The Eternal Battle

28 Nov

The “eternal battle” is generally considered to be good versus evil. During rivalry week, some would say that it’s BYU verses the University of Utah. Or how about Homer Simpson versus Ned Flanders!

But there’s another battle that is constantly raging in my life — and that is the “battle against the bulge.” Yes, it’s the eternal battle between eating good food and staying in shape, and the temptation to succumb to eating deliciously unhealthy food. And it’s especially difficult at this time of year with the holidays.

A recent article I read says that the average American gains about one pound over the holidays (popular myth says 4-5). One pound may not sound like a lot, but since most of us don’t end up losing that extra pound, it stays on forever and will accumulate over time.

Last year, I gained 10 pounds over the holidays. Amazing! This year, I absolutely refuse to be so irresponsible and foolish. If anything, I want to lose weight this holiday season. Aafter gaining two pounds over Thanksgiving weekend, I started a diet again on Saturday, only to be foiled in my efforts by a delicious Thanksgiving meal with my in-laws on Sunday. I guess I should have known not to go on a diet with one Thanksgiving dinner to go.

My dieting woes are briefly described in a previous blog called Yo-Yo Dieting, where I describe my ups and downs over the past few years. Since that post, I have lost 10 pounds (from 196 to 186) and then gained back four pounds. I’m currently at 190 and would really like to get down to 180 by year’s end. I have five weeks to do it. Question is, can I realistically stick to a diet at such a delicious time of year?

For those of you who remain slender without much effort or exercise, I am sincerely jealous. Why is it that some people can eat whatever they want and never do any exercise and still stay trim? It’s not fair! Oh, but that’s right, life isn’t fair, is it! We all have our particular challenges, and one of mine is resisting the temptations of high-fat, high-sugar items.

And while I’m bemoaning this “cross” I have to bear, I realize that it’s nothing compared to other addictions people face. For example, those who struggle with drug addiction go through the same type of cycles, although exponentially greater and more intense. They fight their urges to get high, struggle with serious withdrawals, then finally succumb and get high, only to later go through deep depression and self loathing once they have hit rock bottom. It’s really a tragedy, and it makes my struggle against indulging in egg nog or chocolates seem trivial.

So as I embark on the next five weeks, wish me luck and please don’t offer me any treats…


Posted by on November 28, 2007 in Health


6 responses to “The Eternal Battle

  1. robinbl

    November 28, 2007 at 7:44 pm

    Amen to that. So many times with food it’s “out of sight, out of mind.” Sure, I crave goodies every now and then, but if they’re just sitting right there in front of me, I have no will power. Still, this is the holiday season, and I hate the thought of going completely goodie-free. I think it might help if we are more selective about what we indulge in. Instead of eating every little sweet we come across, we should ask ourselves, is it worth the calories? If it’s something common and not all that good, like Hershey’s kisses, for instance, which both you and I don’t like that much, we should say, NO! It’s not worth it. However, if once a week or so we go to party where they have an amazingly good dessert, and if we have behaved ourselves the rest of the day, then we can probably justify having a piece. I think if we also set ourselves a time limit–like that we can’t eat any desserts unless they are a true dessert–that means, after dinner, or from 7-9:00 PM. So no snacking on bad stuff during the day. I realize this seems like trying to justify eating desserts, but eating is a big part of the holidays, so I think we need to plan ahead to indulge here and there or we will either go through the holidays feeling deprived and grumpy, or we’ll have a backlash and just pig out in rebellion. What do you think?

  2. kira

    November 29, 2007 at 8:37 pm

    You’ve seen how good Aaron looks and it has mostly been portion control. I agree with Robin it is such a part of the holidays if you try to go cold turkey it seems like it will be easier to fall WAY off the wagon!

  3. Vicki

    November 30, 2007 at 5:40 am

    I struggle with gaining weight over the holidays too. I’m especially tempted with treats brought over from the neighbors. I think if I could use the portion control that Kira was talking about– just eating a little bit of the dessert so I wouldn’t feel deprived. I appreciated your insight into the struggles of people who are addicted to drugs–it puts things in perspective.

  4. Anonymous

    December 21, 2007 at 10:09 pm

    As I do not know you I will refrain from making comments regarding your personal character. I will on the other hand address this subject, which you have so unabashedly and recklessly made light of. Your “insight into the struggles of people who are addicted to drugs” which you were given Kudos for, is so far off the mark that I am at a loss of where to begin.
    To say that addictions and issues involving food are in your words “nothing compared to other addictions people face,” is a joke at best. First of all my dear “blogger”, I would like to know if you have ever suffered an addiction? When I say addiction, I do not use the word lightly. I am referring to the type of addiction that grips every ounce of your soul and holds it as its own, the type of addiction that haunts your every thought and dream. This addiction fills your emptiness while stealing your heart, an addiction to which there seems to be no remedy.
    I currently work as a counselor for both men and women alike, who suffer from addictions to food and to mirage of control that it gives to them in their chaotic lives. Over the years I have come to realize that these individuals are the farthest thing from weak. They suffer years on end, and sometimes a whole lifetime with these pains that halt the acceptance of themselves.
    They suffer in silence, stoic and alone; they struggle with the thoughts of the self hatred they find when they awake the next morning. Similar to an alcoholic or a drug addict they suffer the cravings, the shame, fear, guilt, anger, and pain. Yet this disease is different. Drugs can be lived without; alcohol can be avoided, but food…. Yes food, it is everywhere. At social events, gatherings, celebrations, even at funerals a person finds an array of food awaiting them. Tell me dear blogger, how is a person who struggles with such an addiction to cope?
    The first thing that I would suggest is for the individuals associated with the sufferer learn about and try to understand this disease instead of lightly chatting about how “trivial” it is. An addiction is an addiction, and unless a person has traveled the path of another, he can never truly know what pains afflict his heart, mind and soul.
    For now this is all I have to say on the subject. Next time maybe instead of worrying about how you will entertain your readers, think about who your readers might be, and not make light of those who seem to have lesser struggles than others. We are all given different paths in this life, and different challenges, until you have the perfect knowledge of how another suffers, there can be no judgement.

  5. andrewalma

    December 22, 2007 at 2:20 am

    Dear Anonymous,

    Thanks for posting your insights into the struggles that face those who deal with food addiction. I had never considered that cravings for twinkies could be as powerful as a heroine addiction. I recognize that food addiction can be a very serious addiction and many, many struggle with it. My post was meant to be a lighhearted look at the challenges that so many of us face to use our willpower to resist temptation. I had no intention of giving offense.

  6. Once Again

    December 22, 2007 at 5:55 pm

    you are looking at it as a mere “temptation”… there is a reason why it’s called an eating DISORDER…do some research on it, you’d be shocked. It’s not as simple as “using our willpower to resist temptation”…obviously you are inexperienced on the subject…why would they have treatment centers if it was a simple thing as willpower? Many die each year from anarexia & bulimia. It’s a serious, fatal, dark disease.


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