Thursday, July 19, 2012

When to "Cheat"

The picture you see here is of the coney fries at Roake's. I'm sure many have never experienced them, but for those that have, you cannot live knowing your health depends on your never having them again. The fries are skin-on and perfectly chewy and crispy at the same time. The coney sauce is spicy and rich, the cheese is gooey and fatty and delicious. The tomatoes add a fresh light juiciness to the otherwise rich meaty flavor. This to me is the epitome of greasy, grubby, fatty, over-indulgent, wonderful gut-busting food.

Everyone has their one dish that completely destroys their healthy eating intentions. I'm sure to some this giant platter of deep fried mush looks absolutely repulsive. But for me, this is my best friend and my worst enemy.

My mom, sister, and I have been using the lose-it app for awhile now and it's interesting how we all regard it differently. My mom and I are dieting veterans and take any restrictions on our eating habits with a grain of salt. But my sister is fairly new to this whole concept of keeping a food log. It was kind of interesting to watch her discovery of how many calories are actually in the foods she eats. I can recall a time when I hit that wall and went Special K crazy (we currently have about 6 boxes of various Special K foods in our pantry that belong to my sister now). At the moment she is perusing a coupon book and contemplating what food she can still eat "safely".

For my sister, something like these fries wouldn't be too much of a trip up. She'd have the self control to only eat a certain portion of them or to only eat a dish this calorie rich once before getting right back on track again. But for me, I give myself a day, and then it turns into two days, and then a week, a couple months, and then I have to start over again. Self control much?

So why point this out? Because what kind of life would I have left if I never got to eat coney fries again? Not one I want to live. I'm not gonna lie, if I had to choose between being fat and never eating this again, I'd have a hard time deciding. But there's no reason I can't have my fries and my health.

I think what I'm finally starting to master is learning when to cheat. The trouble seems to be that I have my fries, and then I have my cake, and my pie, and my burger, and my chicken wings and then I give up and start all over again a few months later. What I've finally managed to do is to pull myself out of my cycle. Yeah, I stopped tracking for several days, but I've been tracking and staying within my calorie range for the last three days and that's nothing to sneeze at considering how much I normally hate keeping a food log.

I feel as though I've overcome a hump that I've been trying to get over for years. I guess we'll see if it's as significant as I think.

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