Thursday, November 16, 2017

Tis the Season (To Stuff It)

You may know by now that I am a semi-professional dieter. In my less than forty years on this planet, I have tried, in no particular order: low fat, low calorie, high protein, intermittent fasting, Slim Fast,  the 3-day Diet, the South Beach Diet, the ABS Diet, Super Shred, Jackie Warner's "This Is Why You're Fat," Dr. Phil's Weight Loss Solution, and a program very similar to Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem called Healthy Weigh. It would be easier and way less tedious to tell you the methods I haven't tried. I'm undoubtedly leaving some diets out, but you get the idea: in the battle of the bulge, I am a General.

I've had my shares of ups and downs (and ups again), but this time of year in particular is a struggle for me. September is my husband's birthday month, then we begin tailgate season, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and finally Christmas--whew! I read an article a couple of weeks ago that said the average American gains ten pounds between Halloween and New Year's. As usual, and I don't mean to brag, I'm way above average. I gain weight in the fall like an actress getting ready to play a part.

So far this year, I've done really well. I had a come-to-Jesus meeting with myself and decided that perhaps it was time to drop gluttony from my list of hobbies. I've been having some green juice for breakfast each morning, switched out my Diet Coke for coffee with Stevia, and cut out carbs and dairy as much as humanly possible (except on weekends, for which I gladly pay penance during the rest of the week). But now I've been stricken. I've had a cough and cold for over two weeks now, and my doctor told me it's a virus that will just have to run its course. I haven't worked out in almost three weeks, and yesterday, while waiting on a call from the vet's office about my senior dog, I stress ate a half a bag of baked Cheetohs. Old habits die hard, that much is true.

What I'm hoping to do for the rest of the year is find a balance between my usual jolly holiday heifer ways and eating like a Victoria's Secret model before a runway show. It's all about balance, right? Whatever that means.

I'll tell you what it must not, cannot include: I saw a recipe a few nights ago on Pinterest for cauliflower stuffing. Please note there is no picture of this dish included in the blog, nor am I providing a link to the recipe for that vile creation. Go ahead and eat your cauliflower stuffing any other day of the year that you please, but in my opinion, it should be illegal on Thanksgiving. Innocent turkeys did not give their lives so we could serve them up with steamed cauliflower on what is arguably the most decadent day of the year. And the first one to mention Tofurky is going to get hurt. It will not do, people. It simply will not do.

On the opposite end of the spectrum from cauliflower stuffing, this year those fine purveyors of stuffing over at Stove Top introduced their very own stretchy pants just for the upcoming holiday and, alas, they have already sold out. I guess everyone wanted the chance to "wear the stuff Thanksgiving is made of."

Featuring XXL pockets for extra stuffing. 
The question now becomes: what if I don't want to wear matching maternity pants around the family table? I want to wear regular pants, maybe even with a zipper and button closure, but I want to eat real, delicious food at the same time. Am I crazy? (Don't answer that.)

Maybe, just maybe, I can make some kind of compromise here. I'll enjoy myself during the holidays, but I won't enjoy all I can eat of everything I can eat. Perhaps I'll limit myself to just one piece of my Mom's homemade cornbread dressing (knowing that I will eat leftovers at least four more times, of course). And when it's time for dessert, I'll actually choose just one kind of cake or pie instead of sampling them all. Yes, these sacrifices seem like something I can do.

I also haven't weighed myself since I was stricken with this relentless cough, and that might have to wait as well. I'll get back to my green juice and black coffee diet, don't get me wrong, but I'm also going to enjoy life and all the things I love about this time of year. 'Tis the season, after all: to stuff it!