Did you get fat? I got fat. It's o.k.

Every year, media leads into the holiday season with a bunch of articles about weight. "Statistics show Americans gain an average of five pounds every holiday season. The problem? They never lose it." Or, "How to stay on your diet through the holidays!" How about this one? "Healthy versions of your holiday favorites!" 

Blech. I don't know about you, but I do not care about gaining a few pounds, did not plan to stay on my diet over the holidays, and have no interest in healthy versions of childhood favorites. My grandma's kolache calls for plenty of butter and sour cream, and my other grandma's pie, well... let's just say it's a good thing all the sugar is balanced by all the fat or your pancreas might just walk off the job in disgust. And I am totally fine with that.

See, I'm holistic in my approach to life. That doesn't mean I treat every ill with vitamins, or that I'm careful to meditate daily. (I should meditate daily, but just like you, my commitment flags.) I'm holistic in that the needs of my body do not trump the needs of my spirit or my heart in all situations. I'm holistic in the sense that I believe our pursuits require balance, Our physical activity needs quiet repose, our attention to work needs time and space for play, and our healthy food choices demand indulgence. If a happy life lies in the middle, which I think it does, then weeks of food penance should be rewarded with our season of feasting.

Did I get fat? Yes, I got fat. But I got fat on the kolache my grandmother made for every family gathering. I got fat on the pie that has now been in my family for generations. I got fat on the homemade and artisan-crafted sweet treats kind people thought to bring me. Yes, I got fat, but I got fat renewing the bonds of family and culture, letting down my self-denial for a few days to enjoy a slice of pie in front of the fire. I don't regret one bite.

Did you get fat? It's o.k. Now it is January, and we have to go back to work, and back to school, and we have to get our schedules back in order. We have to reestablish our discipline, and eat vegetables besides potatoes and yams, and go back to the gym. Do just a little more for a few weeks, and you will be back to your pre-holiday weight. But you will still be wrapped in the warm memories of the holiday season, and the strengthening of heart and soul that comes laden with a few extra calories.