Q: The holidays are here and I’ve already eaten too much. I’m afraid I’ll gain too much weight by New Year’s Eve. Diets don’t work, so maybe you have advice about self-control or something? I don’t know what to do.
A: Yuletide Season is upon us, but the foods of commercial celebrations are with us throughout the year. In my household, it begins with those seemingly innocent, “fun!” size candy bars. Not so fun, when you find out each one runs about 60-plus calories each. Grab a dainty hand’s worth and you’ve now consumed triple digits. I won’t even scare you with the carb and fat facts, which really should make you scream like the zombie apocalypse is near.
You seem well-versed on the dishes (to say nothing of the beverages!) that carry you through to January, but let’s take a look at what the new year brings: January’s football feasts; February’s temptations for sweethearts; March Madness and those sideline treats and the Thin Mints and Do-si-do’s that hit the streets; April is full of commercials for bunnies who lay chocolate eggs; May and June manage to guilt you into parental brunches loaded with unhealthy buffet choices … and just when it’s safe to go back into the water, the advertisements for bathing suit season freak out an entire nation, as though the next zombie apocalypse will involve bikinis and speedos.
Notice that the above-mentioned are all commercial celebrations. I could go on for another thousand words or more about the deeply personal, cultural and spiritual offerings that feed the soul and expand the waistline. But, not today.
Every family has their food issues, but members of mine are internationally known for health and fitness. As a result, I’m crazy well-versed about diets, exercise, body-image and self-loathing. So, I’m not the person to speak to about diet advice. I’m not a fan. I am, however, someone who will advise you on your overall well-being. A wise woman, not related to me, once told me, “If you don’t have your health, you have nothing.” That’s good advice. The end goal for all of us, whether it’s the end of the day, calendar year, or our lives – should be to attain and hold on to (at all costs) our health. If you’re in chronic pain that could be lessened by losing a bit of weight, then you do that. If you’re in daily distress that could be relieved with a healthier respiratory system or lowered blood pressure? Then you do that. If your heart could be better served by lowered cholesterol/sodium intake? Then you do that. If you suffer from a disorder threatened by the food offerings you must closely monitor? Then you do that. Your health and well-being is largely based on the choices made to nourish your body, so you do that. Your main concern should be to feel good, because then you can make better choices (mentally/physically/spiritually) all around. If numbers (scale or pant labels) are guiding you, my advice is: Don’t do that.
xo – t.