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Beating Kevin

Monday, June 1, 2015

Ice Cream Revelations

I'm getting all 4 wisdom teeth out and I'm a little excited and a lot afraid. Let's start with the fear. I've never had laughing gas or any procedure like this. Some people tell me that I'll be able to work the next day while others warn me that I better not suck on straws because of something called dry socket (what?!?!). They advocate for multiple packs of frozen peas on my face and lots of ice cream. Therein lies the excitement- doctor sanctioned ice cream eating. Ice creams falls in the category of mushy foods I can eat. I have made a request for banana pudding from my favorite bakery in Manhattan, and my fridge is full of mashed potatoes and smoothie fixens. 

There is one other piece of the excitement that causes me concern. I'm wondering if and hoping that I will lose weight. Friends joke about losing 5 pounds after getting their teeth out and I just think, "sign me up!" I wouldn't sneeze at a 5 pounds loss, but the excitement crosses into dangerous territory. Pain and deprivation should never be intentional tools for weight loss. I know I'm not getting my wisdom teeth out for the purpose of seeing a loss at the scale, but I wish the thought didn't even cross my mind.

I am a firm believer in focus and determination in healthy eating, but it easy for determination to turn into obsession. It's a little like matzah. Matzah, baked for 18 minutes, is a requirement for the Passover seder, but if overcooked it turns into Hametz, the holiday's forbidden food. The same material used for the heart of the holiday can be used for its unraveling. Everything in moderation. That goes for leaven on Passover and controlled eating year round.

Ascetism, a fancy word for deprivation, is not a Jewish concept. Our rabbis are not celibate (thank God), Yom Kippur is only one day, and poverty is not a virtue.  Food, unlike other substance dependencies, is a required part of our day and we cannot shy away from it.  The part of our brain that enjoys a loss at the scale cannot override our better judgement. Balanced living is having the sechel (wisdom) to recognize our limits and when we are pushing ourselves too far. Hopefully, my wisdom isn't limited to those teeth I'm gonna lose. 

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