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Happy Fluctuations

When I was in Arizona, I decided to give myself a little leeway in the “treat” department. There is a Mexican restaurant that my mom and stepdad go to that serves the best green corn tamales I’ve ever eaten. Actually, I never had them before I visited Tucson. They grind fresh corn for the tamales and then stuff them with chili peppers and cheese – lip smackin’ good. Since I can’t find them in Ohio I feel the need to take full advantage of the dining experience.

In previous years, I’ve been known more as a permanent accessory of the restaurant than a mere patron. Admittedly, the green corn tamale became a bit of an obsession, and I had to sample them at multiple establishments. I could be seen daily with a combination plate that left me uncomfortable and bloated, only after eating a good portion of a cheese crisp before my order even made it back to the kitchen. I was damn sure going to make every effort to become one with the tamale.

I opted for a little different plan this year because I really wasn’t willing to pay the price upon re-entry. Instead of beginning the trip with an endless smorgasbord of food, I decided to indulge in only things that I truly enjoyed, which included cheese crisps, green corn tamales and guacamole. I found it is quite possible to order one tamale ala carte and be quite satisfied. Who knew unbuttoning my pants was not a necessary part of the dining experience while vacationing?

It worked. I’m up a pound or so, but I’m not too worried about it. I thoroughly enjoyed my food choices, but I didn’t experience total brain drain. As a result, I returned home, and hopped right back where I left off, and I haven’t really noticed any increase in food cravings. I really think it has to do with the fact that I practiced moderation.

I was far from perfect, but more importantly, I kept deprivation at bay. When I ignore the fact that I will encounter situations or events that will be laden with food, cravings can sneak up and bite me in the ass. The next thing I know, I find myself with half a carrot cake smeared across my face.

It felt good to practice the fine art of reality during vacation. Rose-colored it’s not, but it fits much better than perfection. I never thought I would be happy about gaining a little weight, but I’m pretty damn proud of myself. Of course, I will remind myself of that for the next week and a half when I put in extra time on the stationary bike. Why is it that the weight arrives so quickly, but lingers like unwanted houseguests?

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