Friday, December 19, 2008

Tis the season to be eating... fa la lala ...oooof.

I feel like I have been eating non-stop for 4 days. (A stunning declaration when you consider I've been teaching "Holiday Eating" for the last 2 weeks to 180 frantic, panicked, weight loss participants.) It kicked off with the chowder followed by Christmas Cookies on Saturday - I've never been much for moderation when it comes to iced sugar cookies. Sunday followed it up with the sampling of low-calorie buckeyes I was making, and a late dinner at Putter's.

Monday was our departmental Christmas party at Riverburch. Due to the lay out of the party - food due North, wine and beer at East & West, and my hesitancy to navigate north and risk enforced mingling with medical campus staff I didn't know ("oh! have you met so & so?") I held camp near the wine bar with the rest of the research staff. Staff and faculty mix like oil and water at these events, so my antisocial behavior, while not entirely appropriate, is not unusual for our department. One brave staffer parted the seas and grabbed me a plate of shrimp cocktail, fortunately preventing the wine + empty stomach = no driving home.

Tuesday was our staff luncheon at Village Tavern, capped off by a monthly dinner date with my friend Suzanne at Hutch & Harris. This was my first visit to H&H, but I could no more fit an entree into my belly than could one person squeeze onto a 5 pm metrocar headed to Ballston. So I had a soup and salad, and lovingly packed up an bowl of She-Crab Soup to take home to the hubby. (I failed to look at the serving however, until I arrived home and we noted that a "to go" bowl serving is approximately 2 tablespoons. Thanks, H&H.) PS, Tuesday night is free taco night if you ordered a $5 margarita. What what! I already had my wine order in before I found that out, but note to you, savvy Winston-Salem diner, for future reference.

Wednesday reached an all-time high in the calorie consumption with our participant potluck party. I love watching the different dishes stroll through the door. My "weight loss" participants show up for the first hour, laden with fruit salads, shrimp cocktail and veggie trays. The next hour brings "weight loss + exercise" participants who tend to be a little more liberal, with baked chicken entrees, some low calorie desserts, chips + salsa, soups, roasted veggie dishes and other delectable but healthy treats. The final hour is dedicated to "exercise only" - a group to whom no nutritional information has been given - and this is when the fried chicken, ham biscuits, green bean casserole and coconut cake that covered dish parties in the South are known for all make their appearance. As they arrived, my "combo" folks were packing up and I watched the panic cross their face as they saw many of their former temptations arrive on the buffet.

One of my participants pulled me aside, her voice dripping with concern. "Who brought the Krispy Kremes?" she practically hissed. "An exercise only person," I told her as I patted her arm consolingly. "You should probably go - it's only going to get worse from here," I recommended, as I spied the unmistakable yellow and red of a Bojangles box approaching from the parking lot.

All of our participants loved playing Monica's new toy - the wii Fit. However, it was a little awkward when the wii Fit age proclaimed many of them to be 12-15 years older than their actual age or loudly pronounced "You are OBESE" as the little Mii man blew up to twice his size. Errrm.... well..... *shrugs*

One of our greatest success stories, a woman has maintained a 40 pound lost stepped on the wii to test her fit age. A combination of BMI, posture, balance and agility determines your fitness age. Her elation when the wii declared her THIRTY years younger than her actual age? Unmeasurable. Her celebration was just another reminder of why I love my job.

And today, the final day before our 2 week Christmas vacation, is another reason I love my job. Remember how the day before vacation in school was always a waste of a day? You might watch a video, maybe do a worksheet, and then trade presents with friends and dutifully turn in your present (that your mom picked out - a candle, a bar of soap, a gift card to barnes & nobles) to teacher. That is what my last day of work before a holiday tends to be like.

I had 2 phone call coaching sessions this morning, and in about fifteen minutes I'll head over to our center to mingle with exercising participants. I'll work maybe a half day, I won't teach anything, and I'll give out lots of hugs and reminders to eat healthy and weigh thyself over the holiday. Then around 1:15, as the last of my participants head out the door, I'll briefly consider going into the office to do some data entry before convicning myself that "nah. I'll do some over the break."

Then I'll come home, to my already-vacationing hubby, and our 2-week, much-awaited, it's finally here Christmas Vacation will begin. Merry Christmas!

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