With every new year comes new year's resolutions. The most popular one is to lose weight. We make our lists and we put it out there. This year I am resolute about my resolutions. I am taking the weight off.
Then why are you eating a piece of carrot cake while you write this, you sarcastically ask? Well, allow me to best answer your question with a question, Who died and left YOU "food police"? Put the fork down and back away from the table, you say? Okay, you don't have to get nasty. I promise I'll start after I finish dessert.
I confess. Book me, Dano. I am hereby charged with reckless eating. Take down my confession: I've grown accustomed (literally) to holiday feasting. Is that so wrong?
Shouldn't that be considered a crime of passion or something. Can't I get off on lesser charges, like jaywalking. Why must you make a federal case of my ever growing waist.
Stop saying, "You know, once you go aholiday eatin', you'll never stop acheatin'"? Are you, dear conscience a poet and don't know it. Must you rhyme every time. Groan at me if you will, just tell me one thing, Are you going to finish that meatball hero?
It all started on Thanksgiving. No, more like Halloween. Yes, infamous All Hollow's Eve. When one-eyed pirates and fairy princesses call on you for treats. I'd much rather trick them.
My trick is answering the door with my mouthful. So what kid, I ate all the good candy and left you only the Sour Tarts and Waxed Lips. I had to. It was self-defense. A three-foot tall Spider-Man was stalking me. It was eat or have no more Hershey Special Darks left to be eaten!
Three Musketeers indulgences trickle over to pumpkin pie indulgences. And then...it's Thanksgiving. I love the spirit of the occasion. You give thanks, really something we should all be doing much, much more of. Try it with me. I am thankful for butternut squash, cranberry sauce and stuffed mushrooms. I am thankful for garlic mashed potatoes and broccoli-rab. Didn't that feel great?! Gratitude is truly a virtue. And let me tell you, all that appreciating sure makes a gal hungry. There to answer the call of hunger is a fresh, out-of-the-oven Gingerbread Man looking at me with those big, blue M&M eyes, asking the question:
"Is there ever a good time to start a diet?"
Reindeer Cookie, wise beyond his years answers, "Not really. Just like there is never a perfect time to have a baby." Wow, reindeer cookie is deep. He must be a Buddhist. To keep him from talking, he gets eaten. Again, self-defense.
There has to be a good time to start eating right. And I am going to find it, by God. Well, it's definitely not December, I can tell you that much. I have somewhere to go every night of the week in December. Frolicking to and fro, from holiday party to holiday party. I haven't "partied" this much since weekends at the college dorm where I'd wake up in last night's clothes and eat cold pizza for breakfast. All that holiday partying sure makes one hungry again. No problemo. There's food everywhere in December. Not just any old, run of the mill food, either. Exotic, odd, even scary stuff comes out this time of year in an Italian household: Baccala, Scungille (and the rest of the Sopranos), all battered and fried and threatening to raise your cholesterol if you don't give 'em respect.
But wait, this relentless food-frenzy doesn't end with the birth of baby Jesus. Just one short week later and there's another baby that wants his props, Baby New Year (yeah, he's a diaper-wearing hack, but we dig him none-the-less). The ball drops, people kiss each other and we eat and drink ourselves into oblivion, or at least into the next year.
January 1st arrives. I wake up feeling bloated and bulky, but still not guilty. Hey, it's New Year's Day; everyone is off from work, the family gets together for a big dinner. Not just any dinner, but the mother of all dinners. Yes, New Year's Day eats like a Sunday in an Italian home. Dinner starts at 1pm with the anti-pasta shortly after breakfast and it ends at 8pm with the mixed nuts,espresso and ricotta cheesecake. January 1st is another good eating day, but not a good time to start watching your weight by any means.
Along comes January 2nd. It hits sometime around 7pm after you come home from work, sit in front of the tv with some holiday leftovers (honey-balls and a glazed ham) when a diet pill commercial comes on, then an Ab Roller commercial, and then the BowFlex ad. You are bombarded with hot, glistening, gorgeous bodies on the big screen while all you feel is flabby and gassy. You vow- I am never going to eat like this again. I am sick of myself. This is the year I am going to get cut, ripped, shredded, torn (and any other violently fit word you can think of). You fantasize about a new, amazing sex life. You write your resolutions on a piece of paper while eating maple walnut ice cream out of the container.
Two weeks pass. Each day you swear you'll start eating right. But hey... after all, it is still January. Very early in the year. Plus, January is such a drab, cold month. I'll start fresh in February.
Ahhh, February 1st arrives. It is time! I dust off my treadmill and buy some fresh produce only to remember that February 1st is Auntie Ann's birthday. And she makes the best suasage and pepper heros ever. Wouldn't want to offend her by not partaking of that Fudgie the Whale Carvel Cake I just bought her, now would I? I'll have to start on Monday. Monday, no doubt.
Monday falls into mid month somehow and before you know it, it's Valentines' Day; a day where showing love means stuffing your significant other with raspberry mouse-filled truffles and chocolate roses wrapped in techno-colored tin foil. Wonderful, just wonderful... one's butt becomes a tangible example of the effects of high fructose corn syrup.
I see little, pink paper cut-out Cupids in restaurants scotch-taped to the wall. I see gold heart-shaped boxes with red ribbon calling me "Hello, lover." Miniature stuffed teddy bears with pouty smiles gaze at me seductively. It is that time of year. And I am a sucker for romance. Guilty as charged. So sue me, give me a ticket; a moving food violation, whatever stupid thing you can think of. This is just how I roll. Why should I try to change myself to look like the chick in the Brazilian Fat Blasting Dance video? I'm not Brazilian and I'm not blasting anything. Call me a conscientious objector.
So there you have. That's my confession. Those are the facts that have led me to this moment right now.
Before you take me in... to that cold gymnasium in the suburbs... with three square meals of rice cakes each day.... please give me just one more week to say goodbye to all who are dear to me. Leave me here in my fat pants with the elastic waist. Leave me where I lay, with my box of assorted chocolates; each piece bitten slightly so that I can see inside.
Give me a week. Yes, that's it...a week! We have stumbled upon the answer to Gingerbread Man's question. I do declare, the first Monday in March is a perfect time to start a diet.