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Pecan Pie for the Mind: Sweet tea is the South's summer siren
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Each year when the South gets too hot for its own good, I begin my epic struggle with sweet iced tea. And - as in years past - I fully expect to lose. Sweet tea is my weakness, and the hotter it gets, the more I drink. The more I drink, the more pounds I gain. Why is sweet iced tea so much like the Siren? According to myth, the Siren's song doomed those who were entranced by its beauty. Sweet tea is my Siren, and she sings the loudest during these long days of summer. And each year, I listen, search her out, drink glass after cooling glass and then wonder why my pants don't fit.

I have one horrible photo taken last July when I was at my lifetime weight peak. Most of the weight was from years of sweet tea and desserts. As an aside, I have a reputation at the local Piccadilly. As soon as I walk in, I'm greeted with "Ah! It's the guy who loves yellow cake with chocolate icing!" They know me well, but there have been fewer cake purchases since last summer. Over the winter, I resolved to return to health. Since then, I've lost 30 pounds from my "fat photo" peak. My weight is now as low as it's been in decades. I should be happy, but I have this dread that all my work will be lost as summer progresses. I hear my cold, sweet Siren, and her call grows louder each day.

As I said, I know my weaknesses. Sweet tea is at the top of the list. Today, while working in the yard, all I could do was dream of cold, iced tea. I fought the urge and won this time. I skipped the sweet tea and drank cold water with dinner. But, I know I can't fight this forever. Soon, gallons of sugary iced tea will start flowing, and my pants will once again tighten, and I will avoid cameras. When that happens, it's just a slippery slope back to those yellow cakes with chocolate icing at the Piccadilly. They're at the top of my list too. They taste wonderful on a hot day, with a few glasses of cold, sweet iced tea.

David McCoy, a notorious storyteller and proud Yellow Jacket, lives in Conyers. He can be reached at