Viewpoint: Enchiladas remind me I need to exercise

I made fun of them: bacon enchiladas.

They were the most over-the-top-food I had ever seen on a Mexican restaurant menu. And that’s saying something. I eat a lot of Mexican food.

Needless to say, they weren’t anything I would even consider eating. I think I used the words “blatantly unnecessary, artery-clogging, freak sideshow novelty of a dish.”

Until a moment of weakness, that is. That moment came last Thursday. I ordered them.

It was clearly a low point for me. How did I get there? Stress, my friends. I was stressed.

My homework was overwhelming, exams were upcoming and the pile of dirty dishes in my sink became a mountain too tall to climb. The bacon enchiladas became a way out of the rabbit hole, an escape from my normal self.

I ate them.

I didn’t enjoy them. Even as I lifted the first forkful into my mouth, I was aware that I would feel acutely guilty about my calorie count later. Since it was already late — about 8 p.m. — and I had homework due in my next-day 8 a.m. class, I didn’t exercise that night, either. That didn’t help.

And you know what? The eating of comfort food, an experience meant to be comforting, just added to my stress level. I despaired.

The next day, I pulled myself up and did an extra 30 minutes on the treadmill. It was more work, and it made me more tired than I already was, but I did, miraculously, feel better.

It goes to show: The easy way out may offer some temporary relief, but often, you’ll pay for it later. The hard, right way might make you more tired but will benefit you more ways than one.

Exercise, my friends, is good.