On this day after Thanksgiving, a day in which I stuffed myself fatter than a steroid-induced turkey, I’d like to reflect on a time in my life when I could eat like this on an almost daily basis. It was 1989, I was 27 and working on a half-hour sitcom on the old Lorimar studio lot in Culver City, California.
All was well. The writing staff with whom I worked as a writers’ assistant was genial and non-egotistical. The hours were as regular as they get in television production. And my fellow assistants were supportive and helpful.
And I was cursed. Not by some voodoo schmo, no. I was cursed by the female television writer/producer whom I personally assisted on a daily basis. On the TV show for which we worked (and on most TV shows at least in those days), dinners were brought in for the writers and their assistants when working on late night rewrites. Those were still the money days of TV, and we ordered from the best restaurants in Los Angeles. And, I, a lowly assistant who ate ramen on most other days, felt it my duty on these occasions to up my pay grade by eating three-course meals.
One night as I was enjoying my appetizer, entree, and chocolate cake dessert, my boss, a crinkled old thing of 50, stared at me. She was trying to choke down her pre-packaged cardboard diet food. “You won’t be able to eat like that forever,” she said, her French manicured hand creeping uncomfortably close to my fudge cake.
Aha, what do you know, I thought. I have high-speed metabolism and always will.
Guess the joke’s on me.
Now, twenty years later at 47, I eat three French fries and gain three pounds. Per fry. I must limit my food intake, watch my cholesterol, and, ugh, exercise. And with all of that, my metabolism is still on life support. Ugh, indeed.
I know I am not the only aging gal in this boat. I do listen to common sense studies like the one The Today Show‘s Matt Lauer told me (speaking to me personally from my TV screen) about choosing between a glass of wine at dinner OR dessert. Well, at Thanksgiving dinner yesterday, I had BOTH. And as I washed down my post-meal statin with a swig of wine, I reminisced about being 27 and the days when my rapid-fire metabolism allowed me to eat to my heart’s content, and then about my boss who cursed me.
My mom looked at me from her perch on the couch. “Excuse me?” she asked, raising an eyebrow at my curse word.
“Nothing, Mom, sorry. It’s just…” I sighed. “You know, I’m gonna go wash out my mouth with another piece of pie.”