only a little food left on the plate, do you eat it just because it’s there?

    I wouldn’t if I’d had enough… Unless the plate stayed and I was chatting, having a glass of wine, using my hands expressively…sooner or later, it would go in my mouth. Especially if it was something I could pick up in my fingers.

    Knowing is half the battle though. Isn’t it?

  3. Wendz

    I usually clear my plate unless I am really full – but yeah – sit me at a table with wine and good conversation and food in front of me and I will nibble and pick..especially if its a good cheese platter.

    I have had to train myself to turf the boys leftovers into the bin and not gobble them up…maybe it’s a childhood thing – we were never allowed to leave the table if there was food on our plates. I do not do this to my boys though – when they are full – they can stop eating.

  4. PI

    I mop up everything I like as I try not to over eat. I think your thesis is probably right. I had two skinny boys but the elder discovered beer at Uni and the younger in his forties is still lovely but not exactly skinny.
    Oh the days of ‘ Cowboys love beans. And they love sardines. And Popeye loves spinach! Fat lot of good it did!

  5. Dandelion

    If it really is something Totally Yummy, then of course you’d eat the crumbs, assuming you’d eaten the rest of course, and not got full along the way.

    I think the old war-time motto of having to eat everything on your plate is a little bit out-dated now what with a) portion sizes getting massiver and b) scarcity and rationing not what it was. Not to mention our ideas of “fat” being rather more stringent these days.

  6. Z

    Ro doesn’t, Dandelion, however Yummy. It has never occurred to him.

    He doesn’t drink too much either. He is excused here, for too much booze gives him a 3-day migraine.

  7. luckyzmom

    If it is something really nummy I have been known to lick the plate!

    Clean plate club my whole life. Just lately I have allowed myself to leave bits on the plate.

  8. Z

    Lick the plate – oh yes.

    On the other hand, I more often leave food. Like Ro, when I’ve had enough, I have to stop.


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