Cameron, Bruce W.
Updated: January 12, 2012 8:14AM
My body believes a famine is imminent and has begun stocking up on provisions. These supplies are being stored around my waistline. I’ve tried explaining to my stomach that this is entirely unnecessary: I’ve never once, not even when I was in college and more broke than the EU, done any actual starving. In fact, in college I sometimes took in so many calories (in the form of fermented beverages) that my stomach occasionally sent them back. Why are we saving them now?
It’s because it is the holidays. You see, most people gain a little weight around this time of year, and then lose it in the spring. I do the same thing, except for the losing-it part.
It’s not my fault. People keep inviting me over to their houses without warning me that there will be pie. If they would just tell me ahead of time, I might be able to practice saying, “No, thank you, I do not want pie,” unless there’s ice cream to go with it. But if I get there and all of sudden they spring pie on me, I immediately fall back on the Navy SEAL training I read about once and make a snap, heat-of-the-battle decision that I should eat it.
Also, the holidays can be very stressful, which causes weight gain according to something I either read or imagined. During the holidays I often see my sisters, who still, even after all these years, can’t always seem to agree with me. They take silly, indefensible positions, such as denying that my parents loved me more because I was the better child. This often causes arguments that result in stress-induced weight gain, especially if the arguments are held in the vicinity of pie, which as I indicated above is something for which I have an enviable Special Forces-like response to.
Also I have a sister who is a vegetarian, so to be polite I always have to eat her share of non-vegetarian offerings, which then usually causes me to eat a double portion of dessert as well due to momentum. The fact that my weight gain is partially caused by my sister’s vegetarianism is another thing she disagrees with, which is very stressful and therefore causes even more weight gain. I’ve told her that if she would just start eating meat again, I’d probably drop 10 pounds in a week, which she says is crazy and impossible, thus proving she’s not so smart despite her “medical degree.”
My other sister and I disagree about everything, but at least she doesn’t expect me to make up for her rude eating habits and will even pretend that she wants to split my second piece of pie with me, ha-ha. I’ve explained about the whole Navy SEAL thing, where I could accidentally break her in two with a flick of my pinkie, but she still lunges for the pie in a most stress-inducing fashion.
Another reason why the holidays force me to gain weight that’s not my fault is that my wife makes a lot of meals that I request. When it’s not the holidays, I usually just eat whatever she fixes. But this time of year, I’m usually in the mood for some of my favorite foods, which shouldn’t be fattening, so it’s especially stressful when it turns out they are. To cope with the stress, I often will eat extra helpings of everything, which is something I think they probably teach in the Navy SEALs (though if they don’t, I would be willing to go in as a consultant to explain my techniques).
Then there are the food items that don’t count, such as holiday cookies that get served with coffee, or brownies that some fabulous person baked so that I can eat the entire pan. While these don’t cause weight gain per se, they can stimulate other people to suggest that eating them will make you fat, which is very stressful. If they would shut up about it, you wouldn’t be stressed so you wouldn’t gain weight.
So if it weren’t for my sisters, my wife, the Navy and ambush-by-pie, I wouldn’t be getting heavier. But what am I going to do? It’s the holidays.
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