Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Tragic Love Story: The Perfect Cookies and Growth

Let's completely digress into the personal arena today.

Over the past 2-3 months I have gained 15 pounds! Prior to this adventure in weight gain I weighed about 5-10 pounds more than when I got pregnant the first time. Back then, at only +5-10, I figured that wasn't too bad for having two babies in two years. I decided that I wasn't going to be morose and self deprecatory about the weight and instead I was going to take a healthy lifestyle approach to (hopefully) a gradual weight loss.

Then, to place the blame where it belongs, my husband went on the hunt for the perfect chocolate chip cookie. (I love you, sweetheart!) It really was a wonderful hunt. We started with the generic cookie recipes on the back of the chocolate chip bags and were disappointed. That didn't stop the two of us from consuming each batch, mind you.

Then we moved on to a recipe my aunt kindly sent me in response to my post asking for recipe contributions. Her recipe was really good actually. We ate that entire batch as well.

But one fateful day we remembered that about three years ago the New York Times had published something on the perfect chocolate chip cookie. He went searching online and found it. The recipe was terribly complicated. It requires two kinds of flour neither of which are all-purpose. It requires a sifter. Most importantly, it requires patience. According to the article you need to stick the dough into the refrigerator for 36 hours before cooking. Really, you make cookie dough and then don't cook it? But he was determined. He bought all the ingredients and made the dough.

Now, we didn't wait. We baked two cookies that first night. They were very good, but not exceptional. Then we put the rest of the dough in the refrigerator and baked two more the next night. Wow!! They were even better. That still was only 24 hours and we wanted the full effect so we waited one more night to bake the rest. Oh my goodness were these cookies wonderful. Seriously, best cookies ever. You need to try the recipe and really do put the dough in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours. It makes an amazing difference.

At this point I had eaten half of several batches of cookies, but my husband wasn't done yet. He needed to find the perfect chips for his cookies. He started working his way through every kind of chocolate chips found in our local grocery store. That's at least 4 kinds.

And then I stepped on a scale to confirm my suspicion that the feeling that my wedding rings were getting tight was not in my imagination. And our love affair with the New York Times cookies came to an end. It is very sad. Very, very sad. I didn't even let him try the last bag of chips he had bought. The bag is sitting forlornly in the pantry calling to us.

And so, here I am 15 pounds heavier and still trying to keep a positive, healthy attitude about the situation. I have started by eliminating treats (cookies) and soda. I am watching portion control closely. Finally, I am increasing vegetables in my diet considerably. I like vegetables, but they're so much more work than the carbs that I love. So far, after about one week of the new plan, I am already 4-5 pounds down. I'm not sure exactly how that happened, but I'll take it. Now to continue the effort when the novelty and rate of weight loss decreases will be the real trick. That and resisting that last bag of chips.

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