No Bread, No Chocolate

I don't know how they get in. Despite my efforts to safeguard the house, they find a way to infiltrate. I never see them, but the evidence of their habitation is irrefutable. They arrive every year like clockwork, sometime between Thanksgiving and New Year. I'm sure others have had similar break-ins; some realize it sooner than later, while many never even know it happens.

Most times I notice the first clue of their occupancy a day or two after the holidays. Stepping onto my bathroom scale it becomes apparent that someone has been fiddling with it. The reading is off at least ten to fifteen poinds in the wrong direction. Panicked, I immediately go to my closet and try on the pants that I'm going to wear to work ony to find that they have been altered to a smaller size without my knowledge or consent. As I strain to button the waistband I curse these pointed eared, elf-like intruders who obviously are well versed in mechanics and tailoring. Gazing into my bedroom mirror makes me painfully aware that they also practice plastic surgery, as I can see they have started to sculpt me a second chin.

Alright, I know it's not true, but my kids like the story. What really happened is that I have once again fallen off the holiday eating wagon and I'm faced with yet another New Year's diet resolution. Having tried everything from Atkins to Jenny Craig, I've eaten all carbs, no carbs, low fat, high fat, all fruit, all veggie, no veggie, all protien, and blah, blah, blah. I've heard them all, tried them all and have had some success for a short period of time, but by the end of December I'm right back where I started. I really want this time to be different, but I'm having trouble getting motivated. At forty-seven, my one driving factor seems to be not wanting my waist size to enter the same decade as my age.

Fortunately, I don't have any one thing that forces me to act, I'm active, not obese, but my latest checkups have detected a creeping blood pressure that, while not a problem at this time, may be in the future. When I asked the doctor what I could do, he of course instructed me to drop a few pounds. So I find myself entering the post holiday season in search of the perfect diet. Deciding to look at it analytically, I have narrowed down my problem to two food sources: bread and chocolate. I really like good bread and I really love good chocolate. The thought of giving them up is disturbing, but having tried just about everything else, they are the culprits that I identified to be sacrificed.

Sadly, the first few days of 2003 have been less than successful. The afore-mentioned contraband has crept back into my diet, or should I say they have never really left. Finding myself in search of something to induce me, I keep running motivational scenarios over in my head. Having recently authored a book, I imagine how I would appear on the back jacket cover. I pictured a sleek physique in a black crew neck and leather sports coat; unfortunately vanity has never been a trigger that would entice me to give up eating. And with no devastating health issues looming over me, I was at a loss for inspiration. Then the other night it hit me, something meaningful I could hitch my determination to and let it pull me to a successful weight loss solution.

As I climbed the stairs to bed, I cracked open the door where my youngest son was sleeping. He is a red haired, blue-eyed bundle of joy in my life. He is innocent and good and his dad is the centerpiece of everything that is safe and stable. In his world I can do no wrong and will be there forever to love and protect him, but will I... that's what kept creeping into my mind. I'm fortunate to still have both my parents in good health, and that has always been a comfort. But he is only ten years old and it is highly possible that when he reaches my age, he will not be as lucky. So standing in a dark hallway facing my mortality through the future of a child, I found my motivation.

As for anyone faced with similar circumstances who is blessed enough to be looking through a cracked bedroom door tonight, I'll see you at the gym tomorrow or in the salad line at lunch. And by the way, have a Happy New Year.


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