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Opening Arguments

Splurge a little

This makes Michelle Obama seem more like a regular person and less like an eat-your-vegetables-now scold:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Michelle Obama said "splurging is the key to life" if you regularly eat right and stay active. Her biggest guilty pleasure: French fries.

"How would you appreciate vegetables if you never had chocolate?" she asked. "You couldn't live without a little chocolate, a little French fries."

The first lady took questions from children reporters Monday after appearing at the White House Easter Egg Roll. She told the children that if they eat right the majority of the time, then a splurge or snack is not going to hurt them.

"I still splurge when I can, but that's why I try to exercise almost every day," she said.

I pretty much agree with her, but I suspect my splurges might come a little more often than she would approve of. Like I keep telling my cats, if you demand them all the time, they can not longer be called "treats." I haven't learned that lesson either.

Her basic point is a valid one. Obsessing all the time about what you eat and how you live creates the kind of stress that can shorten your life faster than anything. If you always have the idea of a coming splurge in the back of your mind, any dutiful regimen can be made more tolerable.