June 19, 2013
Written by Kim Bensen
Tuesday, 28 September 2010 23:00
As soon as we piled out of the minivan, I smelled it Fried. It doesn’t matter “fried what,” just that odor of anything frying is unique. It was Big E fair day, and, for my family, nothing could be better!
With light sour cream in a little container, I was prepared. We had been coming for years, so I had learned how to eat healthy. The first thing on everyone’s mind was, “What’s for lunch?” No lack of choices here. Greek, Indian, Mexican; every ethnic food was here, including with the most popular of all —fried food.
“Fried” at the Big E is definitely its own subculture. There’s fried dough, doughnuts, vegetables, cheese curds and French fries (hence their name). There’s fried seafood and turkey legs (yes, those large turkey legs are indeed dipped in oil to the tune of nearly 1,300 calories. Yikes).
I remained untempted. But then I rounded the last aisle in the New England Center, and there they were. It was like we had never been apart!
At our last encounter 10 years ago, I had devoured many of them: the Big E cream puff! Oh, that light, flaky shell, towering with homemade whipped cream. How lovely, succulent (imagine romantic music being interrupted by a needle being dragged across the record).
What was I thinking? I shook my head to clear it. Yes, they tasted — divine. The last year I bought them I was 350 pounds and limping past the cream puff counter on my way to check out scooter rentals. I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t ride the elephant with my kids. I couldn’t fit on the rides. I couldn’t sit at a picnic table without flipping it unless all four of my children were on the other side.
This year I ate well, voluminously even, but healthy — ears of corn, hold the butter, thank you; shrimp cocktail; baked potatoes with steamed broccoli (and my own light sour cream); fresh apples; light cheddar cheese; maple cotton candy; and smoked salmon on a stick.
My belly was full. My heart was light. And, at the end of the day, I checked my pedometer and saw that I had walked no less than 15,000 steps, burning an additional 600 calories. Part of me said, “Take the weight loss.” But I’m glad I listened to the other part that said, “Enjoy your treat.”
So, under twinkling carnival lights, with the sound of band music floating on the breeze, I sat unconcerned at a nearby picnic table and split a giant Big E cream puff with my son, Adam. Ahhh ... the sweet sigh of success!
Kim Bensen, a lifetime yo-yo dieter who lost more than 200 pounds, lives with her husband and four children in Southern Connecticut. To sign up for Kim’s free e-News, go to KimBensen.com.
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