My New Diet For The Holidays: Nooooooo!



I always find the food too tempting around the holidays.

“Mfphh…munch….smack, smack…when did I say that?”


With the holidays rapidly approaching, I already see signs of my inevitable downfall.  I’m not sure how it happens, but every year I end up convincing myself I can eat more at this time of year than I normally do.  Of course, it doesn’t help there are pies galore, a multitude of cookies, and endless sweets, treats and meats to seduce me.


Carving the turkey for Thanksgiving.

It’s never just turkey…there’s always, stuffing, potatoes, rolls, veggie casseroles, salads and more.

Take the Thanksgiving and Christmas meals as my prime example for an exercise in personally gluttonous behavior: Instead of a typical dinner with a single entrée and a side or two, I end up eating any number of entrées and a whole host of sides.  Worse, everything tastes so amazing I invariably go back for seconds.  Then after rolling on the floor and groaning over the fact my belly is stretched tighter than the Goodyear Blimp at high altitude, I’ll start in on pie—and that usually means pumpkin, apple and pecan!


Too much candy.

There’s candy everywhere! Where does it come from?

Or take candy.  Most any time of the year I like a piece or two of dark chocolate to finish off my evening meal.  Yet starting several weeks before Halloween and on into the New Year there are all these little bowls overflowing with candy that magically pop up around the house.  It’s like there’s a little candy fairy now living among us whose sole purpose is to destroy the last remains of my tooth enamel.  She waves a wand, and poof there’s candy corn, sugar pumpkins, 3 Musketeers, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Butterfingers, chocolates, candy canes and more to choose from all hours of the day.  Where does it come from, and why on earth did I think I might be immune to the possibility of an ever-expanding waistline?


Mmm.  Bliss Bars!

I could eat a quarter pan of these no problem as a teen.

I suppose I could blame it all on the folly of youth.  As a young teen, I had an extremely high metabolism and was skinny as a rail.  I could eat a big breakfast (like 4 or 5 bowls of cereal in a sitting), a big lunch (a couple sandwiches, a banana and some chips), consume 9 or 10 cookies with a milkshake after school and still be hungry by the time dinner rolled around.  Yes, I know it was a terrible diet and it isn’t fair.  Still, at the time I was blessed to basically eat what I wanted without consequence.


I'm definitely slowing down, the older I get.

These are now a rare treat.

I noted a major turn for the worse when I hit the ripe old age of 27.  At that point my metabolism slowed noticeably.  There was yet another downturn as I turned 35 and then still another when I turned 42, 45, 49, 50, 51, 51½—well, you get the point.  What’s up with this whole aging thing, anyway?  Why should young people have all the physical benefits like the ability to recover from injury, wrinkle-free skin, lots and lots of hair on their scalp, and especially a high-octane, belly-fat burning metabolism?


I do love pie.

Let’s see…you can take the pie out of the oven, but you can’t take the pie out of me. Hmm, must be a point, here, somewhere.

I’m straying off point.  I meant to say that the holidays have basically become this game of seduction—it’s a game of sugar and empty calories versus me.  If I eat too much (and I will), I’ll pay for it big time by packing on pounds.  Yet trying to avoid all the temptation feels next to impossible.  There’s so much food and it’s all incredibly delicious.


Naturally, I’m left trying to figure out what I might do to stay ahead of the game.  If I had a time machine, I could see setting it for January and then fast forwarding to skip over the extra thousands of  calories bound to tempt me between Halloween and New Years.  Of course, a time machine isn’t really an option.  Hmm…I suppose another option could involve wiring my jaw shut.  Trouble is I’m gabby and like to pontificate.  Frankly, there’s no way I could stand talking through my teeth.


Mmm...fresh buns!

When food comes out looking this beautiful, it’s hard to turn away.

In the end, the only possibility that appears to have any real merit is to train myself to say no.  In the olden days (i.e. sometime back in my twenties), people use to call this concept “developing a sense of willpower”.   Sheesh, it already sounds dreadful, doesn’t it?  I mean, can you imagine the chutzpah it will take to say, “Oh, golly, I’d love a piece of that amazing apple pie you spent hours baking for me, but I can’t because I’m all about vanity these days, and watching my middle, and at the moment that’s far more important to me than placating your feelings over pie?”  Or how do you think a comment like this would go over: “Yes, I know I only put 3 things on my plate, but unlike the rest of you who took all 95 I’m actually trying to exercise a bit of self-restraint and not gorge myself to the point I no longer fit through the door.”   Oh, believe me, the politics here are very, very tweacherous and twicky.


I do love that molten chocolate.

Okay, maybe I’ll have a piece of lava cake. Oh, while you’re at it, I’ll take a touch of ice cream on top. Thanks!

In truth, we are ultimately responsible for ourselves so choosing to say yes or no to food (or really anything in life) is a matter of our willingness to accept the consequences the choice implies.  I know I can only consume a limited number of calories without it affecting my weight.  Thus, my failure to act on this knowledge has a certain consequence of gaining unwanted pounds.  Rats! Phooey! Darn! Boo hoo and wah!


There's too much to eat!

I’d better be good…Santa’s watching.

This then is my new holiday diet plan—a real “beaut” if I must say.  Here’s how it goes:  If you offer me food, there is a fair to middlin’ chance I shall bravely screw on my happy face and reply with a firm, yet resounding, “Nooooooo!”  Now, please do not take offense at this sudden, unexpected outburst.  I realize you are only trying to extend your love though the food.  My “Nooooooo!” is not a rejection of you, nor does it in any way imply your love is not good enough for me.  Far from it!  Furthermore, there is every possibility your cooking skills are beyond reproach and the food you present has amazing qualities, which should not now, or for that matter, ever be missed.  In fact, I recognize the possibility I may be a complete and utter fool, an oaf, a lout, a boor, a cad, and even a swine of the worst kind for turning down your gracious hospitality.


Indeed, when I shriek the word “Nooooooo!” in a high, squeaky voice at 150 decibels while jumping up and down and waving my arms in front of my face to ward off evil spirits it means nothing more than I am trying to take care of myself.  Please don’t blame or mock my efforts—this dieting thing is hard.  And in truth, all I’m really doing is the best I know how to keep a handle on my love handles.  Got it?  Good.  Now, please pass me a couple more cookies, would you? They’re incredible!


What’s your favorite holiday treat—the one you find impossible to resist?  Why not share your story in the comments below?


If you enjoyed this post, you may want to see:
Thanksgiving:  It Wasn’t Always Turkey



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