He’s the Reason You’re Fat

Calendar Boy

It’s time we lay our cards on the table–our cards slicked with Mamma’s down-home fried-chicken grease–and admit in one glorious raising of voice, “Two thousand and eleven’s New Year’s resolutions are dead.” Not just dead. Cremated. Scattered. Gone.

Come on, fess up. If you’re reading this blog filled with all sorts of fatty-fat-fat recipes, chances are one of the promises you wrote down on January 1, either in your journal in happy purple ink or in that sexy iPad of yours in an expectant techno-blue font, had to do with weight: either lose it, firm it, suck it, or disguise it. Me, too.

I don’t know when it happened to you, but for me the stake was plunged into the hopeful heart of my resolution sometime around Valentine’s Day. I could feel the pull, the siren’s call, “Come to me, bend to me!” of personal pan lasagna, lobster fra diavolo, and linzer heart cookies. My ruin was titanic, not just in size, but in progression–slow, sprouting leaks of willpower that soon turned into uncontrollable hemorrhaging of resolve, eventually resulting in the sinking of what was this time the greatest, most airtight resolution ever made.

If, like me, you’re of the gustatory persuasion and find that it’s nigh unto impossible to lose or keep weight off after the holidays, double chin up. I’ve discovered the reason: it’s not you; it’s the calendar that’s all wrong. We have King Numa Pompilius, who ruled Rome from 715 to 673 BC, to thank for this. Until HRH NP came along, March was the beginning of the year. He added January and February to the calendar as a lark, a kind of free gift with purchase. And with that he once and for all sealed the fate of fatties everywhere.

As I see it, if God wanted us to lose weight as we tossed off the yoke and shackles of the prior year, He, in all His knowingness, would have made not January or March the beginning of the year, but April. And He would’ve smote any king, Roman or otherwise, who disagreed. Why April? Because that’s when most everyone wants to eat all sorts of crinkly greenstuffs. Starting in April, even I enjoy veggies (as much as that’s possible) and all those foods that chittery little animals delight in.

Instead what do we have? Thanks to Pompous Pompilius, a completely natural God-given desire to stuff ourselves to bursting throughout the cold months so that we have enough subcutaneous food supplies (AKA ass fat) to make it through to what should be the real beginning of the year: spring. And what are the foods we yearn for during the ushering in of the new year? Goulashes, daubes, mac & cheese. At least I do. And every time The One (who suffers from the same compulsion, but has a few Elizabethan-size banquets left in him before he has to worry about his weight, damn him) spies me almost shorting out my computer as I drool over recipes on the blog, he chastens me with a cheery, “Don’t you want to have a salad for dinner tonight?”

“NO, NO I DON’T, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.” And that’s usually followed by, “IT’S NOT MY FAULT, I’M A VICTIM OF PRE-CHRISTIAN TYRANNY.” That tends to be enough to throw him off balance so I can get to the job at hand of cooking cold-season-appropriate dishes.

I passed this by Dr. Kamm, my internist, in January when I was having my yearly physical. (Ha! Yearly physical. Yet another travesty to the culinarily challenged. What sadist decided January would be the ideal month to wipe the slate clean, to strip ourselves bare, literally, and pony up for our sin of six weeks of holiday gluttony?)

“Just think how gloriously thinner and healthier I’d be in April,” I said to him. He ripped the blood pressure cuff off my arm with a waggle of his head. Apparently the medical establishment wasn’t buying my premise of calendric sabotage. For him, it’s still the old mantra: calories and exercise, calories and exercise.

Tsk-tsked by friends, shunned by the medical community, I’m turning to the one person on earth who might be able to exert the needed force on the (apparently skinny) keepers of the calendars, to bend them to my will. The Pope. Il Papa. If His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, the clear and logical trump to any old-timey Roman king, can move the new year to April 1st, we might have a fighting chance. Just think: resolutions might make it all the way until July as we ride the wave of fresh produce and earthy-smelling, unrecognizable plants we would normally roll our eyes at during the dark winters of our discontent.

If you’re with me, the Pope’s address is:

His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI
Apostolic Palace
00120 Vatican City

Not in the mood to figure out international postage? You can always e-mail His Holiness at benedictxvi@vatican.va. I reckon if we get 1 percent of the world’s population to write, that’s roughly 69,026,269 people. We could definitely get some damn good grass roots traction from that.

David Leite's signature
Comments
Comments
  1. Martha in KS says:

    David, you should do what I did this year. I scheduled my physical in December, before the baking marathon began. The diagnosis–Terminal Thighitis. My doctor said “lose some weight, exercise more” but it would have been worse if I’d waited a month to see her.

    • David Leite says:

      Ah, clever you, Martha. I was thinking of putting off my next physical until May, but December is even better. Oooh! Maybe even right before Thanksgiving. I think that’s when I’m the thinnest each year.

  2. Greg Bulmash says:

    You should see my “exerdesk”. I’ve got a rolling laptop stand at just the right height so I can read blogs or type comments while I burn 900 calories an hour on a recumbent bike. I’m typing this at minute 40 of my second workout of the day. I’ve done hundreds of miles (and lost 12 pounds) while just eating more sensibly “most of the time”.

    I’ve just moved an hour or two a day of my work from my desk to my “exerdesk”. I wouldn’t use it for any serious graphics work. But it’s great for e-mail and writing.

    Think about it. Lose weight, eat the way you like, and get exercise while writing about “fatty-fat-fat” recipes. I’m evangelizing the DIY exerdesk to all my friends.

  3. Amanda says:

    You might find some resistance to your cunning plan from those of us south of the equator!
    The whole calendar thingy is working quite well for us down here. (Smug smile!)

    • David Leite says:

      LOL! Well, the Roman empire was firmly ensconced in the northern hemisphere, so I a bit hamstrung up here. But…that doesn’t mean I can’t move down under. Tell me, what do you do on a hot, sunny New Year’s day?

      • Amanda says:

        Given that all of the Australian capital cities are on the coast and New Year’s Day is usually warm–if not an actual stinker–then the beach is where most head during the holiday period! Well, those that have no fear of being seen in skimpy swimwear do, at least. The more mature (and, er, matronly of figure) tend to leave that little treat for their family and the privacy of the back yard pool, although teenagers have been known to blanch and leave the immediate vicinity! Those who may have inadvertently over-refreshed themselves the evening before sometimes choose to spend New Year’s Day recumbent under a fan or air-con with a damp flannel on their heads.

        • David Leite says:

          How exotic! We’re usually up to our knees in snow, temps hovering around -2°C, and we sit utterly still trying not to make too much noise…if you know what I mean.

  4. Cindi Kruth says:

    Well, I for one think this is an excellent idea David. I mope around in January and February thinking that it’ll be weeks, months, before I can get garden fresh vegetables and even THAT makes me seek out hearty, rich comfort food.

  5. Mariko says:

    I knew there was a reason I was fat.
    Now I can eat guilt free.

    I just made goulash. I knew there was a reason for that too.

  6. Susan says:

    I’ve often wondered why most of the important events we celebrate happen in the dead of winter. Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwansza..what else? Why couldn’t they have chosen significant events that occur in the summer months, when it’s hot? Oh, but they were too busy with crops during the summer, eh? How convenient. I wouldn’t dream of firing up the oven in summer. There would be no long simmering braises or trays full of cookies and pies, let alone all the drinks and appetizers. It’d be too hot for all that! (well maybe not the drinks and app’s) But then, fall and winter would come along and I’d be chilled and I’d be bored and…You know where this is going, right? Try as we might..

    • David Leite says:

      Susan, I agree. I think it had to do with the syncing up of Catholic events with pagan holidays so that newly converted Christian wouldn’t be killed. Or so I was told at a cocktail party.

      Som what did you make?

  7. Penny Wolf says:

    I really do agree with you on warmer weather physicals. I am convinced that my cholesterol levels are lower in spring and summer. This year may be different Thank You very much, “Milkshakes Without Borders”.

    • David Leite says:

      Penny, I have to check my cholesterol levels in the spring and summer and see if they differ from my last physical. Thanks for the heads up.

  8. JigglingAndJava says:

    I personally blame “S.A.D.” (Seasonal Affective Disorder).
    I am ‘s.a.d.’, therefore I eat…myself into elastic waist yoga pants.
    I haven’t even DONE yoga since before I needed the pants.
    Lusting over gardening season, for the exercise, activity, and the hope that springs eternal in every vegetable.

    • David Leite says:

      JigglingAndJava, a friend suffers from S.A.D. What a difference in him when the days get longer. She’s so tired of CT winters, he moving to AZ or southern CA. He fells so much better there.

  9. Kim Holloway says:

    I’ve often tried to get back on the weight loss resolution wagon after the valentine’s chocolate has been consumed only to be thwarted by those Girl Scouts and their too-good-to-be-evil cookies. Namely the Samoas. Back in the day, you had to know a Girl Scout (or someone at work who’d birthed one). Now, you can’t go to the grocery store without hearing their siren’s song: “Would you like to buy some Girl Scout cookies?” Why yes, yes I would…

    So glad I happened upon your blog. Can’t wait to try some of your fatty-fat-fat recipes.

    • David Leite says:

      Welcome, Kim! I hope you enjoy surfing around the blog and making some of our fatty-fat-fat recipes and (this is for Renee!) some marvelously healthy and tasty dishes, too. They’re all here. Plus we’ve got some mighty good writing, too.

  10. Manju says:

    You say, “fatty, fat, fat” like it’s a BAD thing…

    As a recovering Catholic, I don’t know what weight (no pun intended) His Holiness would give my input, but I’m on your cause. And that Greg guy is some kind of subversive — I agree with Martha that you shouldn’t coddle his type…

    • David Leite says:

      Manju, hardly! Fatty, fat, fat is GOOD. But so few agree with me. If I had my way, the whole blog would be nothing but!

      Greg. Well, he might be a little bit lost. But he’s thinner, at least!

  11. Lynne Rees says:

    Somehow I don’t think the Pope is going to be sympathetic. This is a man who gets to wear loose tunics and no belts! Please don’t go there.

    • David Leite says:

      That is the FUNNIEST thing I’ve heard! Love it. I guess we’re alone and adrift in this mis-calendric world.

  12. samantha says:

    Just wanted to say that I am so glad i stumbled upon your site this morning! Nothing like a good laugh, a hot cup of coffee, and some lovely looking recipes to start the day. P.S. you made me feel so much better about the 15lbs I have put on since xmas, I just knew it couldn’t be my fault. LOL

    • David Leite says:

      samantha, thanks for chiming in. And welcome to LC! We have a great time around here–what with all the articles and recipes. There’s always something tasty to read or cook.

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