Brace yourselves, your belts, your non-stretchy pants, and your bathroom scales. We are about to enter the food zone, the collection of consecutive holidays that challenges our willpower against those foods that make our taste buds smile. It is long, challenging, and delicious. It is a season that separates the boys from the men, the girls from the women, the carrot sticks from the chocolate pies.
It begins with Halloween, that tempting holiday when those of us with small kids find ourselves with an instant stash of bite-sized candy that we promise we won’t eat, because it belongs to the children. But then the urge is too strong and what starts out as “I’ll just have one little piece” soon turns into you scrambling to figure out how you’re going to explain how all of the Butterfingers are suddenly missing.
After Halloween, you have less than one month to gear up for your next eating challenge, Thanksgiving. This glorious holiday is planned around a gigantic meal that, despite how much you try, is anything but calorie free. Gravy is delicious and how many chances a year do you get to sample multiple slices of pie? It’s about family gatherings around a bountiful table. Not over-stuffing yourself to the point of pain is as anti-American as not getting up after your nap and eating another plate.
Before the last of the turkey makes its way to the freezer or the soup pot, we are up to our ears in the Christmas season where every day is another party, another meal, and another plate of seductive sweets knows as The Cookie Plate. The Cookie Plate is a cornucopia of sugar and fat and any host worth his or her salt will display their goods with such finesse that you just have to eat at least one…of every kind. At this point, you’ve already gained 10 pounds from the previous holidays so, hey, why not? It’s Christmas, after all.
And right after Christmas is a short hiatus of feeding, minus the ceremonial pork and kraut that a lot of us devour on New Year’s Day. We scarf it down because we all make the same resolutions to eat better and be healthy and lose those 15 pounds we have gained.
But then, before you know it, it’s Valentine’s Day with it’s chocolate covered everything and rich meals shared with those who love us, no matter how much weight we’ve gained.
From there, some of us have a Lenten reprieve, but then it’s Easter and there are massive chocolate eggs and jelly beans in every direction and we’ve got to go into rehab for all of the sugar we’ve consumed in the past five months.
Just in time for bathing suit season.
Originally written 10.30.16