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Honest about comfort?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What is it about Americans that drives us to deep fry everything? Has the image of grease sodden paper products holding shiny, crisped food been burned into our psyche? Iím wondering that right now as I look at my puffy face in the mirror and feel (and I swear this is true) the fat in my upper back that seems to swell with my consumption of grease.

I live in the South, where pickles and Baby Ruthís canít escape the ceremonial dip into the vat of oil. (I can honestly say that Iíve never been tempted by either). But Iím an overweight, middle age woman with, what I perceive to be, a commitment to losing these burdensome pounds. Iím in place of honesty, which happens only when life changes enough for reassessment. I have been gathering information, applying it to my own experiences, and I have devised my own weight loss plan.

But yesterdayÖmy control slipped, like so many other times, into the familiar auto-pilot mode. Iíd like to say it was comforting to slide that sweet potato fry into my mouth. And it was. But why did I think I needed to polish off the entire order? Was it because I was with good friends who encouraged me to eat them? Or was it because the nice server made such a fuss that he had waited to bring me the freshest batch (honestly, they were so hot that they continued to crisp before my very eyes)? Or was it because we were sitting at the window and the sky was the clearest Carolina blue and everything looked pretty in the clarity of the late summer light?

No matter how I justify it, I know that eating those fries was not in my best interest but I did it anyway; I do regret my lapse of discipline. But it does burn me that we have such limited choices at eateries, especially at the speedy places. At yesterdayís lunch, I slipped into the slot that restaurateurs have made for the American deep-fry-for-convenience fans. Now that Iím out of my trance, Iím just wondering why they couldnít have baked the sweet potatoes fries for me. It would have been true luxury to have the kind waiter woo me by setting something healthy in front of me.

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