By: Mary Fran Bontempo

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IMG_7870I can totally relate.

Last week, my son came home to find our dog, Casey, stuffed into the overturned kitchen trash can, happily munching away on her version of culinary delicacies. Casey was so transfixed by her good fortune–ordinarily, I remove the trash can from her relentlessly determined reach–that she didn’t even hear David come in. Plus, she was so deep into the can that she was essentially stuck. He had to alternate shimmying the can off her head and grasping her hind quarters and pulling to get her out. Not that she wanted out. She would have slept in there had he let her.

Needless to say, David was not happy; think Christmas Vacation and Eddie’s dog, Snots, wreaking havoc on the Griswold’s kitchen when Snots is found “nosin’ through the trash.” Casey, on the other hand, was positively blissful.

Note that Casey is a female. She is also by rights of her adoption by me 17 years ago, a Bontempo female. Which means she adheres to the first and most important rule of Bontempo females: Do NOT mess with our food.

Meg, Laura and I love to eat. We eat often and we eat a lot. And since we exercise like fiends, precisely because we love to eat, we figured it was cool. As long as our jeans fit, it was all good.

Until about a month ago, when my doctor’s office called after I’d had some blood work done.

“Mary, the doctor wanted me to let you know that your cholesterol was a little high,” the nurse said. “He wants you to watch your diet and he’ll check it again in three months.”

What? Watch my diet? Seriously? I rarely eat red meat, or processed foods. I order salmon every time we go out for a meal, even if a steak is calling my name. I’ve been known to bring a green bean salad to the beach for lunch while everyone else is eating calorie-laden vacation food. I never fry food when I cook and only occasionally indulge in french fries when out.

If I’m being honest, I like ice cream. And pizza. And chocolate. Okay, I really like chocolate. But I’m not eating ice cream and pizza every day. I am eating chocolate every day, but within reason. Well, my version of reason, anyway.

To tell you the truth, I was really ticked off. Like I said, I exercise regularly. I don’t smoke, and I drink only an occasional glass (or two) of wine. I’m very health conscious, so can we just leave my food out of this?

Food is my blankie. It’s my happy place. I wouldn’t exactly say I’m obsessed, by my husband can always tell when I’m on the phone with my mother because we’re talking about food. It’s hereditary. My grandmother was tuned into all food, all the time. If someone died and you asked her how the funeral was, she’d tell you what they served at the luncheon. In minute detail.

I’m trying to be a good girl, because I don’t want to go on medication. But it’s not looking good. Denied my food, I can get a bit surly. Okay, I breathe fire and sprout snakes on my head.

A few nights ago, someone tossed the remains of a piece of pizza in the trash can. I almost wrestled the dog for it.

Maybe a little Lipitor isn’t such a bad thing after all.

What’s your take on a cholesterol problem? Click “comments” below and share!