25 November 2012

Packing On The Holiday Pudge

We’re plunging into the tri-fecta -- that time of year when three major holidays hit us back to back at full force and with buckets full of food. Stage 1 is complete: Thanksgiving. Everyone knows that besides the whole “let’s give thanks for how lucky we’ve been this year” thing, the whole point of Thanksgiving is to gobble up turkey and stuffing and ham and sweet potatoes and a whole lot of dessert. Next up are Christmas (slash Hanukkah or Kwanza or whatever other holiday you may celebrate) followed by New Year’s. These are three days that might supposedly have big, deep, important meanings and metaphors attached to them, but which in reality are largely about the food. And with that, of course, comes a good extra 10 or 15 pounds of winter weight by the end of it all.

This year I am proposing something new. I know women go through post-December depression after they realize they can’t fit into their skinny jeans. But that all seems so pointless. If you’re worried about having to pull out the fat pants or maternity-sized wardrobe out of the bottom of the closet, you’re not going to enjoy the holidays. You’re going to be counting calories, eating slowly and cautiously and staying away from that cheesecake you know you’re secreting coveting. And you’re going to be miserable and sullen and grouchy and a huge pain in the ass. Why not just embrace the opportunities that this season allots for mass amounts of gluttony (you know it doesn't really count as a deadly sin this time of year anyway) and say screw it? Eat what you want, even if that’s a plate full of carbs. And if/when you put on some weight, don’t be embarrassed. Don’t wear grandma pants or your boyfriend’s XL hoodie -- wear whatever you would normally wear if you hadn’t put on the weight. So what if you look a little pudgy? You have to be confident and embrace it, otherwise you will blatantly look upset about being a little fat, and that is when people will start judging and staring. If you do just as you would pre-Christmas-pooch, no one will give a damn because you obviously don’t.

I used to fear winter weight gain with as much fervor as I fear spiders or Voldemort when I was 11. I used to count every single calorie and make sure I was keeping it all in the 1500 region. Most tragically, I used to prohibit myself from digging into that rice pudding or tiramisu accompanied by a delightful cappuccino. In sum, I was an idiot. It’s been a good two years since I’ve done that, and in all honesty, I have such a better time at holiday dinners. We have enough stress going on in our lives without adding superfluous worries. So this Christmas, show off your new body, wear that pencil skirt, walk around in your boy shorts and embrace whatever fun curves the new year brings. If you grow it, please please please don't be afraid to SHOW IT.

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