If you are not in the US, when I say it’s the first day of football season, you probably are a little confused. Our football season is only a few months long, but it transforms every Sunday into a day of feasting on sweet or carb-filled foods. The games start at noon, but the eating starts far earlier, and nobody is having brunch. Sweet barbecue, bratwurst on hoagie buns, hamburgers and hot dogs are the entrees at 8:30 in the morning. Potato salad, sweet cole slaw, and snack chips to round out the meal, all washed down with numerous bottles of beer or sweetened soft drinks. It’s not a problem to eat over two thousand calories before noon at the football stadium before the game. If you wait and eat when you go inside it is no better, because stadium food is not there for it’s nourishing qualities. The hot dogs are salty, the burgers are more bun than meat, the drinks are all very big and loaded with ‘energy’.
Not going to the games is just as bad at home. People will gather in ‘Man Caves’ all over the country. The exact same kinds of tempting, sugar or carb-loaded foods will be on offer and no one will give eating a second or third sample a second look.
It’s all fun, but it’s a habit. Not doing it this year will be another chance for me to break a habit that I have formed over a lifetime of living in a society that encourages over-consuming sweets and carbs. Last year I went all year without buying a beer for a football game. Still had soda back then to drink. This year I will be trying to not fall into the old habits of eating with abandon, eating and drinking sweets because it is available and everyone around me is doing it. It will be a good test of how easy it is to live healthy in an unhealthy crowd of 78,000. I will let you know.