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General News    H4'ed 12/19/21

Humor: Holiday Dieting--an Oxymoron

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Message Martha Rosenberg
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If you drink too much during the holidays most people--including you--will soon forget about it. But if you overeat during the holidays, tomorrow holds no similar reprieve for you. It's sweatpants with a drawstring, sweater dresses as wide as they are long and kaftans. For men, "forgiving" tunics. And that's on top of the "home casual" dress most slipped in to during Covid.

After months of salad, sit-ups and running (even on snow), you hear yourself say, "Please pass the spinach, mushroom and ricotta tart... and the mashed potatoes... and the cinnamon rolls," as if your evil twin has commandeered your mouth.

Grilled coconut rice balls dipped in brandy, 275 calories each? I'll take five. Frozen Margarita? It will help wash down the chocolate covered cashews.

Accompanying the holiday calorie relapse are feeble rationalizations. Well, it's Christmas. It's family. It happens once a year. I don't want to insult the cook. An extra 7,000 calories won't show. Tomorrow I'll fast. One woman told me she actually says to herself "if I eat it fast, my body won't notice" in defiance of the old saying "a moment on your lips, forever on your hips."

There's also self-coddling. I need to forget Covid; my working from home woes; my relationship woes; my weight woes. Yes we eat to forget our weight problem just like people drink to forget their drinking problem.

After a certain point, we can fall into the scorched earth defense: what's the point of dieting now? I've already consumed a week's worth of calories and we are still on hors d'oeuvres.

Especially insidious rationalizations are found under the category of "comparison"-when everyone else is eating more. Famous last words: I'm not as bad as her.

Cousin Tiffany had a field day with the pecan-praline cheesecake. Did you see how much caramel sauce she ladled on? She didn't just have seconds, she had thirds.

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Martha Rosenberg is an award-winning investigative public health reporter who covers the food, drug and gun industries. Her first book, Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health, is distributed by Random (more...)

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