Let's address the literal (ahem) Elephant in the Living Room, shall we?
How does one survive owning an eating establishment when one's addiction of choice would be (ahem, uncomfortable shuffling of feet) ... um ... eating.
(We will pause a moment while those who know me mutter under their breath, "Yeah, I was wondering about that..." and my brothers moan to themselves, "Oh, not again...")
Truly, this wasn't an issue at first because most of what we serve is relatively healthy. Oh, we have our share of cream soups and cold cuts; but we keep our portions reasonable and temper the meat with plenty of vegetables.
Plus, I'm running around this cafe 15 hours a day five to seven days a week. And the first month, eating was the farthest thing from my (and anyone else's) mind. Between the stress and the physical activity, we all slimmed down. Of course, the guys -- who were all making a point to at least swallow a sandwich once a day -- all dropped 20 to 25 pounds. Meanwhile, I -- the only female around here -- survived the entirety of February on coffee and gum; I think my earlobes may have gotten thinner.
I didn't miss food in February and I made the mistake of telling myself I'd found the secret to weight loss: surround yourself with so much food, you don't even want to smell it. Even the sweets we carry -- mostly baked goods -- weren't a problem since I bake them myself and am rarely tempted by my own cooking.
Yup, I said. I got this licked. I thought of writing a book about the irony of overcoming the urge to eat by immersing yourself in the very thing to which you are addicted.
And...and...AND...I dropped a jeans size in March. No sweat. Just exhaustion and stress.
Oh. Yeah. I was tough to live with, what with all the smugness swirling about me. Here I was, surrounded by cheese, for cryin' out loud, and I was losing weight. Oh. Yeah. I had this thing beat.
We all know where this is going, don't we?
One day I'm back at my little hot plate, waiting the requisite 45 minutes it takes to heat up a pot of soup, when the doors burst open and a bunch of burly Teamsters deposited a freezer in the middle of our little cafe.
I believe the Biblical phrase goes: Pride goeth before the cookies and cream.
...or something like that.
Back to the original premise of this post: How one survives owning an eating establishment when one's addiction of choice is eating.
You start by not allowing the One In Charge of the Ice Cream to order coffee ice cream. I apologize to any of my customer whose favorite is also coffee. Unfortunately, a shot of espresso poured over vanilla is just as good, if not better, than coffee ice cream and, if there is one thing we have in abundance around here, it's espresso.
In all fairness, I've been pretty good -- I only succumbed twice in the past three weeks. But I know it's just a matter of time. Food speaks to me. Loudly. (This must be why I sleep so well -- there is absolutely no food at home.)
Ice cream screams -- it's why we carry it. Come to think of it, I have my business to consider. How can I ask my customers to eat something I won't eat myself? I'd be a hypocrite, right?
Besides, I can quit eating ice cream any time I want.