There’s something about the $5 price tag on a Little Caesar’s pizza that, to a certain personality, inevitably introduces the idea of plotting to get yourself alone with one.
It erases the cost factor from the guilt equation, leaving only the gluttony. And if you have a history of succumbing to gluttony, it’s not hard to go down that path again.
The first time I tried to have my way with an entire large pepperoni Little Caesar’s pizza I succeeded in my conquest but found the process less magical than expected. Yes, it was initially fun to gobble euphorically: This pizza was mine, all mine! But with no built-in off switch, I kept going just because I could. I wound up feeling miserable. And, of course, guilty.
Weirdly, this isn’t a tale from my fat life, but from after I lost weight – when I felt the freedom to experiment with my inner pig in a way I hadn’t before. Because it was so much less fun than I’d imagined – fairly unpleasant, actually – I wasn’t tempted to do it again.
Until recently, that is.
On a day when I was planning to try an experimental 4-hour feeding window, I thought, why not just go for a single meal? It could be a pretty nice meal, with an entire day’s worth of calories available.
Removing two slices from a large Little Caesar’s pepperoni pizza would leave 1,520 calories in the box. That’s pretty much my daily calorie limit, assuming I’ve got some exercise built in. I decided to go for it, curious to see how my Inner Pig responded this time around.
This was a food experiment, not a binge, so guilt shouldn’t have been a factor. I hadn’t eaten all day and had 1,500 calories up for grabs. But I still felt the need to do this in private – in the car, in the process of running a couple of errands. (Which raises the question, how much does pigging out in the privacy of one’s car contribute to the obesity epidemic? But I digress.)
This time, with a plan in mind, it was easy enough to allow my Inner Scientist to bag up two slices before I let loose my Inner Pig. And I gotta say, it wasn’t even phased by the missing pizza. Six steaming slices is still a pretty big temptation.
An interesting thing happened this time around, though: On slice No. 5, I realized that I was not only getting unpleasantly full but that … the pizza no longer tasted very good. Suddenly I was hyper aware of all the grease and salt.
I stared at the last remaining slice for a good long while. It was mine, if I wanted it. But I didn’t. Not then. I put that slice in the trunk with the others, wiped my mouth, and went on to the next event on my itinerary.
Later, after I finished my last stop, naturally I was reminded of the leftover pizza. Once upon a time, that’s all it would’ve taken: Reminder of undefended leftover treat meant it was as good as gone.
Not this time. I’d gotten in the habit of not eating within three hours of bedtime, and at this point I had an hour at most before I hit the sack. What a sweet discovery that this habit is now well formed enough that I wasn’t tempted to break my rule just because of some stray pizza.
Technically, this experiment was a smashing success. Being willing to consolidate all my day’s calorie intake into this one pizza, taking the precaution of removing two slices ahead of time, and then being cognizant of the new sensation of recognizing the feeling of becoming unpleasantly full, I came out of that day with just 1,240 calories.
That makes this a viable option – a “cheat day” experience that could double as a successful diet day.
The only thing is, what I remember most is not the gooey yumminess of those first few bites, but the greasy saltiness of the finale. Maybe it’s time to move on to better food, and edit $5 pizza bombs out of my life.