I sit at my computer drinking a green smoothie. Yes, ladies, I am drinking raw, very dark green kale. I get the kale all chopped up and washed, because I figure if it’s easy, I can talk myself into doing something healthy.
Why would I choose liquified kale over pancakes smothered in butter and syrup for breakfast?
For the same reason I went to hot yoga last night. I mean to shrink as many fat cells as possible before the holiday binge begins. (It’s actually already begun because Marie Callender’s frozen pumpkin pies were on sale and I had to buy one to save money. And because I got the pumpkin pie I had to get whipped cream or what would be the point?)
Have you ever gone to hot yoga? You can dump over 900 calories in one hour sweating out of every pore. And I mean every pore. Even your hair sweats. And if your hair is full of products like mine is, you’d better wear a headband so you don’t get hairspray in your eyes.
Hot yoga is like vacationing in a bayou swamp in August because of cheap off-season rates. You can almost hear insects the size of fists buzzing around your head as humidifiers just keep pumping out the hot steam. The room is controlled by masochistic instructors obsessed with handheld thermometers, making sure hotter-than-the-core-of-the-Earth temperatures stay cranked. Clouds of sweaty gases roll off every inch of your body and mingle with everyone else’s sweaty gases. That’s when you have to practice being a yogi and focus, focus, on anything but guessing what the guy next to you ate for lunch based on the smell of his sweaty gases.
So back to why I torture myself with swamp yoga and green smoothies. Because I know, I just know that tomorrow I am going to stuff myself to the gills, or rather, to the eyeballs. I haven’t had gills since I was a tiny fetus swimming around in amniotic fluid. Which, come to think of it, is pretty darn icky. I wouldn’t want to be mulling that over while sipping my green smoothie. But I digress.
By the time Thanksgiving dinner is served, I am traditionally already stuffed with
appetizers and cute little cookies. It begs the question: where did the word “stuffing” really come from? I have tried to arrive fashionably late, just in time for the main meal, but invariably the dinner deadline is always pushed forward. No matter what time I roll in, the kitchen women (mothers, grandmothers, aunties, and aproned neighbors all wielding mixers, pots, and wooden spoons) announce that I’m right on time; dinner won’t be ready for another hour; have a cookie from this industrial-sized tray of dazzling baked goods in the meantime!
I always tell myself that I won’t eat the bread with dinner and that will make all the difference. This does not take into consideration that I am already full when I sit down to eat. Neither does it take into consideration that I love the bread. I tell myself, pace yourself self, don’t shovel in food before you assess your game plan. But my game plan has a habit of evaporating the minute the table is loaded and I must select from so many dishes I lose count.
My game plan usually involves promises to myself that never seem to gain traction when I’m up against it. The promises go like this:
- I promise to skip the tempting pre-dinner appetizers and cookies.
- I promise to eat small portions.
- I promise to stop eating when I am full.
- I promise not to eat those totally yummy, golden-brown, deliciously warm dinner rolls smothered with melting butter.
- I promise to take only one tablespoon of mashed potatoes, which already have butter whipped into them so I don’t need to add extra butter on top before I pour gravy over the lot.
- I promise to only take what I really love, and not be guilted into cranberry sauce or canned yams.
- I promise to eat salad, if there is any. (This is an easy promise to keep, since there never is any, unless you count the carrot salad with raisons, but as it
generally happens, I run out of room on my plate when I get to that dish.)
So, fortified with a green smoothie and 60 minutes of swamp yoga, I am ready to face tomorrow, my game plan, and Thanksgiving dinner.