Eat it

I’m blaming the fois gras.

It’s the in thing to do these days, in California at any rate, where tasty-tasty fattened goose liver is destroying the very moral fiber of the world. So much so that there’s an official embargo on force feeding geese to produce the delicacy, which frankly seems absurd to me, but my moral fiber is soaked in bourbon and not entirely reliable.

The geese are not my concern anyway, and after being chased through a parking lot by a goose hell bent on gnawing my kneecaps open I can’t say they ever will be. My objection to fois gras is purely cosmetic – that shit is making me fat.

(And no, thank you for asking, I don’t feel a pea under my mattress, but I’ll be sure to let you know if I do.)

At 300 calories for a mere three ounces, my favored appetizer appears to have taken residency in my hips more stubbornly than a plate of cheese fries. That fois gras is “good fat,” similar in makeup to olive oil and avocados, is perhaps the dumbest euphemism ever foisted on an appearance-conscious chick like me. It’s fat, it’s annoying, and the fact that my body “processes” it differently than it would a Big Mac means nothing when I can see excess pounds lining up like thunderclouds.

I’ve started referring to it as Anthony Bourdain fat. Don’t mistake my meaning – I don’t consider Anthony Bourdain fat any more than I truly think myself to be overweight. But there is a marked difference in his appearance from his coked-out early days as a chef and approximately the fifth season of hosting No Reservations. It’s the full look of satisfaction, of exotic meals with friends as the sun sets, of good liquor and, I’m guessing, fois gras. It is in direct contrast to say, Paula Deen fat, where brownies are leaden with bricks of Velveeta and regret.

My own appearance certainly isn’t regrettable, although I do find its evolution conflicting. Back when I was 18 and a semi-pro ballet dancer, my diet consisted mainly of air and Gatorade. I’d flirt shamelessly for the sheer conquest of it.

Today, all that’s left of my ballet career is chronic foot pain and the ability to balance on one leg for extended periods of time. I delight in being a home chef. Whiskey is my drink of choice. When I flirt, it is only with our butcher at Whole Foods, and that’s just for the free slabs of bacon he slips in when nobody is looking.

I’m not sure if I should be proud or alarmed that my looks elicit free pork. In some countries, this is probably a sign of royalty. My husband doesn’t seem especially concerned, but he clearly loves me as I am. Plus he enjoys the bacon. I suppose I should be grateful it’s being presented as a gift, and not flung in my general direction as I’m out running errands, but I have to wonder: what’s next?

My ballerina body has transformed into something far more womanly – sexy, yes – but nearing the line I established as too much. You can spare me the “love yourself, love your body” claptrap, because no one loves me more than me. And that’s why I drew that hard line: to keep my hedonism from getting the best of me.

Even Bourdain is looking trimmer in his latest season. I suppose it’s odd to use him as my litmus, but I refuse to compare myself to any other woman. Instead, I look to learn from the lifestyle I admire: good food, good company, good liquor, good health.

Unfortunately, all the sex and yoga in the world isn’t going to burn enough calories to combat the fois gras. In my lazy fantasies, I consider starting on coke. I’ll take the raging heartbeat, sweats and general mania if it kicks my metabolism into overdrive. Or maybe I can catch hyperthyroidism – it’s essentially the same as having a coke habit, minus the habit, of course.

In reality, I am forced to seek more aggressive ways to maintain my gourmet habits, and if that means visiting the gym more often, then so be it.

Because let me tell you something – I can do better than free bacon. Next time I start batting my eyes at Whole Foods, I’m going for the steak.

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