Friday, March 12, 2010

Easter Candy, or Why New Year's Resolutions to Lose Weight Frequently Don't Succeed

- Ok, I'm going to go ahead and say upfront that this should probably be two different blogs, but one dovetails so nicely into the next that I'm going to leave it. -

I had an epiphany the other day, and it has made me wonder how anyone in the history of ever has kept a New Year's Resolution to lose weight for more than two or three months.

Everybody knows that in January, right after New Year's with its resolutions, the gyms are all packed and most of America goes on some kind of diet. We're all fat, we all wish we weren't, so with a new year comes fresh convictions and optimistic changes and hopes that we can change ourselves for the better. Well, through both personal experience and observation, I can tell you with relative certainty why people don't/can't/won't stay on a diet for very long after the new year.

Easter.

Shocking, right? Think about this: in January, your diet/exercise plan is both new and novel and you are all excited and maybe even getting some results. Then, BAM! Valentine's Day. Now, if you're single, you might be able to avoid the Valentine candy. But no sooner has that passed than EASTER hits you. And Easter is different; Easter is special. When you really get down to it, there are really four big candy related holidays: Valentine's Day, Easter, Halloween and Christmas. But of all of them, Easter has the most decadent and tempting (irony given the holiday's meaning?) seasonally specific candy. Sure, Valentine's day has conversation hearts and Halloween has candy corn.... but Easter. Who can resist Robin's Eggs? Or.... Cadbury Creme Eggs...... It's a dieting person's nightmare!! Just when you're really getting used to not eating crap (read: tasty, fattening food) all the time is when the absolute most delicious and bad-for-you treat rears its sugary, chocolatey head. And like I said, it's seasonally specific!! You can't even GET Cadbury Creme Eggs any other time of the year, so I, for one, feel like I'm wasting a delicious opportunity by NOT eating one some of them.


I realize that this is getting lengthy (that's what she said), but I have a related topic I must send into the blog-o-whatever. My Caleb friend and I were discussing this very thing last night, but it was within a larger discussion of the differences between men and women. Yeah, yeah, this can go on forever, but it started with me mentioning a girl we both know and how I thought she was absolutely gorgeous. He said that he didn't think she was all that pretty. I, being an avid reader of Smitten blogs, I said that our mutual friend must just be "girl pretty." He, reasonably, had never heard the term, so I explained it with regard to our friend: "She's a girl that girls want to look like, not necessarily a girl that guys find attractive." I supplied a couple more examples of friends we have that I would absolutely kill to look like, but he reiterated that they weren't really what he would consider super attractive. I asked him if there were any dudes that he would want to look like, and he told me that he's never really thought about it. I understand that he's a dude, and dudes don't typically think about their looks in that way, but the interesting thing is that he didn't know how much I, as a girl, thought about it. Let me just let all of the boys in the world in on a secret: Women think about that all the time. Who they'd rather look like. I have an extensive mental list of women- actresses, musicians, friends- that I would love to look like, or at least approach looking like. Most of them are just skinnier than me, but others have good hair or pretty teeth or blue eyes or whatever other trait that I envy to a certain degree. Women are just like that (truly Così fan tutte! Ha ha... opera humor.... ::ahem::).

Anyway, I feel like this could be a contributing factor as to why women are "crazy" or whatever other stereotype you can think of. I mean, it's probably helping with why I'M any bit of crazy. When I say that I compare myself to other women, I mean, every single day, all day, many, many times. When I'm watching TV, or at my crappy retail job at the mall, or at the frickin' grocery store... doesn't matter. I will say this, though- the time it happens the worst, the most consistently? When I eat. Day to day, I can tell you without much thought exactly what I have eaten, what I consider "cheat" food, what I'm planning on eating later and if I have any snacky food at home to facilitate more "cheat" eating later. When I told this to Caleb, he was surprised and just couldn't fathom comparing himself to other dudes like that, or monitoring his food intake with borderline obsession. I'm an emotional eater, too, though, and that doesn't help. THAT'S a whole 'nother blog, though....

This sort of reminds me of a while back, when we were at rehearsal. Our director was telling us that no one knows how beautiful they truly are. "Women, especially. They are always comparing themselves to other women and judging themselves to ridiculous standards. Something else, they're always jealous of each other's hair." At this point, I indicated a friend of mine whose hair is always SO cute and at the same moment she goes, "Yeah, like Courtney." The fact that we proved his point was kind of forgotten as we both just died laughing.

So what does all of this mean? I don't know. Aside from the fact that I need to quit eating so much damn Easter candy, it is just something to think about.

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5 comments:

Pop and Ice said...

I like the idea of blaming the candy holidays for my weight issue. Well, I don't really have a weight issue except for wishing I were skinnier. I'm not really all too fired up to do anything about it.

As far as wishing to look like other, more perfect women? Gave that up years ago. Probably something to do with my age and knowing it's never gonna happen...

Laoch of Chicago said...

I think the thing that makes people attractive is often self confidence. There was once a famous sociologist, Erving Goffman, who wrote a book about something called the dramaturgical self in which he theorized that people play roles all the time like actors in a play. In studying this he found that people who acted a certain way were often taken at face value by other people. So if they acted self confidently and went around assuming other people would find them attractive often other people would in fact find them so. Eventuality people who played a certain role for an extended period eventually became the thing that they were pretending to be, which was kind of weird but interesting.

William said...

My job as a dad "dude" is very often be placed into that danger zone of having to comment on that deadly question from my wife and three daughters..."am I fat?"... None of them are even close but this is how they operate. They do spend way to much time in front of a mirror trying to convince themselves they are fat and need to go on a diet when they should be in there making a sandwhich.I think we have every piece of exercise machinery made by man in storage. I have learned to just shut up and move out the old one and make room for the new one.The latest gadget being those ab belts you strap on and walk around while they shock the hell and fat out of you... I would run into a burning building to pull each of them out but I have this phobia when it comes to being shocked by any kind of electricity.It usually last about two weeks and then its off to the garage in wait for a trip to storage to be with it's cousins...What really makes them each beautiful in their own different little way is the way they all treat people and how it reflects back onto them. It effects everyone around them.They are always surrounded by great friends and laughter which is really the key to a beautiful life...Of course if your a man who has lived with four women your entire life you know the only cure for the "fatness blues" is an all day shopping event for a new pair of shoes....

refugee from reason said...

"...I feel like this could be a contributing factor as to why women are "crazy" or whatever other stereotype you can think of."

"Women. What do they want? They eat green salad and drink human blood." (Herzog Saul Bellow)

Lise said...

i love the picture !