The Wednesday before the Super Bowl, I was watching an episode of Man Vs. Food on the Travel Channel. It’s a show where this guy travels around the country sampling the best that different eateries have to offer, but each week he takes on an eating challenge from a specific restaurant. Sometimes it’s to see if he can eat a specified amount of food in a specified amount of time. Other times it’s to see if he can tolerate the hottest foods a particular restaurant can make. I don’t know why, but I’m fascinated by this show.

Anyway, on this particular night he was challenged to eat a 48oz porterhouse steak in 20 minutes. It was a Don Shula restaurant challenge, and it looked fabulous. It was cooked in butter and all kinds of herbs and spices, and my mouth was watering as he began the challenge. Amazingly, he not only finished, but finished in 16 minutes; just amazing.

I remember my days when I could eat like that. I was 17 years old, and my friend Dave and I would get out of school, stop at Burger King, get two double beef Whoppers, a large order of fries and chocolate milkshakes, eat that while playing cards, then I’d head home and eat dinner, and almost never got full. Those days are gone, but I keep thinking that I should be able to eat at least somewhat larger meals every once in awhile, although, for my health, I don’t usually try.

But last Thursday I was in the mood to try. I went to the store and bought a porterhouse steak. It was only 1.3 pounds, but I figured that was big enough. I also bought a large baked potato. I figured this would be an easy meal to get through because the porterhouse had a bone in it, and who can’t finish a baked potato? I cooked it slowly, but I didn’t use quite as much butter as they did on TV; after all, no one is going to pay me back for the amount of butter I used. And I baked that potato; rather, I microwaved it, and it was so big that it took me 13 minutes to cook it all the way through.

The potato should have been my first clue. The first bite of the porterhouse should have been my second clue. I rarely eat steak, though I enjoy it. The first bite reminded me why. The main difference between steak and hamburger is that hamburger has already been ground up once, so it doesn’t take any work to eat it. Steak is solid, even when tender, and it takes longer to chew. That was the first issue.

The second issue is that potato was really large. How large? When I took all the skin off, which I do whenever I have those at home, and mashed it up to mix butter in with it, it took up an entire large plate, so the steak had to be on a different plate.

I ended up barely making it through half of both the steak and the potato; that seemed embarrassing. I’m not a small guy, but that was all my body could take in that sitting. It made me appreciate just what this guy, Adam, did on TV in less than 20 minutes even more, and made me wonder when I lost the ability to eat and eat and eat.

Actually, I knew I’d lost it years earlier. Thanksgiving meals have become one serving affairs, when they used to be three. I will often find myself at restaurants bringing food home for a second meal. That just doesn’t seem right, but that’s how my life is, and I know I’m not alone.

Where am I going with all of this? Last week I was reading a blog post where the writer talked about embracing change. He was talking about it in a different way, and I wrote that I believe some changes we must embrace, but others we don’t have to, and we all get to decide when we will and won’t embrace change, and if we’re ready to deal with the consequences of it then it’s all good.

That was before I attempted the steak challenge. And yet, even though I do have to acknowledge that my body is changing, I still tend to believe that change for no sake other than to change things up is not only unnecessary, but can create problems one hasn’t foreseen. Managers sometimes do just that sort of thing on a whim. They’ll look at how things are running, and whether good or bad make a change without thinking it through fully. Sometimes it’s not just looking at the change itself, but how others will react to the change and whether or not you’ve given them the tools to know how to adapt to the change. Any manager who doesn’t help employees prepare for changes, whether they make sense or not, is looking at a catastrophe that has to happen, and won’t have anyone but themselves to blame for it.

Kind of like this steak challenge. At least my body told me when to stop. Maybe my mind should have helped me out beforehand; if so, I might have had a little bit of ice cream instead.