The glossy magazines are fronting tape measures and diet food. So, it’s January and payback time and we all have different ways of coping. Some, like me, spend a lot of time looking for someone to blame; One spends some glorious weeks of carefree gluttony, and then one’s suddenly left with hips that barely fit into an armchair! You walk into the Christmas thing with unwavering confidence and physical strength like a water-buffalo, and during the holiday you transform into a jellyfish who’s breathing hard just from rummaging the fridge. Someone is surely to blame.
The media is on top of the blame list. For weeks they present you the unchecked, shameless seasonal cooking. Under such a heavy media influence one cannot be held responsible for the things one eats in December. In Norway, it’s illegal even to advertise for tobacco and alcohol. No need to underestimate the effects of cookie recipes.
In January, the media hands you the measure tape and gives the mic to health gurus that straight-faced tell you things like that weight-loss is directly connected to activity and healthy food. Shocker. Studies like that make it all too easy to resent research funding. With justified displeasure, I put up the next candidate on my blame list. – And wait, there’s more: You ought to stay away from desserts, but in return you can indulge in legumes, the health experts confirm. Who on Earth is emotionally capable of indulge in legumes? I blame the scientists for not being able to find me better happy food than peas and lentils.
Even home in the cradle, under the protective wings of family, one is after all surrounded by enemies who urge you to have five meals a day and second helpings of everything. Sitting here now, with the top button in my pants snapped open, quenching a burp, I blame my own loving mom for fattening me up all through Christmas like the evil witch in Hansel and Gretel.
Then one always has those friends or relatives that have miraculously slid through the Christmas feasting without gaining one single pound. They have been running and skiing through the holiday like Energizer bunnies. I have no qualms blaming them with all my heart. Somebody had to stay behind and show appreciation of the ongoing cooking, baking and tv-shows. It’s a tough job, but I did it. I ate my portions and theirs – including the second helpings.
There is most likely a lesson to be learned here. And for those occasions, there’s usually a proper saying. I have it right on the tip of my tongue, but it keeps resisting me. – Probably because my tongue is tired from all the excessive eating. But a good old saying is a wonderful thing. It reminds you that your blunders have been committed by man for ages, and that we’re all struggling to improve.
One saying about food and greed springs to mind: “You can’t have the cake and eat it too.” I’ve been giving this saying some thought, but can’t get it to work for me. It focuses too much on cake, and it’s easy to lose focus. I need a saying that indicates a life after the couch and the cake.
Another saying: “You are what you eat.” Alas, right now, I’m a heap of pork lard and cookie dough. But the saying states clearly that one can be something else. Something better. Like a legume. Nothing tempts or stirs a legume. It stays lean and mean all through Christmas, Easter and possibly an atomic war. Once I can wriggle free from the snug-fitting armchair, I’m on my way to redemption.
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