A few weeks ago, while treadmilling my way through an America’s Next Top Model marathon, I noticed a poster at the gym advertising a contest that promised $1,000 to the disciplined soul who could maintain her weight from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve. I’m in okay shape, but my most sincere efforts at dieting consist of microwaving one package of Easy Mac instead of two for a late-night snack. But I will eschew all my guilty pleasure junk food wonders if I think it might help pay off my credit card debt, and so I decided to accept the challenge. Stepping on a scale that announced my overall body fat percentage was about equal to that in a tub of butter was double motivation.
I channeled my inner competitor, which in recent years has only had the chance to engage in rounds of beer pong, and decided I could totally win this contest. I quickly calculated that between the six airports I would sprint through Thanksgiving weekend, plus trips up and down State Street for holiday shopping, and my usual Thursday through Saturday night dance club crawl, I had a fighting chance. This is all multiplied by my advantage over everyone who will falter while fulfilling their social obligations during the holidays, with the requisite alcoholic and treat consumption, in that my year-round consumption of all-things booze and goodies is well above the national average. I’ve also decided my pedometer used to record my progress is cute, and thus will treat it like a piece of holiday flair.
It’s been about two weeks, and while I didn’t find the strength to resist the amazing spread this Thanksgiving, I did record that every trip around the buffet table was 17 steps, which hopefully worked off at least one of several helpings of sweet potato pie. It might be slightly unrealistic to think that I can beat out all of Southern California, especially since I’m not exactly willing to forgo my stilettos for sneakers, even if I could walk more steps in them. At the very least, the contest has motivated me to try and be healthier during the holidays and all year long, which is like a free lifelong present to myself!