By Kat Hobza, Humor Writer
...Specializing in Sarcasm and Sass
Recreational Eating During the Holidays
By Kat Hobza
(Published in Simply Family Magazine, December 2009)
All good things, as the saying goes, must come to an end. When the holidays are over, the tree will come down, the bad Christmas sweater Aunt Mabel gave you will be stowed away and eventually, retail stores will stop playing Christmas carols. Ironically, the one thing we’d really like to stuff in a Rubbermaid tub and forget about for a year, we can’t. I am of course referring to the weight gain associated with festive food. If we make too merry during the holidays, we might still be sporting the aftermath a year from now.
There are a few certainties surrounding this time of year. We will overwork our credit cards. At least one relative will say something inappropriate at the holiday dinner. There’s also a good chance we’ll consume more wine than we should so we don’t tell said relative what they can do with their commentary. And we will, without fail, throw caution to the wind and eat like a man who’s been incarcerated for 20 years.
These things are human nature. During the holidays, it becomes normal to have pumpkin pie for breakfast. It’s also completely normal to load your plate six times at the company Christmas party. Before the feeding frenzy begins, read (and memorize if necessary) the following holiday eating suggestions. It just might help fend off the extra weight and the self loathing associated with it.
Equate holiday eating with any other form of recreation like camping, boating or motorcycling. Maybe you enjoy boating in the summer occasionally, but few participate in nautical sporting in the winter time. Holiday eating should be considered recreation- fun occasionally, but not something you can or should do for any sustained period of time.
Exercise the same control you would when buying a new pair of shoes. When you shoe (purse, jewelry, insert uncontrollable indulgence here) shop, you typically find several pairs you’d like to buy and take home. Most of us, having no business buying another pair of shoes, or another purse, or another pair of earrings, have to exercise a little self control. Yes, we’d like the sparkly zebra print pumps, the leopard print boots and the strappy red heels. Clearly, taking home all three selections would be irresponsible, especially when you have not removed the tag from the last pair of shoes you bought. In these situations, we must make choices. We’ll weigh the fashion quotient, the price and the practicality of each pair. Then we’ll typically make one selection and go home. Apply this same principle to holiday food eating, remembering unlike those leopard print boots, that double fudge brownie is NEVER going to look cute on you!
Try to sample. This is tough. It involves thought, and sometimes visions of sugar plums (and perhaps a bit too much bubbly) can get in the way. Try envisioning the sample table at Costco. Here you get one bite of whatever is being offered. You’d be bodily removed from the warehouse if you took a sample and then reached for the whole plate. Pretend you’re at Costco and taking more than the offered sample is tacky. Also, if you try something that is only marginal, don’t finish it! It’s really okay. Take one bite of that over-cooked cookie and pitch the rest. Save those calories for the spinach dip instead.
Drinking. Holiday celebrations are often tied to the consumption of holiday spirits. There are several reasons over consumption of cocktails is ill advised, a few of which you may have already learned the hard way! One side effect we often loose sight of is the inevitable weight gain. When feasible, look at the week ahead. Budget what evenings you will indulge in a taste of the vino (notice I said taste, not bottle of vino). For example, leave the flask at home when you go to the church play, but assume there will be alcohol at the neighborhood party. Limit the nights per week you consume adult beverages, and ultimately try to make those indulgences within walking distance of your home! At a minimum, alternate ice water and your favorite mixed drink. You will stay hydrated and best of all you will not become the company party’s token idiot that people will be laughing about months from now.