Sunday, December 19, 2010

Battle of the Bulge (Richmond, VA)

Winter has set in. I heap on layers of clothing: underthings, camisole, tights, long-sleeved tops, and long-legged pants. Time to haul out the thick, heavy socks and bulky sweaters, the high-top boots, the long, fake-furry coat, trailing scarves, and lined gloves.

Winter has set in. Don't forget the comforters! Time to switch on the space heaters.

I've switched on my appetite. For hot chocolate with candy cane swizzlers. For toasty breads and cheesy melts. For carbs and fats and sugars. I crave pancakes and French toast, omelets oozing feta, pasta doused with olive oil and blanketed in parmesan. Comfort foods.

Winter has set in. Schools and businesses shut down for two days, due to snow.

I shut down, too. Seldom rise from the kitchen table, save to scrounge for edibles crunchy, salty, or sweet. I make a giant pot of popcorn and scarf it down. Run through a sleeve of rice crackers and a third of a jar of peanut butter. I go nuts with pecans, cashews, walnuts, and almonds. Forget exercising! The only things working out have to do with my digestive system.

Winter has set in. Don't forget the comforters! Time to switch on the space heaters.

What if I'm trapped in the house or the car for weeks without heat or food? Just in case of such an unlikely emergency, I heap on an extra, protective layer of fat.

Winter has set in. I am consumed by dreams of Mexico, where, with no fridge or pantry to raid or tempt me, the pounds effortlessly melt away. I dance in the streets, walk for hours, bright colors and lively music kaleidoscoping around me. In my dreams...

In my reality, I consume everything in sight that isn't frozen solid, running away, or biting back.

Winter has set in. When I am not snuggled tightly in my bed, I'm snuggled tightly in my jeans.

Partially due to my genes, partially due to my state of mind, I will pack on the pounds.

But this winter, for the first time, I refuse to fight the Battle of the Bulge. I'm hoisting a white flag, surrendering to my appetites. I will make an effort to zumba and dance, at home and, when I can get there, out, but I don't want or need the stress of forcing myself to do what comes unnaturally -- cutting down or cutting out. Stress only makes me eat more.

I know that, eventually, spring and summer will set in. And they'll be worth the weight.

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