Whenever friends meet my Uncle Charles, the first thing he tells them about me is the time he took me to McDonald’s when I visited him and my aunt in Canarsie when I was nine.
He says: “I asked Andy what he wanted to eat and he says, ‘I want 2 Quarter Pounders with Cheese, 2 Filet-O-Fish, a large fries, a large coke, an apple pie, and a vanilla milkshake.’ At first, I told him he couldn’t order all that food, because I thought he was pulling my leg. It wasn’t about the money, you understand. No nine year old eats that much. But he told me he was serious, so I ordered the food for him. And he ate it all! I’ve never seen something so incredible.”
That is my legacy. I am the Inhuman Eating Machine.
“Emotional eaters” stuff themselves because they are: stressed, depressed, angry, lonely, bored, frustrated, or anxious. I am not an Emotional Eater. I do not overeat because of my emotions. I overeat because I am constantly hungry and I have the urge to eat almost every waking moment. It’s been purported that some species of sharks and some breeds of dogs will literally eat themselves to death if they have a readily-available food supply. I think I may be genetically-related to the Great White or the Labrador Retriever. I feel like I could eat until my stomach exploded, like in Alien, except instead of a monster, I would spew forth an 18” pepperoni pizza.
My eating has been an “issue” since my early 20’s. Prior to that time, I could eat as much as I desired without gaining an ounce. In the summer of my twenty-second year, I wore baggy elastic-waist shorts the entire season. When the leaves began to change, I woke one morning to put on a pair of pants. They didn’t fit. I could not zip them. It was as if the “Fat Fairy” had visited me in my sleep. I now had a serious paunch and a double-chin. I ignored these minor inconveniences until I was almost 29. At that point, I weighed nearly 220 lbs. This may not sound like much by the standards of the 21st century American, but as a small-framed six-footer, I assure you it was not a good thing for me. My friend described me as resembling “a beanbag chair on a wire coat hanger.” It was not a pretty sight at all. I began jogging and was able to lose nearly 50 lbs. in just 4 months. A few years later, I had gained it all back. Then I lost some weight. Then I gained some back. Then I lost some weight. Then I gained some back. Et cetera. Et cetera. Et cetera.
Recently, I began a ridiculous diet that consists of little more than vegetables and fruit. I’ve been able to lose more than 20 lbs. in 3 months with this diet. The reason it works is because it allows me to literally eat as much of these foodstuffs as I like. I eat at least 5 lbs. of roughage each weekday, usually more. As I write this, I am chomping on a pillow-sized bag of carrots, celery, and cucumber. Prior to that, I ate an entire jicama and a ½ lb bag of snap peas. By accommodating my need to gorge myself, the diet is actually working, as the roughage is so low in calories. However, I miss REAL food all week long. To fulfill my urges for the foods I love, I often allow myself to splurge on the weekend. I recently decided that it was time that I use my gluttony to help my fellow man. The Inhuman Eating Machine (IEM) blog is my gift to humanity. Use it wisely, my friends.
- Once or twice per month, I will select a food item I love. I will find several places in the Bay Area where that item is available and I will proceed to eat as much of it as I can. I will go from place to place, sampling the item in question, writing about the item to let the reader know whether each place is worth a visit. I will avoid large chain restaurants, but I may visit local and regional chains.
- Here’s the kicker…I will do all of the eating for each item within a single 24 hour period. I will visit AT LEAST EIGHT establishments per "session," which means I will eat AT LEAST EIGHT of each item per session. The sessions will generally be conducted in the East Bay with semi-regular jaunts to San Francisco, but whenever I travel I intend to conduct sessions in the area I am visiting.
- Oh yeah. In addition to being a compulsive eater, I am also a stickler for value. I’m not gonna pay a lot for that muffler and I’m not gonna pay a lot for that burrito. I don’t mind occasionally spending a lot of money on a fancy meal, but if I do, I want to know why the food costs so much. If I pay a lot to go out to eat, there better be a hell of a lot of food and it better be incredibly delicious. I’ve had hundreds of positively delectable meals that cost $10 per person (or less.) By logic, if I spend $50 on a meal, it should be 5 times better than the $10 meal. Right? That is hardly ever the case. Because of my value-centric ways, I will restrict the IEM sessions to a maximum cost of $10 per establishment.
BIG thanks to 7 Inch Slam for publishing an amazing food/music blog and for inspiring me to finally get IEM underway.