Ah, the holidays. Treasured memories of time spent with friends and family, cheerful music and decorations, the fun of shopping for the perfect gifts...and the inevitable internal battle against the most delicious food available all year. We all say the same thing. "Well, it's the holidays. I'll just start eating better on New Years." This, my friends, is what has gotten me into so much trouble in the past and is already threatening my commitment this year. Not that I have been the best at watching my calories, especially since the wedding. But over the last couple of weeks I've actually been doing pretty well and (mostly) sticking to my promises. I've only had two cups of coffee in three weeks, and the dairy, although not entirely out of my diet, has been cut way down. I've had a couple slices of pizza here and there, but for the most part, the only dairy I'm eating (in moderation) is raw or goat's milk cheese. I've also been going to the gym, enjoying Tai Chi, and getting out with the dogs. Quite obnoxiously, however, my weight has actually gone up. I have no clue what I'm doing wrong, but this little fact definitely scared me as I got ready to face "The Big One"; Thanksgiving.
The night arrived and my mother and I headed over to her best friend Judy's house for a night of feasting and merriment. Judy, although not a professional chef, is one of the most amazing cooks I have ever known. I have known her since the day I was born and over the years she has helped provide food for many birthdays, holidays, and family dinners. I was expecting yet another insane dinner, and I was not disappointed. The spread was grand and the scene was like a five star restaurant. I came with every intention of trying "just a small bite" of everything. Yeah right. I knew I was beaten before I even sat down. I was completely stuffed by dessert but I ate that too...for who could resist a giant, gourmet chocolate turkey with chocolate "stuffing", along with a homemade pumpkin roll with toffee bits and fresh whipped cream? Not this girl.
The next morning, I hauled my bloated body out of bed and headed out from Union Station to Stamford, Connecticut to visit my dad, step-mom, and little brother (Jake). My stepmom is the sweetest person in the world and loves to dote on me whenever I visit. Any guesses to what the doting might include? Yup....lots and lots of food. As soon as I arrived it was all about the food. Again, I had every intention of taking it easy but when you are used to being the cook and now all of the sudden you have someone else making delicious, homemade treats for you, it's pretty hard to pass up. The family also likes going out for (or taking out) meals so I was treated to Mexican, Italian, NY style deli, bakery goods, and, well, you name it. I took full advantage. I mean, it's a celebration, right?
I did get to my dad's gym early on Saturday morning when he asked if I wanted to go. I was surprised and pleased with myself for taking him up on the offer, but I admit that when finding a parking spot proved difficult, I secretly hoped he would give up and turn back towards home. But we found a spot and I got in a good hour workout of cardio combined with weights and body work. Dad likes to workout for much longer than I am used to, so I guess that was a good thing. I might have burned off just a bit more of the giant chicken Marsala platter than I normally would. I also took the dog for a couple of walks and one route included an enormous hill. I was sweating through my multiple layers of winter wear in the windy, Connecticut evening.
So the weekend was not a total loss but my pants were nonetheless feeling the effects as I rode the train home on Monday morning. Tonight, as I write this and get ready for my Tai Chi class, I wonder what kind of restraint, if any, I will show come Christmastime. Billy and I celebrate twice...once with his family and once with mine. That means double the holiday calorie fest. In the next few weeks, I'll try to find ways to "be good" before doomsday. My pants will hopefully thank me for it.
Published On: December 07, 2010