Jeff Farrell: Weight loss effort not helped by Thanksgiving

Nov. 24, 2012 @ 11:05 PM


A funny thing happened on the way to the burger joint.

Some folks might actually remember that a little over a year ago, I was complaining that I wasn’t seeing results from going on a diet.

I’d given up ... well, I’d drastically reduced my intake of sugar and fatty foods. Basically this meant a lot fewer stops at the fast food window, or the pizza parlor. But I wasn’t seeing results.

And if I didn’t see any in a year, I was going to drop the whole concept and give in to the temptation of cheeseburgers and fries. And pizza.

Now that year has passed, and I can say I’ve actually shed a lot of weight. Slowly, but surely, the numbers on the scale dropped and so did my belt size. I no longer look like I swallowed a basketball and reinflated it.

I’m not here to brag that I’ve gotten buff. I still have weight to lose, and it’s not like I’ve started any kind of real workout routine.

But in the interest of not leaving people wondering (the one or two who remembered the column), I can say that I finally saw some results from that diet. And I’m getting this done on a Wednesday, so I can lay claim to it ahead of the feasts to come.

Thanksgiving, after all, starts a set of holidays that pretty much all set us up for massive dieting fails. Because this is my typical Thanksgiving celebration, and I’m pretty sure it’s standard: Visit at least one gathering, or host it yourself. Have massive servings of turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes and other goodies.

Sit on couch catching up with people you see once a year. Watch football. Repeat.

There’ll be a few conversations that go something like this (when your favorite aunt or cousin or whoever loves to cook sweets realizes you passed on the sweets: “Aren’t you going to have some of my pie?” “Well, it’s really delicious, but I’m trying not to have so many...” “Oh don’t be silly, you could use the good, just let me get some for you, sit down.”

Some people run out to sales, some go to movies, some even go back to work Friday, but generally the above can fill not just Thanksgiving Day, but also a lot of the weekend.

And then the Christmas parties start. With lots of food.

Honestly, we could stretch it all the way back to Halloween, and all the way forward to Valentine’s, both times where we’re encouraged to give, and enjoy, lots of sweets. And if you say you don’t participate on Halloween, let me just ask, how many times did you walk by candy on sale for the holiday and did you always avoid buying some for yourself? Yeah, it’s ok, me neither.

So far, I’ve kept the numbers declining. But I’m pretty sure as we start into what amounts to the harvest feasts, as though preparing for a scarce winter, that could change for me and a good many other people. 

I’m just saying, if you’re like me, take a good look at the mirror because you might not look the same after the next couple of months. Hey, if that happens, at least we know we can start again. Right after another helping of turkey and stuffing.

— Jeff Farrell is a reporter for The Mountain Press. Call 428-0748, ext. 216, or e-mail to