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Sculpture by Fernando Botero

Any of you out there NOT go on a diet every now and then?  What is your ‘tipping point,’ that moment when needing to lose a few pounds outweighs the substantial joys of eating and drinking?

For me it’s my undies.  When they’re too tight, I know something must be done.  I turn a deaf ear when my outer clothes complain.  I hear them saying, “Help us!  We can’t stand the pressure!  We’re going to explode!” and it affects me not one whit.  But when my undies don’t fit, it just flat out makes me sad.  And I know that the moment has arrived to log in to MyPlate and start counting calories.  Bah.

That moment arrived last week, but I had to postpone the inevitable thanks to a houseguest who likes to eat and drink as much as we do; to  be honest, I didn’t mind a bit.  There was much tippling, much merriment, and way, way too much to eat.

Then a shocking thing happened:  my car died, the car that has carried me faithfully wherever I wished to go for 17+ years.  It was very upsetting.  The repair bill would have been sizable, and the mechanic opined there would be more big repairs in the not-too-distant future, so… time for a new car.

Not my car, but the same color as mine and almost as much dust as mine usually wears. Photo courtesy of it.wikipedia.org.

Except, of course, we don’t buy new cars; we buy used cars,  which, let me tell you, is a lot more work than strolling into a dealership and ordering up a brand new vehicle.  No!  This isn’t a digression – not this time.  It has bearing on the subject at hand.

Wednesday, which was the day I meant to start my big fat diet, was our first day of car-hunting, and it involved eating out here:

Root beer stand in a previous life?

Speedy thought his burrito was just as good as the ones he gets at our favorite Mexican Food haunt, Los Favoritos.  I had my usual as well, chiles rellenos – but they (there were two instead of my usual one) came with a huge side order of rice and an even huger side of refried beans, and lots and lots of soupy tomato sauce. I scarfed down both chiles and most of the beans.  Speedy finished the beans and we brought home the rice for later use.  If you find yourself on  East Main Street in Mesa give this appealing dive a try; the food was good and the service prompt and charming.  That was Day One of MBFD, right out the window.

I fared no better on Day Two, which was the day we narrowed our search down to two iterations of the same car.  One was way up in north Phoenix, more than an hour’s drive away.  The second was closer by in Mesa.  We had lunch that day at a newish Thai place   that we’ve been eyeing, not far from where we play golf.  It goes by the entrancing name of 5 R Cha which, it turns out, means 5 horses in Thai. ( Have you noticed that there’s a definite Horsey theme to this non-diet so far?)  Here’s my plate – another diet day down the tubes.

Reader, I ate it all.

Day Three of MBFD was hectic as we had to drive all the way back up to north Phoenix to buy the car we liked, a four-year-old Nissan Versa.  While purchasing a car goes pretty smoothly and quickly here, it still takes several hours what with all the paper work that must be done.  We had an important high-stakes golf game at 2 p.m., and didn’t have time for a sit-down lunch.  Instead we got sandwiches at Sclotzsky’s.  There are several of this chain around the Valley, and if you have never had one of their sandwiches, I recommend that you try one.  Delicious!  Perfectly toasted seedy bun holding turkey and perfectly ripe avocados: yum.  But, washed down with a coke, hardly a dieter’s delight.

Day Four of MBFD was recovery from all the driving and stress of the past few days (yes, buying a used car is stressful, even if you have the good fortune to fall into the hands of an honest salesman at an honest dealership - thank you, Scott).  What better way to get over battle fatigue than by eating an enormous Arizona steak, thick and juicy?  And what better accompaniment for that steak than a 2-pound baked potato swimming in melted butter?  I believe a small salad made an appearance as well.

So, today when I got on the scales for the first time in a couple of weeks I discovered why my undies were complaining.  Between the bon vivant guest and car-shopping I managed to put on 5 pounds.  Really.  5 R Bad.  So today, in spite of baking both cookies and bread, I stuck to the MyPlate regimen.  I’m hoping I lost all 5 pounds today so I can go back to my wicked ways tomorrow. But my undies say it isn’t so.

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