It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in the grocery stores. If Jesus is the reason for the season, then I feel totally justified using a biblical reference to talk about the temptation that abounds at this time of year. I suppose in this case, I’d be the lion and the trick is that I don’t want to eat everything sweet that wanders by my den. Whatever. The point is there is a sweet on every corner these days. Had you asked me a month ago, I would have told you that the holidays are a difficult time to restrict my diet. I would have talked about baking cookies and making candy, about holiday dinners and hot chocolate. I knew that I’d miss the foods that I eat during the holidays every year and not during other parts of the year. I could wax poetic about snowman-shaped ice cream, egg nog, mint m&ms, hazelnut pirouette cookies, holiday Oreos, christmas cakes, chocolate-covered caramels, cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning, chocolate pretzels, angel food candy, and all the delicious homemade treats. Pies and cookies and candies… Even the traditional cheese and cracker plate we enjoy while we put up the tree has to be crackerless. And what of the pickled herring?
What I would not have been self aware enough to tell you is that I have a nearly Pavlovian response to being in a store that sells food while Christmas music is playing. I walked into the grocery store intending to buy dish soap, wood polish, and twine. The holiday tunes were spinning and I found myself instinctively considering which treat I would leave with. I diverted myself and didn’t cave, but it’s been the same thing every time. It’s not that I walk in and start craving something. I walk in and just start thinking about what I’ll buy. It’s no wonder I currently reside in Tubbsville.
The thing is, eating those foods is such a pleasure. A rich cup of Jacques Torres wicked hot chocolate is an experience as much as it is a beverage. The smells and tastes of holiday treats bring with them memories of holidays past. When I eat a mint m&m, I remember the first time I watched White Christmas in my tiny efficiency with my best friends from college. I didn’t have cable or any TV reception that year, so in the weeks before Christmas, I watched that movie several times until I could sing along with my favorite songs. I was so happy through that whole season. The holidays were generally the best part of any year. Growing up, my parents could be relied on to set aside the fighting and behave like a proper, caring family at least one day during the holidays and driving out to the country to cut our Christmas tree is the only day I remember from some years when I felt totally safe, warm, and loved. So of course I want to indulge at the holidays. It’s my time to pretend that everything is good. At Christmas, I’m not fat or thin at all; I just am.
Not letting food be the easy release means admitting that all is not well with me. That I can’t just shovel sweeties into my gullet and come out healthy and attractive on the other side. So, I guess this diet has turned into therapy and I’ll have to work through my demons if I expect to make it to a gingerbread-free New Year. Holiday foods are a crutch and it’s time to stand on my feet. My new mantra is “ho ho ho doesn’t require ho hos.” (No it isn’t. That’s a terrible pun and I regret even thinking of it. I apologize for writing it.)
Wish me luck.
Current weight: 183
It has been 1 day(s) since I’ve eaten not-allowed carbs.