Have I mentioned how much I love French fries?
I love many forms of potato, but French fries are my favorite. If I had to qualify my love for potatoes I’d say the order goes something like French fried, tater totted, roasted, hash browned, mashed, chipped and soup. I feel like I have left something out, but if it is made from potatoes I’m sure I love it.
When my friends recently asked me where I wanted to celebrate my birthday I said I didn’t care, as long as we ended up somewhere with good French fries and they did not disappoint. I can attest to the legitimacy of the fries at Off Broad, I was in heaven with the truffle-laced version.
I wish I could say that the only time I eat French fries is on my birthday or other special occasions, but Tuesday can feel like a special day if I can justify some golden, crispy, starchy goodness, so any number of days of the year can become French fry days if you try hard enough.
Most of you set your goals and intentions for better living at the beginning of the year, but since our family (and my friends, it turns out) celebrate a lot of birthdays at the beginning of the year, it takes me a little longer to reach that reset button.
I have never been big on setting resolutions when I know that they will be killed in the first week, so I usually end up in the middle of January before I decide that it is time to get right with the Lord and fix all of my bad habits.
These last couple of years have been so stressful that I haven’t really set any intentions, since my biggest intention was simply to survive. Losing our dad just a month after finding out he had cancer, moving our mom to assisted living 5 hours from her home, and clearing out said home and getting it sold made for a pretty stressful time.
My sister and I survived that time in our lives with evening doses of Pringles and Chardonnay in front of Hallmark movies.
When I was growing up, illness meant the excuse for Pringles and ginger ale in front of the TV so it only makes sense that the adult version would be similar, but better.
It didn’t take long to discover that you can, in fact, get fat off of Pringles, Chardonnay, couch time. Grief and stress factor in, since there might be less of the trifecta if it weren’t for those two.
It turns out that no matter how many boxes you pack and load, no matter how much furniture you move, you can still get fat if your day ends with Pringles, Chardonnay and couch time.
It was probably best that the big sectional couch in the den was one of the first pieces of furniture to go. Many an hour of lounging and dog snuggling had occurred on that couch through the years, with room for all 5 humans and 4 dogs that we accumulated for our visits.
It was a deep, cushy and opulent couch with a chaise on one end and a recliner on the other. The corner at the bend held a collection of pillows and blankets meant to make your lounging time most comfortable, and we would fight over who got the best spots and blankets.
My dogs Hansel & Gretel and sister Jennifer’s Max & Emmie never got over the loss of that couch. When the three of us that were left and the four of them tried to squeeze onto the much smaller couch for our evening respite, their discomfort was clear.
We were not too comfortable either, but we had so many discomforts to focus on through the process that it became more of a joke for us, and we powered through in our need for some form of comfort, no matter how lacking.
This ritual went on for many months and trips back and forth to Virginia, but it turns out that if you don’t want to look like a potato, you need to get off the couch. And if you don’t want to look like a couch, you need to get off the potatoes.
We are now several months past that phase of our lives, but the results live on in lumpy and squishy addendums to my figure. It makes me sad, but sacrifices must be made in order to regain some composure and re-lose some pounds.
And so I embark, kicking and screaming, on a season of fewer potatoes and other decadent treats, less adult ginger ale and more time moving than smooshing.
I owe it to my current and future self and I know I will feel better for it. Thoughts and prayers are welcome, and if you catch me in an infraction to this commitment, be kind. It is a process and I cannot guarantee that I will succeed, but know that I will be trying really hard.
Why is it that when they say “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” they are never referring to French fries? Those salty, greasy, fried sticks of deliciousness are certainly capable of killing you, so why can we not count on them to make us stronger?
When I reach the pearly gates I will certainly be asking that question, but for now I will be trying to prolong the time it takes me to get there.