This week’s Man vs. Diet topic: doughnuts. Yes, really.
Considering my love for doughnuts, I should have been a cop. Or Homer Simpson. Or at least found a career in the industry.
As a kid, I used to be jealous of my cousin, Chris, who had an awesome job as a door-to-door Spudnuts salesman. I only got to hawk things like salt and pepper shakers and chocolate candy bars for fundraisers, which usually meant my grandparents got a new S&P set and my parents had to pay about $60 for a box of chocolate bars that mysteriously disappeared while in my possession.
Chalk that up as Reason No. 3,798 why I’m writing a diet column as a 100-pound-overweight adult.
If I ever do get into the pastry profession, my first order of business will be to unify the spelling. Forget Dunkin’s cute spelling. It’s doughnut, not donut. D-O-U-G-H-N-U-T. Actually, spelling it out that way gave me a new idea. If I get a doughnutism career, I might change my name to Doug H. Nut. OK, maybe not.
Two reasons why I prefer the doughnut spelling:
1. Sub out the ‘u’ for an apostrophe and donut spells: DON’T! Or try this: Put a real doughnut where the u goes, and now it’s DO NOT, which is how English teachers say don’t.
2. Who doesn’t love extra stuff in the middle of a doughnut? So what if the filling spells “ugh!”
So, how does this doughnut diatribe fit into a diet column?
Mental exercise: Envision the hole part of a doughnut. Got nothing in mind? Perfect! That’s a diet (or what it feels like when doing a diet wrong). The cakey, sweet circle around the nothingness represents what I want to eat when on and/or off a diet.
That’s not what I really wanted to write about. I was just trying to think of something to tie diets and doughnuts together.
It’s just weird how many times doughnuts have reared their ugly-but-oh-so-tasty round heads in my life since last Weigh-In Wednesday. (Even weirder that I managed to lose 2.8 pounds.) I blame my friend Ryan (Facebook photo) and sports columnist Brad Rock (Twitter) for posting photos of Randy’s Donuts, which apparently is a famous doughnutery in Los Angeles that A) I’ve somehow missed in all of my trips to L.A. despite the fact it has a doughnut that’s 23 feet in diameter on its roof; and B) Randy misspelled doughnuts in big, bold letters.
This was the brief exchange between Brad and I after he tweeted his photo:
This faux-reporter was too embarrassed to even respond.
While I have no personal experience with Randy’s culinary creations, I do have ample experience with a place in my hometown called Banbury Cross Donuts (cq). And our paths did cross this week. The Utah Jazz held a press conference for a player who’ll receive enough money over the next five basketball seasons to buy 72,000,000 of the amazingly moist chocolate doughnuts at gas stations in my area, well, if he happens to go on a lucky day they’re on sale 2-for-$1.50.
“We bought doughnuts,” one of the PR gurus announced. “Go grab one.”
Telling sportswriters there is free food in the room is almost as dangerous as yelling “FIRE!” in a theater full of sportswriters who thought they heard “FREE FOOD IN THE LOBBY!”
But I didn’t budge. My will power struggled at a Halloween party Saturday night — and, yes, I fully blame my 6-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son for decorating sugar cookies for me. Which is worse: Eating a specially crafted treat or making kids cry and potentially scarring them for life because they thought you were rejecting them and not the high-calorie green and orange bat cookie with candy corn eyes and chocolate chip freckles?
It was obvious Aidan was my son when he told the party’s host, “I’m going to decorate 10 cookies!”
After thinking about how gluttonous that sounded, the preschooler changed his mind. “Maybe I better only decorate seven cookies. Ten is quite a few.”
Two days later, I took the risk of scarring the generous Jazz PR staff for life by politely telling them, “Sorry, my diet only allows me to eat the void inside of the doughnut hole.”
Other media members noticed my unusual self-control around the best doughnuts the Beehive State has to offer. They were thrilled. It left more doughy goodness for them to inhale. Incidentally, guess who’s now frontrunner to be named sportswriter of the year by local media?
Somehow (read: because my will power had taped my mouth shut) the reporters didn’t polish off the doughnuts upstairs in the press conference. After receiving compliments for my restraint, I was now sitting in the downstairs pressroom only six feet away from a half-dozen scrumptious-looking baked goods (yes, I peeked in the box).
“Question is,” one thin radio reporter said while stuffing his face, “can you pass on the doughnuts twice?”
“Of course!” I replied. “But only because there isn’t any bacon on top of that maple bar.”
Somehow, I ended up with the leftovers. As a test of my motivation, I brought the final 3.5 doughnuts home to my kids. A friendly usher, who’d been impressed I’d passed on doughnuts earlier, laughed as she saw me the yellow container in my hands.
“Now you’re taking the whole box?!” she joked.
While I put the doughnuts in the back, I noticed a green apple had been left in my SUV. I grabbed the green delicious fruit, took a couple of chomps and stuck it out the window to show the usher my latest Man vs. Doughnut victory. Take that, fried dough!
“I saw that,” she said. “Good job!”
I then drove off with the doughnuts in my possession and zero powdered sugar on my face. Though proud, I did drive away thinking that if maple doughnuts were delicious with bacon on them — and they are! — they’d likely be delectable and healthy with green apple chunks on the frosting.
The trend continued. Our kids received doughnuts as early Halloween treats from my wife and mom. As one last temptation, I walked by a delivery truck Tuesday night outside a convenience store as an employee pushed a cart loaded with 100 or so of my favorite glazed delights.
“I might hijack the Krispy Kreme truck,” I jokingly said to my wife as I walked through a cloud of doughnut air.
He overheard me. “Only if you finish my route.”
Tempting! But, sorry, not this week. Though sportswriter friend Jim Burton joked in the pressroom “Doughnuts are undefeated,” I wasn’t about to let them take a bite out of my moral victory. Not only did I avoid eating several hundred calories with each mouth-watering orb, but it was empowering to make good, conscious decisions.
Let’s hope my renewed determination is as strong the next time I’m in Portland, home of VooDoo, the world’s greatest doughnut shop, or at Cafe du Monde in New Orleans, home of the world’s best beignets (French doughnut), or when I happen to pass by the famous spot with the Homer-sized snack on the roof in sunny SoCal.
Starting weight: 271.1 (all-time high: 371)
This week’s results: Lost 2.8 pounds
Current weight: 268.6
Goal weight: 171
BMI: 42.1 (morbidly obese range)
Quote on my mind: ”Do or doughnut. There is no try.” — Yoda while using the force to turn down a Banbury Cross cinnamon sugar doughnut