So here’s what I want to know: why don’t I weigh 115 pounds?

For real.  Not because I’m exercising or watching what I eat or meditating myself into a zen space where I no longer feel the desire to overeat.  I’m wondering why on earth I don’t weigh 115 pounds because I eat with vultures.

Take a recent family outing to IHOP (home of both the red velvet pancakes and cinnastacks, both pancake concoctions designed to put you into a diabetic coma in four minutes flat).  Keep in mind this is pretty typical for a meal when we’re out and about.

  • I ordered the two egg breakfast in an attempt to avoid massive amounts of sugar and whipped cream piled on pancakes.
  • Swapped toast for an order of hash browns.  Shared half with Bear when she longed for a potato fix.
  • Gave second piece of bacon to Bear because she’s officially the Baconator in our family, and it’s just easier to say yes.
  • Gave a bit of egg and the rest of my hash browns to T-man when he stared longingly at my plate.

Which meant out of a breakfast order of two scrambled eggs, two pieces of bacon, and hash browns instead of toast I consumed a grand total of…one and a half eggs, one piece of bacon, and five forkfuls of hash browns.

Okay, so maybe that sounds like enough food after all, but when I think about what I planned to eat compared to what actually made it down my gullet I can’t help but ask again – how am I not spontaneously losing weight?  When half the food that arrive at the table gets consumed by the vultures around me, shouldn’t I be earning bonus points for burning those calories?  Just for looking at them and then not eating them, I mean.  Especially when I’m so good natured about sharing my food.

Phoebe’s always been a bit of an odd duck about eating.  Sometimes she’d skip meals altogether, which was pretty unusual compared to the food obsessed dogs we’re used to having.  It took some time to sort out, but BrightSide finally put his finger on the problem in the last six months or so.

It turned out Phoebe likes to eat on her own.  We used to feed both dogs in the kitchen so Gracie was always in the background, basically inhaling her own food and then hovering nearby in case Phoebe stepped away from her dish.  BrightSide looked at the situation one day and simply moved Phoebe’s dish to another room – voilà!  Appetite returned.

You see, she just didn’t like the vultures hovering while she ate her meal.  Phoebe enjoys eating a couple of pieces of dog food at a time (yes, seriously) so meals are definitely at a leisurely pace; having an eighty pound panting retriever lurking behind you tends to kill that peaceful vibe.

BrightSide likes to say this is just one more way Phoebe proves she’s truly my dog.  I like to eat slowly, too – I find it relaxing, although others have been known to describe it as glacial.  I’m not a huge fan of people asking for my food, either.  If I didn’t want it I wouldn’t have ordered it, thank-you-very-much.  I’ve gone into survival mode with the kids, a state where it’s simply easier to share than to fight that battle.

I’ve learned enough to know I should order extra if I’m truly hungry, though.  Sometimes I really do want the food on my plate, and that’s the best way to keep the vultures at bay.