I could eat pizza every day and at one point in my life, I did.
It all started my freshman year of college when I first realized the freedom of being on my own. I could stay out as late as I wanted, sleep in as late as I wanted and eat pizza anytime I wanted.
And why not eat it all the time? After all, it’s cheap, it’s easy, it’s versatile—a great breakfast, lunch or dinner (on many occasions I made it was all three).
I got along just fine eating pizza at every whim for quite some time too. Living in a college town made it quite easy: I had Gus’ Monday, Rocky’s Tuesday, Rosa’s Wednesday and Toppers Thursday. Life was good.
Then one day, just past my mid-twenties with the thrill of college life behind me, I noticed that some of the favorite clothes started to feel a little snug. Shirts I had worn for years, filled with nostalgia no longer fit like they used to and my pants were getting tight in all the wrong places.
After a while, my mirror reflection was confirming what my constricting shirts and inner self-consciousness were: The metabolism of my youth could no longer keep up; the daily pizzas were going straight to my hips, belly, chin, butt, arms, and back. I was getting…..husky.
Slowing my rolls.
Before long it was apparent that my diet needed to change and with a passion for pizza as strong as mine saying goodbye would be no easy feat. The thought of losing the warmth and security of my old friend shot a ripple of anxieties through me.
What would I have left to look forward to?
Would dinner even be any fun anymore?
Would this mean I’d have to go grocery shopping? And cook?
Though I was apprehensive I knew the only way back from the belly I’d created and was to ease up on the cheese and dough. I would need the discipline to pass on the late night deliveries and skip the leftover breakfast slices.
To curb my pizza habit I would have to figure out how to embrace change. Looking back, the guide to making those changes may have been right in the blue and red pizza box on my post-college apartment table.
The first pizza place that comes to mind when I think of change is Dominos. For as long as I can remember Dominos has been innovating their menu—sometimes gently following the trends of other chain behemoths like Pizza Hut (introducing pan crust), other times aggressively jerking the wheel to save face (revamping their hand-tossed crust).
From twisty bread in the 90’s to those breadstick loaves in the 2000s to the parmesan bread bites and full circle back to the current garlic bread twists, Dominos is always evolving. There’s practically a different Dominos menu for every phase of my life.
My favorite time in Dominos history was in High School when they had the “Beat the clock” medium special in which the price of the pizza matched the time you called—my friends and I would load up.
Then in college, they revolutionized pizza specials forever with the trend-setting pick two for $5.99 deal. Now they delve into technology leading the way with their pizza ordering app and “piece of the pie” rewards program.
Over the years they’ve experimented with pasta bowls, sandwiches, breadsticks stuffed with stuff and even used boneless chicken wings as the base for a crustless pizza amalgamation (still scratching my head on that one).
Whether you consider those experiments successes or failures Dominos continual exploration has undoubtedly contributed to their growth.
What shall I do in the next dire moment? Focus my attention on the next right move. -Jordan Peterson
Dominos ability to quickly pivot has allowed them to remain one of the biggest pizza companies in the world. I give them credit because course correcting is no easy task, especially if we don’t want to change the behavior that needs changing.
When I started packing on the lb’s it was apparent I couldn’t have my pizza every night and eat it too, but I didn’t want to give it up. Change has never come easy for me and losing the comfort of those cheesy pizzas made me feel lost.
To ensure that I would have years of pizza eating ahead of me, it was obvious I’d have to switch it up—I would have to strike a balance. I’d have to settle with only indulging on pizza once a week—for that night I chose Friday. Today I’m healthier, happier and still enjoying my pizza everyday (by writing about it).
What pizza taught me:
Change is inevitable: our waist sizes can change, our jobs can change, our families can change and even our favorite pizzas can change. How we adapt is what really matters.
When you stop growing, you start dying– William Burroughs
What I’m eating: Domino’s thin cheese and garlic knots
What I’m still reading: 12 Rules for Life Jordan Peterson (it’s a long ass book).