Yes, I’m going on a diet again | Mark’s Remarks

marksTo say I have been an over-eater during this season is probably an understatement.  I can’t say “no” to holiday food.

So, around this time, I find myself usually saying things like “Okay, a few more days until the New Year and then I’m going to watch what I eat.”

I don’t know if you are like me, but it seems my taste buds have changed over the years.  Thankfully, I can only stand so much sweet stuff until I need something salty. I can no longer put away the amount of cookies that I used to put away.

Still, you wouldn’t count me out if there were a cookie eating contest. I’d be a contender.  Perhaps a dark horse in the race, but still a contender.

I haven’t seemed to have lost my taste buds when it comes to cheese, sausage, bread, crackers and all the appetizers that go along with Christmas and New Year’s parties.

My wife made these terrific sausage thingies that were in baked wonton wraps.  She was worried about how they’d taste.  She shouldn’t have worried.

If I can be happy about my ability to stop eating sweets, I should not be so excited about the fact I can still put away a large portion of the cheese tray.

At my relative’s home on Christmas Eve, I kept revisiting the cheese plate, spearing the cheese cubes and pieces of summer sausage as if I were a harpooning, deep sea diver.

Once when I went back to the plate, I realized I had been the one who had eaten most of the cheese and sausage. Embarrassed, I turned away quickly; right after snagging two more cubes.

And then, of course, you have the old stand-bys of mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, stuffing, turkey and all the fixins. Butter on everything.

In my head, I’m thinking “Just a few more days of this and I’m quitting: Cold turkey.”  It’s good to think about it. I might even quit eating the cold turkey.

That’s the way I operate. I can’t gradually eat less. I must make the decision and then just stop it.

I can be satisfied with a good breakfast full of healthy things to eat. A mid-morning snack, if necessary, can be an apple or something else in that department.

If I know supper is going to be fairly substantial with maybe some chicken, veggies and such, I can usually get by with a big salad for lunch.

My other problem is the forbidden diet soda which has been reported to cause all kinds of issues. I’m planning on quitting it, yet again. I feel so good when I’m “off” the soda. It’s very evident my body is thankful when I only drink water and healthy alternatives. At times, I’ve quit drinking it for several months.

So, I always wonder why in the world I go back to drinking it. Let’s face it: I’m addicted.

My students know I’m a Diet Mountain Dew guy. I got a bunch of bottles from them for teacher gifts. In my mind I’m saying “After I drink all of these.” There are only two left in the cold garage. All cold and ready for consumption, they are. I won’t even need ice. Listen to that fizz. I’ll just sip it slowly.

I’m thinking I may need to at least buy one more two-liter, though, for our New Year’s get together.  I mean, Dec. 31, after all.  Right? Might as well have one more drink before midnight.

So that’s the plan: eat healthy, stop soda; cold turkey.  I’ve done it before, even for long periods of time. I know that will power is actually in there, somewhere.

On top of it all, I need to manage my time better.  Get up earlier, pray more, read my Bible, get my head on straight.

For now, I must finish this column, along with the large mug of hot coffee with way too much creamer in it. The column is due by noon.

Later, I’m pretty sure my visiting mother has left ham, rolls, and noodles in the fridge.  They are all just as good warmed up today as they were on Christmas day. Why not celebrate getting this column completed?

Plus, as we wash up the fancy dessert plate from the dining room, wouldn’t it be easier to go ahead and polish off the few remaining cookies instead of dirtying up a Tupperware container?

And heck, we might as well warm up this other stuff so that we can clean out the fridge.

Help! Somebody stop me!

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Mark Tullis

Mark is a 25-year veteran teacher teaching in Columbia. Originally from Fairfield, Mark is married with four children. He enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with his family, and has been involved in various aspects of professional and community theater for many years and enjoys appearing in local productions. Mark has also written a "slice of life" style column for the Republic-Times since 2007.
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