The Food Network is my favorite television channel, and I watch it regularly. I appreciate the chemistry and creativity behind culinary efforts and enjoy the visual appeal of dishes that are prepared and served. Perhaps my favorite show on the Food Network is Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives”, in which Guy travels all over the United States in pursuit of the best reasonably priced eats around. What is so sad is the fact that I can virtually never indulge in the featured dishes at the restaurants Guy visits, because they are so laden with everything I am NOT supposed to eat!
You would think that not being able to eat the foods that are featured on the Food Network would be enough to deter me from watching it regularly, but I get great pleasure from watching it. I must get some vicarious pleasure out of watching others eat forbidden dishes or something. My interest in this channel is so extreme that whenever I travel for IFBB Pro competitions (incidentally, I used to do this when I was an amateur in the NPC as well), I will turn the television on, find the Food Network, then leave it on 24/7 while staying at a hotel. This strange habit of keeping the t.v. on in a hotel room is one I have had for many years, but it wasn’t until 2011 when I began tuning into the Food Network while traveling. I have had fellow competitors come up to my room and remark on how tortuous it is to see shows about food on t.v, and only then does it hit me that this quirk of mine is a bit strange.
To a certain extent I miss the days when I was a foodie, indulging in gustatory delights with some frequency. However, on the rare occasions when I HAVE indulged, I usually pay the price for the next several days as my body tries to figure out what attacked it! The only thing my body can handle is a moderate cheat meal which does not consist of eating at more than one restaurant in an evening. Though this has only happened a handful of times over the years, I have had post-contest cheat meals in which I have visited one restaurant for a specific food craving, then another for a fellow competitor’s food craving, then a third place for dessert. After such gluttony, my belly is distended, my digestive tract is angry, and I pool subcutaneous water into the backs of my legs.
Since decadent foods make my body angry, I would much prefer to watch a television show which features those foods so that I can enjoy a calorie-free fantasy. This way I can indulge in hot fudge sundaes, mile-high burgers, heaping piles of pasta, and rich sauces without guilt!