I didn’t ask for this for Christmas, but I got it – an extra five pounds. Now I have to get rid of it.
To clarify: I’m not whining about being overweight. If you know me, you know that I’m a healthy weight. A fit person. I am satisfied with how I look and feel, despite the extra five pounds, but they must Be Gone.
I pledge this not for the Laura of today, but for the five-years-from-now Laura. Because this Five Pounds of 2016 wants to settle in and become permanent, so that it can later be a foundation for the Five Pounds of 2017. Which in turn would host a welcoming party for the Five Pounds of 2018. And so on. Before you know it I’ll need that seatbelt extender when I fly.
Do I regret gaining them? No, I can’t honestly say that I do. The Christmas season and its many delights were wonderful to consume. The holiday parties with their festive punchbowls and platters of mini egg rolls, pigs-in-blankets, and Cheese Glorious Cheese. The movie nights with popcorn and potato chips and my famous baked Mexican dip. The football games with beer and nachos and more nachos. Yum.
The memories of Christmas dinner itself will last me until next year (they might have to, if it takes until then to lose this weight). We always start with champagne and Southern Living’s famous Crab Cakes with Caper Dill Sauce. We burn the tips of our fingers eating them as they come off the buttery skillet. Then we roll to the table, already full, and enjoy mushroom saffron risotto and homemade gnocchi with Nonna’s sauce (not my Nonna – my best friend’s real Italian Nonna). This starchy extravaganza is but a warm up for the filet mignon and the grilled herbed shrimp. We soak up the juices with fresh baked breads.
Nobody saves room for dessert but we eat it anyway – chocolate cream pie and this concoction called Oatmeal Cake which sounds healthy but is mostly butter. And caramel and coconut and pecans and eggs and maybe a teaspoon of oatmeal somewhere in there, to satisfy the letter of the law.
I forgot to mention the wine and the coffee with real cream (the Bailey’s Irish kind). It’s a wonder that the damage was limited to only five pounds.
But the damage was done, so now comes the time of reckoning. What am I willing to do – or not do – to kick this five pounds to the curb?
I’m willing to:
- Add an extra mile or two to my runs.
- Exercise almost every day, even when I don’t fee like it.
- Walk past the potato chips in the grocery store without so much as a glance in their delicious direction.
I’m not willing to:
- Skip meals. That’s uncivilized.
- Ignore my favorite stocking stuffer, the Trader Joe’s One Pound Chocolate Bar with Almonds. I get a few squares a day until it’s all gone – that’s my tradition.
- Eliminate entire food categories like sugar, dairy, gluten, carbs, alcohol, or caffeine. A balanced diet is important, and coffee is especially important.
All of the above starts today, so wish me luck. As always, I’m guided by the wise philosophy of a very dear friend:
Everything in moderation. Including moderation.