Ed Levine's Serious Diet, Week 156: Do Birthday Week Pounds Count?

Mama Els' Recipe (8pc, $27, or sold individually)

[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Of course they do. My birthday was yesterday, and even before I partook in the fried chicken and banana cream pie lunch that the SE'rs had waiting for me at SEHQ after I came back from a meeting, I knew I was in serious trouble.

How serious? Yesterday morning I told them I was thinking about giving myself a one week Serious Diet birthday furlow. I was just going to skip a week by invoking the birthday thing. Erin strongly urged me to face the Thinner music and cited my previous birthday posts as precedents. So even though I am going to feel profound embarrassment and downright shame, I will get on the scale this morning.

The beginning of the week started off promisingly enough. Thinner read 222 when I got on her on Wednesday.

But after a dinner with friends at Ardesia, a wine bar with exceptional food, my Thursday weigh-in was really discouraging, 224 to be exact.

Then my birthday menu, sticky buns from Bouchon Bakery for breakfast; fried chicken, banana cream pie, and chocolate mousse cake for lunch; and just a few bites of scallion pancake and scallion egg fried rice for dinner, pushed me over the edge.

Well, there's nothing I can do about the past. I'm just going to get on Thinner, read it and weep, and move on.


Here we go. 224, up three pounds. Those numbers are tough to see. What will I do? Learn from my mistakes, move on, and look at the bigger picture, which shows that I have gotten considerably smaller in the previous 155 weeks.