Post-Thanksgiving Solutions

What is to be done? I have spent the past week gorging like Tip O’Neill at a buffet table and I have spent the morning sobbing into an empty cup of coffee, realizing that I no longer have the metabolism of a twenty-five year-old. How did this happen? Did I gain weight? Do I dare step onto the scale? Are these pants tighter or am I hallucinating?

There are, of course, solutions and I produce them here for the benefit of all parties:

1. Starvation.
Advantages: Dramatic weight loss, a test in ascetism.
Disadvantages: Hunger, low energy, an Auschwitz-like physique.

2. Salad diet.
Advantages: Healthy, calorie-conscious diet.
Disadvntages: A terrible betrayal to my carnivorous instincts. (Et tu, Brute?)

3. Running seven hours a day over the next week.
Advantages: Additional energy, a sudden fitness regimen.
Disadvantages: Potential hallucinations, no spare time, facing the terrible realization that I am out of shape, the possibility of turning into Jim Fixx and dying at 52.

4. Do nothing.
Advantages: No exertion of energy, getting in touch with my inner slacker.
Disadvantages: Nothing changes.

5. Option Five.
Advantages: It’s good to settle on something decisive if the first four options don’t pan out.
Disadvantages: What is Option Five?


  1. Eat whatever you want.

    The downside: just don’t eat as much as you want. Don’t starve…just eat half the bag of cookies, not the whole bag.

    Leave part of the hamburger–like the edge of the bun–on the plate. Leave three french fries.

    See? Don’t you feel virtuous already?

  2. Do like I do, try to be good everyday (exercise and eat yogurt for lunch, blah, blah, blah) and at the end of the day be grateful that pants come in many sizes. Not everybody was meant to have a 32 inch waist (or 34, or 36 or 38). I’ve given up trying to be Giselle, (the world only needs one of her anyway).

  3. I learned on Animal Planet that we burn quite a few calories warming up cold beverages we drink to body temperature. So my suggestion would be to drink tons of ice water.

  4. Madonna says don’t eat cheese. She’s nuts.

    I find if I skip breakfast I can pretty much eat as much as I want of everything else and never gain weight. Of course, I already weigh 180 lbs.

    Which reminds me of this hilarious Ian Frazier piece from the New Yorker:

    “My physique, well muscled and whipcord thin to all outward appearances, is actually too thin—painfully thin, in fact. Another uncomfortable truth I have to face is that my family has been hiding this reality from me. My wife soft-soaps me with comments like “You know, sweetie, you’re really not thin at all.” The kids chime in with an unhelpful “Actually, we’d be more likely to describe you as fat.” I know there’s a lot of love in what they say, but let’s stop all the lying right now. I am incredibly, incredibly thin, and it’s time we noticed what is going on.”

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