Friday, April 8, 2011

The Most Comforting, Evil Thing

This evening, I'm quite certain I discovered the most comforting, evil thing in the world: garlic frites with herb aioli. This isn't your average plate of fries--no ma'am! Each individual is a masterpiece of salty warmth, with fresh bits of garlic hanging on just so. The heaping plate of loveliness is accompanied by a little ramekin of herb aioli, thick and creamy and homemade just right. It doesn't hurt that I got to enjoy the experience at a neighborhood bistro just blocks from my house. For three years, I've heard it's packed with locals every night, and I'm happy to have finally put an end to my curious wondering. What can I say? It was wonderful.

But here's the thing. Just over two years ago, I weighed 20 pounds more than I do now. It took seven months to lose that weight, and I have deep appreciation for how I feel now. Getting from there to here required the classic, non-sexy combination of regular exercise and counting calories. Decidedly NOT a person who willingly signs up for such things as calorie-tracking--before beginning I feared it would crush my soul--I had to be coaxed into the process, gently, very gently. For this I remain grateful to Mireille Guiliano and her French Women Don't Get Fat: The Secrets of Eating for Pleasure.

The book worked because I happen to agree, heartily, with her philosophy. "Assuming successful recasting," she encourages, ". . . you'd like to enjoy something ultraluscious with a bit more regularity . . . Guess what: You've earned it!" But then, of course, she goes on to say, "When you add an indulgence, make a corresponding reduction to compensate." Picking up the book again tonight helps me remember not to feel guilty about those lovely (evil) fries, but instead, to appreciate them truly, along with my workout to come tomorrow.

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