Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Everything's Better with Ranch

When I stopped working for The Man, I had this vision in my head that I was going to work out for several hours each day like all the celebrities do. Because, let's face it, that's the only way anyone can actually be in the shape your average famous person is in. I saw myself going to the local market twice a week, snacking on fresh fruit every day, riding my bike to and from Navy Pier early each morning, going to the gym during the day when no one was there, taking my dog for an hour-long walk along the lake every night, maybe even throwing in a few of my old Tae Bo tapes now and then for good measure. I was going to be the epitome of good health and fitness.

That hasn't exactly happened. By and large, I do eat fairly healthy foods. Any bread, English muffin, bagel or tortilla that goes into my mouth is always 100% whole wheat. I don't drink any pop ("soda" for you east-coasters) whatsoever. I eat a lot of berries and apples. I read every health-related magazine there is, including Nutrition Action (which I highly recommend for those interested in this sort of thing - it's published by the non-profit Center for Science in the Public Interest, has won many awards, Oprah is a big fan, and it's totally cheap!), so I know all the stuff to look for in any food I buy - be it groceries or out at a restaurant.

But every once in a while, I just have to indulge in treats that I know are awful for me. Like last night, I was out having a drink with a friend (shout-out to FC), and as soon as I saw "Mac 'n Cheese Bites" on the menu, my mind was made up. I pictured these little globules of pasta dripping with creamy cheese, but they were much worse than that. They were FRIED puffs of macaroni and cheese with ranch dressing dipping sauce! They rocked. This is coming from a girl who will get a deep-dish pizza and still order ranch on the side to dunk each bite into - which has made grown men watching me do this quite queasy. I love me some ranch!

Anyway, I'm trying to not be so hard on myself about failing to work out around the clock. I haven't gained any weight since I stopped working, I do get to the gym many times a week, I do walk my dog way more than I used to, and I still don't have a car so I walk to more places than most people in this country would ever dream. Most importantly, however, is the fact that the seal on the one bottle of ranch I have in my condo has remained unbroken. When I give in and open it and start pouring it on my whole-wheat bagel with low-fat cream cheese, I'll know there's a serious problem.

And with that, I'm off to the gym.

- e

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