Second Helpings

I grew up the youngest of five kids, lower-middle class family.  My dad was a union worker in the construction industry, so sometimes things were tight.  We would get government subsidies at this point.  Big slabs of government cheese (which I recall being lousy processed cheese-food), big canisters of peanut butter, and (gag) dry milk powder.

There’s a point when you’re hungry that you’ll pretty much eat anything… but you’d stop pretty quickly when you were sated if the food is bad.  My mother is an excellent cook, but either she wasn’t when I was little, or even her talents couldn’t coax flavor out of those ingredients. We had miserable meals of potato soup that had been made with dry milk.  If we were lucky there’s be sliced up hot dogs in it.  I’d try to cut them up into enough pieces so I could choke down my portion with a little bit of hotdog in every bite.  Just thinking about that soup could be an appetite suppressant.

But oh, when things were good there was an abundance of food!  Big bowls of savory stew, meaty cheesy pasta or creamy whipped potatoes would arrive at the party and I could eat all that was given to me and more!

“Please, sir, may I have some more?” ~ Oliver Twist

Asking for a second helping meant not only was there more than enough, but what there was enough of was something I thought was delicious.  An abundance of goodness.

Which led to an abundance on my waist, hips and thighs.  Which led to dieting… and curbing my actions of going back for more.

But that didn’t last long.  How could I possibly deny myself those second helpings? Those celebrations of having more than enough? No.  The psychology of the second helping is just too important to me.

As an adult I’ve learned to have it all (rememer, I’m all about abundance) by serving myself half or 3/4 portions, intending to go back for that second helping of my favorite times.  TWO tiny pieces of lasagna instead of one big one.  An additional small spoonful of those mashed potatoes I love so much.  Or even (yes, please) a second scoop of ice cream.

Those second helpings taste so much better.  Every bite of a second helping fires off a feeling of gratitude and appreciation.  Who doesn’t want to feel that every day?

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