Young@Heart: Read It and Eat

Read It and Eat


Kristi, my bonus daughter, is like a real daughter to me. We have such fun and yet we’re so different. This fall we spent three weeks together and the time flew! One of the days she and I went shopping and ended up in her favorite bookstore. While perusing the minuscule section on home and family, I heard her squeal with joy a few rows over and found her holding Diana Gabaldon’s latest novel in hardback.

“Oh, look, it’s out, I have to get it!”

“Wow, it’s huge!”

“Yeah it’s about a three-pounder.”

“Oh, Sweetie, I don’t think it weighs that much, maybe a pound.”

“No, I don’t mean it weighs three pounds, I mean I’ll gain three pounds reading it. I love to eat while I read!”

Kristi is a size three or four so she can afford to put a little “reading cushion” on her petite body, but the notion of eating while reading intrigued me because I can’t do that. I either have to read or eat to fully enjoy either event and if I try to do both simultaneously I miss out on the best of both worlds. And it’s also a good thing for me because I read a lot and I don’t need the extra calories that would find their way into my system via time spent with Michael Connelly.

I was telling my dear friend Jody about Kristi’s comment and she said,

“Oh my, I’m like Kristi, I love to eat while I read and I could stand to lose some weight.”

“How can you concentrate on the book if you’re eating?” I asked.

“Well, while I’m actually reading I am chewing and then when I turn the page I take another bite.”

“So you take a bite every time you turn a page?”

“Just about! And I have the books with the big print!” (Jody is in her 80s.)

Then she said, “Wow, I could lose some of this extra weight if I stopped that habit, couldn’t I?”

Do you like to eat while you read? My husband does. We read a lot of the same books and I can literally tell what he ate while he read, because invariably the evidence of the snack of choice is left on the pages. I know he ate some left-over barbequed ribs during chapter twelve of Absolute Power, because when I got to that chapter I suddenly had the urge to have ribs.

If you have a habit of eating while you read and you want to lose weight, I wouldn’t suggest cold turkeying it. Start with baby steps. Decide to take a bite on even numbered pages, or at the beginning of a chapter. You could decide to take a bite only when there is an illustration or photo. (If you try that one, no fair reading comic books.) Just think, you could lose several pounds in the next year depending on how many books you read, and bites you take per page.

Oh, and if you’re like me and you can’t eat and read at the same time, be so thankful!

Just a thought as we head toward the great summer reading season.

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