How many times do I have to explain this? Fries are potatoes, and potatoes are vegetables

Much like GOB Bluth, I’ve made a Huge Mistake.

(now there’s a pop-culture reference from the wayback machine)



I have been living in loose linen pants and cute “joggers” (it’s what J. Crew calls sweatpants so they feel fancy?) during this whole quarantine.

So imagine my surprise when I went to put on a pair of jeans with an actual waistband (gasp) for the first time and not only would they not zip, they just did. not. fit.

This is where the mistake comes in: I stepped on the scale.

I actually screamed. I cried a little bit.

My husband, Brian, came running into the bathroom.

“I GAINED A LOT OF WEIGHT,” I yelled at him, as if it were somehow his fault.

“Who hasn’t?” he said with a chuckle. “I’m sure our eating habits haven’t been helping.”



Me: (makes horrified face) (gasps) (does something overly dramatic)

No, that simply isn’t true.

I’m a healthy eater. I eat spinach and quinoa and a generally whole food, vegetarian diet because I like it. Nobody has to tell me to eat my veggies — I’ll eat a whole plate of them!

Pre-quarantine, we’d go for runs and walks all the time, ride bikes, or go to the park district fitness center for runs around the indoor track (at my blistering pace of a 13-minute mile. Cue the “Chariots of Fire” music. Look out, Usain Bolt.)


It sounds vain, but I’d worked really hard to lose nearly 100 pounds through diet, exercise, and crying over not eating goldfish crackers, with a personal trainer several years ago.

But now, here I am. To be fair, I believe I’ve mentioned I had thyroid cancer, and not having a thyroid makes things rough weight-wise.

And, hey, I’ve been getting in all the food groups: Peanut butter, marshmallows, pizza, and Portillo’s shakes and fries.



Ope. Hold up. This just in: Sources are now telling me these are not the food groups — they are my quarantine food groups and may be part of the problem? Then I suppose this is also where I admit to drinking pop regularly for the first time in more than a decade.

Listen, it’s not like Brian is on a first-name basis with people from the bakery down the street because he stopped in so many times to get us doughnuts. And possibly a cookie for later. (shifty eyes)

Holy moly. I guess I’ve got my work cut out for me.

It means cooking (we are both good at this and have eleventy billion cookbooks!) But it also means planning ahead so we’re not all LET’S MAKE FROZEN PIZZA (but we are so bad at time management and bad at time management = bad at food decisions = why we have “emergency frozen pizza” at all times) And leaving the house. EEK. It’s cold outside?

OK, OK. I’ve done this before. It’s hard. There won’t be any shakes-and-fries dinners for awhile. But once I’ve finished that next 5K, it’ll be worth it.

• Melynda has worked at the Daily Herald for 21 years. She loves running. REALLY SHE DOES. So she’ll be getting back to it now because she loves fries even more.


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Don't be fooled by pretty food, USC research warns

Mon Nov 16 , 2020
IMAGE: USC researcher Linda Hagen found that food that is presented and styled expertly was often perceived as better or more natural. view more  Credit: (Photo/iStock) As the holiday season nears, thoughts of pumpkin pies, roasted chestnuts and turkey dinners fill our dreams and our grocery shopping lists. While visions of […]
Don’t be fooled by pretty food, USC research warns

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