Yes, this fate could have been avoided. For one, you could have dog-eared those pesky pages in the magazines that schooled you on how to render Thanksgiving healthy. Those pages that told you to eat this, not that. Could have. But no. You decided to go the much more fun that route. And for you this was a conscious decision. You decided to go big or go home. It was Thanksgiving after all. And you decided that it was not Thanksgiving dinner, but Thanksgiving day.
Breakfast. Savory or sweet? Both of course! So you loaded your plate first with some healthy fruit. And then sausage. And then bacon. And eggs. So much protein! And wait. There was French toast too made with actual French bread. You decided not to discriminate against the French toast just because it was toward the end of the buffet. That would not be very fair, would it? Coolly, you walked back to your seat and you glanced down at the piles of food. Your first thought? That is a disgusting amount of food. Your second thought? It’s not like I am going to eat it all. Most of it is for the kids anyway. Your third thought (because you like most smart people think in threes)? Moderation is overrated.
Lunch. Thankfully, lunch had the potential to be quite light. There were lean meats. A spry soup. A salad! You can never go wrong with a salad. The fact that it was dressed in delectable blue cheese magic did nothing to dissuade you from filling your plate. This was a very good start. And then you had a bit of soup. And a teeny sandwich. Oh wait. There was a cheese plate. A little Wisconsin cheddar never hurt anyone. You were feeling good, borderline heroic. And so, ever casually, you meandered to that unassuming plate of baked goods at the end of the line. You surveyed the options. And then told yourself that life is short so a cookie was in order. And a brownie. As you chewed that last bit of brownie, you had your first thought: That was totally unnecessary and a tiny bit disgusting. But thankfully that redemptive second thought was quick to follow: Better to splurge on lunch than dinner. I will have at least five long hours to burn these calories. And then that obedient third thought arrived: Moderation is overrated anyway.
(Two hours later, you had another cookie for snack. But snacks don’t count. Not on Thanksgiving.)
Cocktail Hour. Two hours later, you convened with your family for cocktails. Everyone looked spiffy. Your girls (or boys, whatever) wore matching dresses (or ties, whatever) even though you swore to yourself you would never put kids in matching outfits. You and your loved ones sipped wine, chuckle, and talked breezily about current events. And between bits and pieces of conversation you noticed the abundance of appetizers scattered about innocently on side tables and coffee tables. A vast wheel of Camembert. Spiced nuts. Venison sausage. Cheetos for the wee ones. Even caviar. You were thankful because you don’t even like the taste of caviar. So instead you stuck to massive globs of cheese and fistfuls of nuts and to be brave, you even tried the deer sausage. It was very spicy, so you moved on to the Cheetos. Because Cheetos are not just for kids. It was almost time for dinner and that voice in your head was back. One: Stop it. You animal. Two: I am just enjoying my life. Three: I’m pretty sure moderation is overrated.
Dinner time! A bountiful buffet beckoned. There were two kinds of turkey. Roasted and fried. Sweet potatoes. Charred brussel sprouts. Mashed potatoes. Sugar snap peas. Biscuits. Two breeds of gravy. You bypassed the fried turkey because it’s fattening. But then you took a little of everything else. A little dollop here and there. As you found your seat at that beautifully-set candlelit table, you realized something profound: a little bit of a lot of things adds up to a lot of food. Ergo, the plate above. One: Okay, this is overkill. Pure and simple. Two: This is not all for me. My kids will love this stuff! Three: My kids have been asleep for a half hour, but it is possible that moderation is overrated.
Then you might or might not have gone for seconds. You might or might not have sampled pumpkin pie and apple tart with just a bit of vanilla ice cream. Then you might or might not have retreated to bed at the pathetic hour of 9:00 p.m. and tried futilely to sleep on your stomach before rolling to your back. And then you might or might not have woken up this morning clutching your belly, wondering if it is at all possible that you are suddenly three months pregnant. Thankfully, even in those hazy early morning hours, your reason found you and the thoughts rolled in, clear as day. One: I am not pregnant. Just officially fat. Two: I am not fat. Just full. Full of food and full of life. Three: I kind of miss moderation. Absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder.
Please note that the above was not necessarily about me. It was possibly a more universal musing on the advent of holiday indulgence and the virtue (or vice) of moderation. Hypothetically speaking though, let’s say it was about me. Then, hypothetically, it might be nice to hear that you too overdid it a bit yesterday. The more details the better. (Details do not have calories.)