Monday after Thanksgiving. Yep. Tough day made tougher by coming off a candy and pie bender that actually felt good, like it’s my birthright to stuff dark chocolate-sea salt caramels into my mouth while standing in the kitchen staring into the fridge looking for something to eat. Oh, I forgot to say I was in my pajamas.
And this is just the beginning of the holiday season, a fever dream we don’t wake up from until January.Â Every year I say, “I’m not letting that happen to me, dammit! I will be awake and present and going to the gym while the rest of the sheeple are drinking eggnog milkshakes and waddling through the mall!”
But every year I fail.
When I read magazine articles or blog posts with titles like, “25 Ways to Survive the Holidays,” I actually believe I will eat a big plate of carrots before a holiday party in order to arrive full and therefore not subject to the temptation of hot dips made with cheese. It seems as if drinking three glasses of water for every one alcoholic beverage is indeed the way to comport oneself. Â And there is no better way to start the day after a big holiday humdinger of a party than by going outside for some resistance training through snow drifts.
After a few minutes of self-righteous reading I’m wondering, “Who are the assholes still gorging themselves onÂ those peanut butter cookies with the stars in the middle and washing them down with glasses of scotch while watching It’s a Wonderful Life for the 42nd time?”
Because it turns out all the skinny bitches are making chips out of Â kale to munch while they watch ElfÂ and craft a gigantic bow to place on top of the Lexus they bought their live-in boyfriend of three weeks. They can withstand fudge and those cakes in the shapes of logs – they simply put bananas slathered in nut butter in the freezer for dessert instead. They’re ordering fancy, sparkly barrettes to wear to their holiday parties, to which they bring a hostess gift that is not a candle from Target.
I tell myself I should do this. After all, it’s not as easyÂ as it once was for me to shed that holiday weight. I’m still carrying around some lbs. from last year’s cheese-balls-and-holiday-M&Ms debacle. And I know that my muscles are atrophying at a rate of, like, 30% a year or some shit like that, so that by the time I’m 55 I expect to be a pile of ectoplasm riding around on a Lark at the grocery store annoying the other customers.Â “Excuse me, my good man, could you reach me that box of Cap’n Crunch for me? I used to be able to do it, back when I had arms, but I never did enough push-ups, dead lifts and lateral raises and now look at me!”
“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack in will.” – Vince Lombardi
“Maybe I’ll do that tomorrow.” – Rebecca Collins
My holiday wish is to get through them without going up a pants size. Â And world peace.
But there are some things working against me. There is the fact that Whole Foods makes those chocolate-covered caramels. There is my predilection for anything ginger, whether in bread or snap form. There is the fact that Christmas overwhelms me just by its very presence, much like a tiresome co-worker who can come and stand in your office and stare, not saying anything, and send you over the edge. “I know you’re there! Say something! Anything!”
There is the fact that, when it comes to exercise, I’m always of two minds. The part of me that wants to bust that fat and the part of me that wants to bust open that bag of chips.
But, like Blag Flag, I need to rise above. See me at the gym on a cold and grim December night, working out like a madwoman on the elliptical machine while outside carolers glide from house to house, cups of hot chocolate firmly in hand.
I’m the one stringing air-popped popcorn (10 calories a cup!) onto string to decorate the Christmas tree while watching reruns of CheersÂ (and I’m not even nibbling on the popcorn)!
Catch me turning down the plate of holiday cookies in favor of a honeycrisp apple I bought in September.
I’m the one at the holiday bash asking for an O’Douls. On the rocks.
And, yeah, I’m the one who comes to the New Year’s party in a half-shirt I cut off myself, not realizing they’re best left to the 21-year-old. What the what? I didn’t do all those crunches and step-kick-mind-body-crossfit classes only to put on an oversized sweatshirt and some leggings.
I’m glad we had this talk. Let the holiday season begin.