Well, I was doing fairly awesome on being healthy, and then temptation hit. Not with the vegetarian part. Up until today, I’d been ok with that. It’s not like people leave cheeseburgers or chili cheese dogs lying around at work to tempt you — though, the party today had some smoked salmon that almost broke me, and the jalapeno cheese dip may have had some bacon . . .
But, no, the tricky part was the sweets because those can sit out there on the teacher’s lounge table day-after-day-after-day, hour-after-hour-after-hour. And that, I could not resist. My recent pristine healthy eating went right out the window this past week. Every time I’d go down the stairs to check my mailbox, I’d pick something up: a dark chocolate Frango Mint here, a Hershey Kiss cookie there . . . little pick-me-ups before I faced my next class. Couldn’t really hurt, right?
And then there were the gifts from the kids. It started with a double-decker box of assorted chocolates from one of my tutoring students. When I bit into the first chocolate, my eyes lit up like matching fireplaces. I was a sugar-aholic getting the first taste of what I’d been missing, and as my tongue swept across my bottom lip, I quivered with excitement. Frightening. Then, when I’d gotten close to finishing off that first box, the barrage hit. My Spanish students bombarded me: boxes of chocolate of various sizes and assortments, little chocolate Santas, fruit cake, homemade candy, etc. Thankfully, I’ve managed thus far to convince myself to stick to one box at a time, but heaven help me if anyone breaks the seal on any of the other boxes . . .
But I had a sense of impending doom when the cookies came home from Brian’s cookie exchange. There they were — easily accessible sugary goodness of all types, just sitting there on my kitchen counter – unwrapped, uneaten, and oh, so inviting. I knew I was in trouble when Brian suggested we bring them to the party the next day, and I shrieked in a very Gollum-like fashion: “What? Those cookies?? They’re MINE! MINE” I ran to the exchange box and immediately began sorting through them: “We can bring these, but these are for me. . . . hmmm, and these. . . and these. . . and these. . . (pause). . . these too.” Mind you, this is the same person who less than a week ago insisted the whole cookie exchange idea was ridiculous and didn’t want any of the cookies in the house. Because I knew better.
The only thing that saved me was my sudden turn in health this morning. As I’ve said earlier, I don’t get sick. So, today, when I woke up with a hacking cough and a congested chest I was a mix of dumbfoundedness, humbleness, and unconcealed frustration. How could I feel sick? I’ve been doing so well, right? Right? Oh wait. The cookies. Oh yeah. The chocolate. Oh no. I knew the cookies had to go. At first I decided I would still keep some for myself, but when I struggled to choose any, I knew I had to give them all up. I piled them all up on our translucent red flower-shaped tray and lovingly tucked them all away in plastic wrap.
Of course, I knew it wasn’t goodbye forever. I had 2 or 3 of the best kinds while at the party. And I didn’t miss them much when I tried the mini dark chocolate and mini chocolate peanut butter ice cream bars that were sitting there staring up at me ever-so sweetly. (Hack, hack. Paid for that one immediately.) I desperately tried to minimize the damage, drinking Echinacea tea through one side of my mouth while stuffin’ sweets into the other. Believe it or not, that didn’t balance out quite as well as I’d hoped. . .
But anyway, I fear the worst is yet to come: Christmas Eve Dinner with Brian’s family. I can sidestep the ham and turkey, but I doubt all the scrumptious casseroles and dips will be meat-free. And it doesn’t help that the hostess is a fan-tas-tic baker who fills an entire side of the kitchen with her sweet concoctions. This hearty once-carnivore may be sorely tempted to satisfy her need for fat by diving into that sweet side of the kitchen.
But I’ll just continue to take one moment at a time, one sweet at a time. At least I know I’m not invincible. I say this, as I rub some Shaklee Mentholated Multi-Purpose Cream across my chest and nurse cup-after-cup of my Chamomile Tea. [Microwave: beep (pause) Microwave: beep (pause) Microwave: beep (pause) Brian: “Uh, Teri, Your tea is done.”(pause) Microwave: beep (pause) Microwave: beep (pause) Brian: “Tea is done.” Me: “Oh, mmm, yeah, uh huh, honey.” Microwave: beep . . . (pause). . . ]
So, if I falter, I will face the consequences. I just hope that knowledge will be enough . . .