I am proud to say that at 36, I am in the best shape of my life. Running has helped a lot, as has getting my boobies done. I think some of it is being in your 30s, too. Back in the day, the mere sight of a stretch mark had me screeching down the hallway like my ass was on fire.
Now, I just give a worldly shrug, sip my wine, and make my next Botox appointment. It’s amazing how getting older really helps you get comfortable in your own chemically enhanced, surgically altered skin. But I digress.
This is about how to handle those pesky holiday pounds that manage to creep up on all of us. It starts by sneaking the Halloween candy. You think that making yourself get up to walk around the office five times before you succumb to that snack sized Kit Kat is going to save your ass. It’s not.
Then it’s Thanksgiving. Now you’re stuffing your face with mashed potatoes, gravy, turkey, rolls, cranberry sauce, two different kinds of stuffing, red wine, white wine, shots of whiskey, mixed drinks, and the annual Thanksgiving joint that you scored from your crazy Uncle Ed, the Vietnam vet.
You think that running that five mile Turkey Trot in the morning is going to save your ass. It isn’t. By now, you’re up four pounds, and it’s getting darker earlier, and your previous desire to work out is slowly being replaced by a desire to sit on your couch, get caught up on Mad Men, start blogging again, and drink your local liquor store out of red wine and champagne.
Then it’s dreaded Christmas Cookie season. It has been my experience that you don’t mess with a woman and her Christmas Cookie Party. I, who love all parties, have come to find that this is one party where the goal is to not get drunk and have fun, nay, it is to make 7,623 batches of calories laden, chocolate dripping, be-sprinkled cookies. So instead of getting drunk and rifling through your hostesses medicine cabinet like you would normally do, you make it your personal goal to eat one of each type of cookie. On a straight up sugar high, you decide fuck it, you’re eating two.
You’re up seven pounds. You are also on week three of Excuses On Why You Can’t Work Out and you are so far down the list that yes, you did just bust out “Well if I gain a few more pounds it will actually be easier to take it off because the more weight you have to lose, the quicker it comes off.” And your boyfriend just looks at you with pity and wipes the crumbs off your sweater.
And then here comes Holiday Party Season. Good luck trying to lose weight when weekend after weekend is spent at a friend or family member’s, eating pigs in the blanket, cocktail meatballs, some sort of festive holiday Jello mold, spiked eggnog and the big jug of Lambrusco your mother insists on buying each year, even though she drinks less than one glass, forcing you to finish it off.
Now you’re up ten pounds, and the Christmas gifts from your vendors are coming in, fast and furious. You can’t even polish off one bag of dark chocolate covered pretzels before the next one arrives. And when your coworkers, the ones who DON’T deal with vendors, come sniffing around, looking for a free peanut butter meltaway, you tell them, through a mouthful of sugar cookie, to go fuck themselves.
CHRISTMAS DAY IS HERE! SANTA CAME! And you left out cookies for Santa, didn’t you? Yes. But Santa didn’t eat them, did he? No. You did. You ate those cookies and polished off a bottle and a half of Shiraz while you wrapped the kids Christmas presents. And do you know how I know this? Because the first ones you wrapped look perfect, with ribbons, bows, and neatly folded ends. The last few are just covered in tape and cat hair, and you don’t even have a cat. So explain that.
You coffee-blast your hangover away and get ready for the onslaught of friends and family coming your way, because you, yes you, volunteered to host Christmas.
By 4 in the afternoon there is not a flat space in your house that isn’t covered with food and drink. Someone actually moved your TV to make room for a veggie tray. The caloric count of your house is now equal to the GDP of a large, industrialized nation. You look around for the fudge, only to remember that it’s not there because you ate all it while you were getting ready. Oops.
You take stock of your house. The kids are laughing and playing in a slightly sugar-induced maniacal fashion. Your family is gathered around the table in a friendly game of Scrabble. Your friends and neighbors are laughing in the kitchen, remembering that Steeler party where one of them had one too many and had to be carried across the street home. The carols are on in the background. The lights on the tree and outside look so goddamn pretty it brings a tear to your eye. You recognize that feeling in your newly formed gut? Ya. That’s happiness.
So my advice for handling those pesky holiday pounds is this – the more weight you gain, the easier it is to lose. Everyone knows that the more you have to lose, the quicker they come off. And besides, that what New Year’s resolutions are for!
Eat, drink, and Merry Christmas!
Yours in the most epicurean way,