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Lovers of justice cry out with me please as I lament over the sad fact that I was born with the wrong metabolism. Surely this was a case of mistaken identity…a tweak in my DNA that was not to have happened. It was a mismatch, because in my DNA I was granted the love of food, so surely I should have been blessed with the metabolism to burn off calories instead of having my body horde each one and save it in a vault of fat….COME ON!!!  Why give me this love and appreciation for all things culinary and then stick it to me by making me a lard butt? So, I am having a pity-party and you are all invited.

I am sure that if this were an actual event, there would be tons of
people, or people who weigh tons, in attendance…and that fact is lamentable in itself.  Like many others, I have been cursed with the metabolism of a flipping hippopotamus with thighs to match. That being the case, I have spent my life on the see-saw of weight gain and weight loss … and weight gain … and it sucks.

I know. I know. Yes, I really know! This is my fault and a product of living my life without proper discipline and not sticking to a healthful plan of eating and exercise.  I confess out loud; although my body does that for me every time I squeeze into a pair of jeans that are a little too tight, unkindly proclaiming with flashing neon lights: “Hey everybody, here comes Fat Butt.”  Hey … I said this is a pity party remember?

What brought on this pity party you may ask. The answer to that is Porto’s Bakery & Café http://portosbakery.com/, (Visit their website and see for yourself.)  It is a special place from heaven that is designed to tantalize and delight every sensory preceptor in a human body.  Up until two weeks ago, I had only heard about this wonderful place and was left to my imagination about what it must be like. (Like floating sugar clouds and harps playing sweet music, with chocolate rivers…true Willy Wonka-ish.) Then, a few weeks ago…I had to drive my Sister to the Burbank Airport, when I saw this line of people standing in front of this building on the corner of Magnolia and Hollywood Way…at Porto’s Bakery and Cafe. We passed by…but too late, the location had been indelibly marked in my psyche.

So after picking my Sister up from the airport on the following Sunday morning and thoroughly tempting her with breakfast at Porto’s, we found ourselves in the Sweet Nirvana of Porto’s Bakery. As soon as the car was parked and we exited, the wonderful scent of sugar lifted us off our feet and floated us through the doors of the bakery. We got in line and ordered sensibly…no really! Our plan was to have breakfast and then being fully satiated, we would then be more reasonable when it came to ordering a box of delicacies to take home.  So we ordered cappuccino and Cuban breakfast sandwiches, with Chorizo and egg, and the thinnest plantain chips…Yum. Yum I say!!!  The sandwiches were huge, so we had to get boxes to take the remainder home.

Then we were ready. I could feel my heart start to beat faster as we stood in line to pick from all the beautiful pastries.  There was a separate line for people picking up cakes. Everyone in front of us was walking out with four and five boxes each.  My plan of action was to have my Sister (the skinny one) and Mother (also thin) choose the pastries … less responsibility on my shoulders, as if that
would some way negate any of the calories associated with those choices. Yeah Right. The choices were unbelievably beautiful. How she managed to pick from all of the pastries was beyond me. I would have said, “One of each, please. Oh pretty please?”

Somehow, my Sister came away with just one box.  People looked at us strangely. I guess there is an unwritten law that you never leave Porto’s with just one box.  At the check-out register we were shocked with delight at how inexpensive our box was. How could it be that such heavenly treats cost so little? Now I understand the multiple boxes that were carried out per customer.

I am so thankful that I do not live anywhere near a Porto’s, since I have already proven that I do not have the ability to police the cravings that control me. There are just some smells that act like hooks and drag you toward the diet downfalls and insist that you partake.  Porto’s is one of those places.  If I lived nearby, I know it would be a constant battle to try to stay away.

I am happy to say that I did exercise constraint when it came to that box of edible happiness. I did not sneak it into a closet or hide it from my family. We shared and we all enjoyed every morsel of the buttery pastries filled with the lightest custard we ever tasted.  When I saw that my Mother had taken the last pastry to enjoy with her morning coffee two days later, I was filled with relief that I could now walk into the kitchen without having to struggle with the  magnetic pull of that box. The diet downfall had disappeared and life could return to normal. No more pastries in my kitchen. Yay I say with a tinge of regret.

So… it just happens that my Sister, who has recently moved into the area, is a frequent flier and I, as her sister, just happen to be the one who is her designated chauffeur to and from her airport of choice … Burbank. Yep, the same one that is down the street from Porto’s Bakery, the source of my latest pity party. Why oh why can’t I be one of those women who stay slim and svelte and still eat anything their hearts desire?  Why could I have not been programmed with the gene that would make me an exercise fanatic who enjoy running and sweating, so that anything I ate would just fuel me instead of bloat me? Why me? Why me?  Is that pathetic enough? After all, a pity party should have just enough pathetic blubbering to make it pitiable, right?

Okay… onward. I am not thoroughly without common sense. I hate the guilt that is associated with self-sabotage and I refuse to let Porto’s tasty treats take up permanent residence on my thighs. So I have a plan of action.  Tonight, I have to once again go to the Burbank Airport to pick up my Sister… but this time, I have laid out an alternative route that bypasses Porto’s. This new route does not go anywhere near the boundaries of that sweet smell. There will be no pastries in pretty boxes in my car tonight. Even if my skinny Sis requests that we make a stop at Porto’s … the answer will be an emphatic NO WAY for the sake of my DNA.

So despite the resolve to be all shiny and bright, I believe that today’s party is warranted. No more Porto’s is reason enough to have a pity party — sans the pastries please.