In the deeply philosophical short story, “Oh the Places You’ll Go,” the visionary Dr. Seuss cautiously warns, “I’m sorry to say so/ but, sadly it’s true/ that Bang-ups/ and Hang-ups/ can happen to you . . . be sure when you step/ step with care and great tact/ and remember that life’s/ a great balancing act.”
These incredibly poignant words can easily (and unfortunately) be applied to our eating habits during the holidays. Sure, we’ve gotten past Thanksgiving and some of you may be thinking the hard part is over.
Not so fast. There are still the monthlong temptations of sugar cookies, gingerbread, candy canes, fudge, fruit cakes, pumpkin pie and cinnamon-covered haggis. Finally, Christmas hits us with another turkey dinner, followed by a week of delicious turkey sandwiches, turkey soup, turkey stew, turkey yogurt, turkey jerky and turkey sherbet.
In the incredibly touching short story, “Horton Hears a Who,” the prophetic Dr. Seuss profoundly states, “A person’s a person/ no matter how small.”
But answer me this, doctor: Is a person a person no matter how large? Around the holidays it isn’t so simple to pass on those extra helpings. You see, with all the hours we’ll spend eating, it isn’t the minutes spent at the table that make you put on weight, it’s the seconds.
Now, I’m not talking about dieting here. Dieting is nothing but wishful shrinking. There are no diet foods during the holidays. There is no guiltless whipped cream. No veggie fudge bars. Nor is there low-cal mashed imitation soy-potatoes.
Who would want that anyway? I mean, low-cal really means low taste, right? Sure there’s tofu-turkey, but tofurkey is simply faux-turkey, am I right? It’s just not the same thing and it takes away from the spirit of the holiday season.
No, the thing you have to do is to eat whatever you want, but do it in moderation. Let’s take apple pie for instance. Have a slice. Indulge and enjoy! But, if you wind up eating just desserts, you’ll wind up with your just desserts.
In the troubling (yet festive) short story, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” the winsome Dr. Seuss endearingly writes, “Then he slunk to the ice box/ He took the Whos’ feast/ he took the Who pudding/ he took the roast beast/ He cleaned out that ice box as quick as a flash/ Why, the Grinch even took their last can of Who hash.”
Some might frown upon this and think that the Grinch was being mean. Perhaps he was some sort of Who-Ville Richard Simmons that was just trying to help the Whos watch their weight during the holidays. He did wind up giving everything back, so who (not Who) can really say?
Make sure to eat your fruits and vegetables (fruit cake and carrot cake do not count). And while you’re at it, try to shake that salt habit, too. Do what you think is best to keep your body in fit condition, in any weigh, shape or form. Remember, staying in shape is simply mind over platter. And, by the way, “round” is not a shape. A circle is a shape. “Round” is an adjective that describes a shape and you don’t want to be that kind of adjective or shape.
In the heartrending short story, “Green Eggs and Ham,” Dr. Seuss secretly confesses via one of his characters, “I do not like green eggs and ham/ I do not like them/ Sam I am.”
Spoiler alert: He eats them anyway. That’s right. Even the good doctor has a problem with self-control when it comes to food, even green eggs and ham.
To quote the Grinch once more, “Then the Whos, young and old/ will sit down to a feast/ And they’ll feast, and they’ll feast/ And they’ll feast, feast, feast, feast!/ They’ll feast on Who pudding and rare Who roast beast/ Aw, roast beast is a feast/ I can’t stand in the least!”
Spoiler alert: He eats it anyway . . . but in moderation.
Reach C.W. Plunkett at firstname.lastname@example.org.