Maid Rite (from the Marion, IA restaurant)
I’m a fan of cheap, kitschy restaurants that serve greasy food. Yep, I know it’s not good for my heart, but they are still good. There’s just something about a local greasy spoon restaurant that makes me happy. And if I can get fried vegetables there and eat outside, even better.
If you know me, you know that I can be found about once a week at a local restaurant called El Allende. They have the best Mexican food in town (really – no lie). The problem is that their tacos, while delicious and filling, can be sooo greasy. So invariably, while I enjoy my meal while I eat it, I spend the rest of the afternoon in a taco-induced coma regretting that last bite because I am so full.
As part of my “Farewell to Fat Tour”, I am visiting my favorite local restaurants one last time over lunch. I am also allowing myself to eat whatever snacks I want. But I am paying the price. I can literally feel my body screaming out in protest. Have you ever gone to a really restaurant, had a good meal, and later you could feel your arteries hardening or your liver screaming at you? That’s me right now.
Why am I allowing myself to do this? Here’s part of my thinking….if I can eat my fill of the stuff I know I will crave once the diet starts, then I won’t want it later. I had a friend who decided to quit smoking once. She decided she was going to smoke until she couldn’t smoke anymore. Basically, she was going to chain smoke until her body rebelled and even the thought of smoking turned her stomach. In a way, I am doing the same thing. Yeah, it probably doesn’t make much sense, but I have burned myself out on restaurants and foods before (Mac & Cheese, I’m talking to you), and I’m hoping for the same thing now.
I’m not being completely stupid about it. It’s not like I am on a 3 week binge where I am eating every waking moment. I’m just eating those things I want and those things I know I will miss.
I know that this weight loss program is only going to work if I give things up. If that means no more El Allende tacos, then that’s the way it has to be. If that means that I allow myself Cheri-Top drive-in once over the course of the summer, then so be it. If it means I can’t darken Maid-Rite’s door, then farewell to a Muscatine institution. Will I miss them? Probably. But this has gone on too long and my body is paying for it, my sanity is paying for it, my wallet is paying for it, and IT IS GOING TO STOP.
So I am asking for my body’s forgiveness as I go through my own mourning process. Mourning the loss of foods that I like, but that I know are not healthy; mourning the lack of grease; mourning the loss of atmosphere.