The terrible price of becoming a size 8

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The terrible price of becoming a size 8

One of the biggest ironies about going on a diet is that you constantly think about food. Personally, I find it almost impossible to be satisfied with the other pleasures of life when I am on a diet. I’ve tried shopping, going to a spa, even clubbing to forget my hunger. But nothing works.
I did lose six kilos once in high school, after four weeks on the “tomato diet.” Every day I ate 15 to 20 tomatoes, six glasses of water, a piece of toast and three hard-boiled egg whites. It was torture, although I did go from size 10 to size 8, which seemed really important at the time. I was able to wear my prom dress, which, typically, was designed to be a burden to any girl with ordinary hips. (The tragedy of my prom continued with my date, Andrew, who was so proud to be a medical student that he rushed from his lab to pick me up in his jeans and T-shirt, bringing his tuxedo in a bag but leaving his tie at home. I am glad those days are over.)
One of my girlfriends back then, who was just as obsessed as I was with counting calories, lost more weight than I did and won a prize in a Miss Korea beauty pageant. Unfortunately for her, it wasn’t a case of “happily ever after,” as she was picked up by a director for an intolerable film about an extramarital affair. The movie never found a distributor. Another friend went on a “tortilla diet,” eating only bags of tortilla chips and Diet Coke. Luckily, she is still alive.
The tomato diet was so traumatic that it’s only been a few years since I started eating tomatoes again. A few months after the diet, I gained the weight back. After college, I somehow lost weight without trying. Now, for the sake of my mental health, I don’t step on scales, even at a public bathhouse.
Strangely, I craved rice cakes (tteok) whenever I was on a diet. I could pass up rice, steak and chocolate fudge, but I couldn’t make it without rice cakes. My mother used to get a bag of mugwort rice cakes for me from a mill whenever I went on a diet. She’d go early in the morning to buy them plain, before the ladies coated them with soybean flour or put sugary stuffing inside.
Since those days, my theory of dieting has changed: Eat as you wish; digest well.
Another diet tip? Every night before bed, drink a cup of water with a pinch of charcoal powder and three teaspoons of vinegar mixed in. In three weeks, you will be a new person.
I am kidding.

How to Cook

Ingredients: 2 cups of glutinous rice, 3 teaspoons of mugwort paste, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 2 teaspoons of sesame oil, a pinch of salt, 1/3 cup of water. Makes 4 servings.
1. Wash the rice well and soak it in water for 2 hours.
2. Add the salt and crush the rice until it’s finely ground.
3. In a bowl, mix the rice with the mugwort paste.
4. In a pot, stir the sugar into the water and boil for about 5 minutes.
5. Add the water to the rice.
6. Mix the dough well. Press the rice cakes in small round shapes.
7. Steam the rice cakes over low heat in a steamer for about half an hour.
8. Serve plain or with honey.
Provided by, Delicook

by Park Soo-mee
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