Of Moderation and Fruitcake

Of Moderation and Fruitcake

One of my core values is striving for physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual health. “Physical” health is an interesting challenge for me these days, as I near a milestone birthday and find various parts of the machine known as my body beginning to show some wear and tear.

I’ve noticed that I can’t eat the way I used to, when I’d gobble down an entire pizza or a double serving of pasta, let alone the occasional “snack” of 20 Chicken McNuggets (WTH was I thinking?) in one sitting. A few pounds that I did not have before have attached themselves to me with silent stealth, and they are as adamant about remaining as New Yorkers squatting in rent-controlled apartments.

The holidays present extra obstacles to trying to eat in a healthy manner. The Halloween candy hangover segues quickly into the Thanksgiving carb fest, which is just a breath away from all of the Christmas cookies and other delights that span the month of December. I’ll mention eggnog in my next sentence. Have I mentioned eggnog, which I find delicious but is also 223 calories per cup? And who stops at just one cup, especially if it’s “adult” eggnog? Fruitcake has far fewer calories, but it tastes like Chuck Taylors dipped in sugar and I’m scared to eat anything that will outlast the human race.

Here’s my strategy: I will continue my recently-reinstated morning power walks, along with my jogging spurts of several nights per week and strength training of three or so days per week. And I will eat “sensible” portions of stuffing and mashed potatoes and corn bread on and after Thanksgiving (I’ll eat all the turkey I want to), and by “sensible” I mean stopping before my gut begins to hurt. I’ll have no more than one yummy Christmas cookie per day, even those my true love bakes for me.

The best life is about moderation, right? Moderation of eating, relationships, ideologies, and so forth.

I have a lot to learn about what middle-aged GenXers can do to get and stay lean, in holiday season and out of season. Please share your own strategies with me!