How much can a small taste of jalapeno dip really hurt?


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Thankfully enough, according to the calendar, winter has ended and spring is upon us. Spring brings with it summer fashions, stylish ensembles and the ever-famous changing out of the closet.

I am pondering it all as I write and I am nibbling on a meal replacement bar and washing it down with a plethora of water.

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This morning I had coffee without cream, I’m planning on a bowl of kale for lunch and will dine like a pauper for dinner.

Why, you might ask, would a woman who likes herself put her body through such agony? I’ll tell you this, I did not winter well and the battle of the bulge has commenced!

Due to my weight increase, I have added incline walking to my daily exercise, I play fetch with our puppy, Sadie, until she’s worn out, and subsequently my muscles are so sore that I now look like Quasimodo (the tower dweller of Notre Dame) when I have to go up and down the stairs.

I am not ignorant about weight loss and I have forgotten more about weight loss than most people will ever know.

You name it and I’ve done it. I’ve tried South Beach, Nutrisystem and everything in between. I’ve done Slim Quick, fat burners and once had the resolve to stick to the cabbage soup diet for an entire day-and-a-half.

I’ve lost and I’ve gained. In fact, I’m the great yoyo-er of my time. First I’m up 10 pounds and then I’m down five. No, wait! See? Now I’m up another seven.

There are those who will argue it is impossible to gain several pounds overnight, but I am here to contend that you absolutely can and I have a scale to prove it.

In fact, the poor little sucker sits in the corner of the bathroom and certainly must shake on its little peg feet before it has to tell me I gained five pounds on one single indulgence.

Take, for example, a recent celebration that involved a potluck dinner. Even though friends brought in brownies and luscious chocolates for the clan, I took nary a nibble.

Nor did I sample the beer bread with its delicious tidbits of bacon. No pasta either for this gal. After all, I can’t be packing on the carbs.

What I did do was treat myself to my friend Ann’s jalapeno dip and I tried to limit my serving (as mandated by the fine folks who brought us the food pyramid) to a portion the size of a shot glass.

Before you praise me for my resolve, read on. It wasn’t until I helped clean up at the end of the evening that I did it — I popped another lovely jalapeno dip sampling right into my mouth.

“Another little bite won’t hurt,” I thought to myself.  Then I told me, “Hey, it’s a celebration and those don’t happen every day!” I had several thoughts after that, up to and including, “Who’s to say how big a serving should be anyway?”

I’ll tell you this – it truly wasn’t over until the fat lady sang. What started with an innocent taste quickly turned into that five-pound weight gain.

“Oh, it’s just water weight!” my good friend consoled me. “It’ll come right back off.”

If only it had been so. Despite calorie counting, the ever-loving nibbling on a stalk of celery and exercising myself to the state of exhaustion, those five pounds have followed me through the remainder of last week and settled on into this one.

Since I still haven’t lost the five pounds I packed on during tax season, along with Ann’s jalapeno weight gain, I knew desperate times called for desperate measures and I marched myself straight to the doctor’s office.

“Lower your caloric intake and increase your physical activity,” the good doctor happily suggested. Then he chuckled before he added, “Perhaps you should play fetch with Sadie a little more.”

That’s a great idea! Perhaps I’ll start throwing a 15-pound shot uphill, wear leg irons, race Sadie to fetch it and then use my Quasimodo moves to race her up and down the stairs. Or, and this is just a thought, I’ll break the scale in half with my bare hands. That will really make it shake on its peg feet.

Lori Clinch is the mother of four sons and the author of the book “Are We There Yet?” You can reach her by sending an email to

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