Gym Paradox

Giada de Laurentis, of perfect body and fattening food, speaks in San Rafael

I used to work out at this run-down gym down the street from my house. I’d dutifully get on the treadmill, trying to ignore the grunts and groans from the surrounding meaty bodybuilders buffing up their biceps under two-ton barbells. And I usually forgot my ear buds, so I’d plug away on the machine, my eyes inevitably drifting up to one of the four large-screen TVs that hung above the workout zone.

At least two would be tuned to some kind of sports event, leaving me with the unfortunate options of Fox News or the Food Network. I chose the latter, which usually featured either Barefoot Contessa or Giada at Home. The Contessa, with her motherly rolls of chub, I could handle. Giada, on the other hand, always left me feeling confused. She’d be wearing some tight, low-cut shirt, looking super hot, emerald eyes perfectly made up—basically, the way I hoped to look after logging miles at the gym walking to nowhere; at the same time, she’d be cooking up these decadent, fattening meals—lobster carbonara, bacon and cheese manicotti, beer and Italian sausage fondue—all the things I absolutely shouldn’t be putting in my piehole. Like Buridian’s ass, I had entered into paradox of mythological proportions. Giada, how could you do this to me?

If you’ve been in the same quandary watching her show, seek absolution when Giada de Laurentis appears in support of her latest book, Giada’s Feel Good Food, on Saturday, Nov. 16, at Dominican University. 50 Acacia Ave., San Rafael. 7pm. $40 includes book. 415.457.4440.

Sonoma County Library