Friday, January 12, 2007

I am a pig

Yes, it is true. I eat a lot. If it weren't for riding I would be fat. I know this because 4 years ago, before I starting riding again, I was approaching 220 pounds. Luckily, my body has adjusted to my overindulgence so that my weight remains relatively constant at 165 pounds, give or take a few. Not bad for a guy who's 6'1".

Just now I returned from lunch at La Hacienda (in the strip mall near Redwood & California Ave) where I consumed way too much food. Chips & salsa aside, my chicken soft taco smothered in chile verde sauce with rice and beans was HUGE yet I somehow managed to eat it all. I considered ordering a slice of flan for dessert but chose to pass on this occasion. I say on this occasion because I have eaten there twice this week (so far) and normally go at least once a week. For those of you who like Mexican food La Hacienda serves it up right.

Unfortunately, my eating too much is not limited to restaurants...

As many of you know, I spent the past week in Phoenix, AZ. During that time I had the pleasure of eating dinner at the home of my brother's mother-in-law. She served up her famous tacos of which I consumed eight. Now, these are not your average, run of the mill tacos, but rather a corn tortilla stuffed with beef and cheese that is fried in olive oil. Yes, you read that correctly. The tacos are fried and if you are lucky enough to try one (or two, or three, or...) you would agree that it could be done no other way. At the table you then add lettuce, tomato, avocado, salsa and ranch dressing. After polishing off eight of the bad boys I had two servings of brownies with Breyer's Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream. Like I said earlier, I am a pig.

My family is well known for good, old fashioned home cooking. When visiting my folks in Boise, ID I inevitably eat too much. This past year, over the course of the Thanksgiving weekend, I consumed at least one piece of pumpkin, cherry, pecan, apple and chocolate cream pie not to mention some fudge, apple crisp and pear tart. All of this was homemade, incredibly delicious and in addition to the vast quantities of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, etc. I also ate. Yes, I do tend to eat a lot.

To those readers who may be feeling a bit quesy at this point in my narrative I apologize. However, I share this with you for a reason so please stay with me. My point is this: If I can eat as much as I do without gaining weight while riding a mere 8-10 hours a week (and even less during the winter months), why are professional cyclists who train 20+ hours a week so worried about what they consume? Why can't they have a piece of cake now and then? Why is ice cream avoided like it's the plague? In my opinion such behavior is ridiculous and for a recreational rider to do the same is absolutely crazy. Eating too much is one of the benefits that riding provides. If you don't take advantage of that fact you're missing out.

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