Lim: Holiday diet

IN this season of countless all-you-can eat buffet parties and Christmas baskets overflowing with sinfully delicious goodies, perhaps, we should exercise some prudence in deciding what to put inside our bodies.

Don’t get me wrong. I love food. And I don’t eat like a bird either.

In my twenties, I ate like a blue whale and did not suffer any consequences for doing so. In my thirties, I could still eat pretty much whatever I wanted and not look like I needed to stop doing it.

Then, the forties came and that’s when I realized I had lost my super powers. I could no longer eat like a blue whale and not be in danger of resembling one. Today, in my fifties, I definitely know I can’t eat like a blue whale and not be hooked on maintenance drugs for the rest of my life.

And then I got lucky.

Now, I get sick when I overeat so then I’m compelled not to repeat the foolhardy activity. I now possess a built-in automatic food intake regulator in my body that tells me when to stop. It’s called age.

Am I going on a diet this holiday season? Of course not.

Diets don’t work for me. They just cause me a lot of anxiety. Rather than “going on a diet,” I prefer to “make changes in my food choices.” You see, when you make a conscious decision to change your eating habits, you come to terms with what you’re doing. Going on a diet, on the other hand, feels like enforced celibacy.

You won’t make it through the whole nine yards if you keep thinking about the chocolate bar inside the kitchen cabinet. You’re going to break down at some point and break into the kitchen to get it. I know. I’ve been there. I went mad thinking about the chocolate bar all day.

But I’m here now. I still like to eat. And I still don’t eat like a bird. But I don’t eat like a blue whale anymore either. I don’t deprive myself but I don’t binge. And on occasion, I practice abstinence—because I like a challenge. And while I still like to dine out—on a daily basis, I eat simple, basic food—nothing fancy.

Going to the gym also effectively curbs any desire to stuff my body with excessive amounts of food. I think about all the work I have to do to get rid of the flab that’s going to collect in my body if I give in to these sinfully sweet and savory cravings and the desire wanes somewhat.

They say it’s not “what” you eat but “how much” you eat that really matters. I say it’s striking a balance between both. I don’t think we need to obsess about what we eat during the holidays. Rather, we should watch what we eat on a daily basis, the rest of the year.

In this season of record-breaking numbers of pigs meeting an untimely demise, let us eat and be merry but let us stay mindful of what we put inside our bodies. We really don’t want to suffer the same premature fate as the pigs adorning our holiday tables.
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