I’m having an affair.
My kids know, of course, because they’re often with me when it happens.
I know it’s wrong, but no matter how many promises I make to myself, I seem unable to stop it. Much as I hate to admit it, I’m in love… with french fries.
I truly loathe my weakness. I know it’s bad for my relationship with my thighs, but I can’t seem to help myself. I tried going cold turkey, but that didn’t work. So, I thought maybe if I brought it out into the open, it would help me to quit. But my friends were less than supportive.
“Ugh. How can you eat that stuff?” asked a friend I confided in. “It’s so bad for you.”
“I know, I know.” I agreed. “But it tastes so good.”
“Yeah, it does,” she said longingly. She, too, has done battle with her french fry demons.
Finally after much soul searching and weight gain, I decide to come clean to my husband. One night after a healthy dinner of chicken and vegetable stir-fry, I faced him.
“Honey, I have a confession to make,” I began. He looked at me, his eyes filled with love and trust.
“I’ve been eating french fries,” I admitted, burying my face in my hands. I was so ashamed. But he reached across the table and took my hand.
“How did you know?” I asked incredulously. I thought I had been so diligent about hiding the evidence.”
“There was salt on the dashboard in the car. And I could smell the grease.”
I shook my head despondently. “I thought I’d gotten over this. The health club. The Paleo diet. But after the kids were born... it was so hard to stay away.”
“I understand,” he said. “It happens to a lot of people. If not french fries, maybe Twinkies. You need some help. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.”
I thought about all those nights sneaking around… eating in the laundry room… rationalizing to myself, “They’re just potatoes. Potatoes are good for you. It’s not like I’m eating chocolate, for goodness sake.” But the truth was, they weren’t just potatoes. They were fried potatoes. And I had made a promise to myself and my husband on my wedding day that my fried food days were behind me. Unfortunately, I discovered it wasn’t something I could just turn off. It was a constant battle. However, once I got past the shame, I was able to look at the whole affair more honestly and objectively.
“French fries smell good and they taste good and they make me feel good when I eat them, gosh darnit!”
“But how do you feel after you eat them?” asked a reformed french fry eater, who shall remain anonymous.
“I don’t feel so good about myself,” I admitted.
“That’s good. That’s the first step in giving up the fries,” she said.
I’ve now been french fry-free for almost two months. Some days I drive past the fast food places and I feel a familiar twinge. But then I get home, I take out my swimsuit and I feel better about how far I’ve come.
They say the best way to break a bad habit is to replace it with something good. I know I’ll never get over my first love, but I think I’ve found something that will help me kick the french fry habit for good:
Sweet potato fries.
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