Sunday, January 3, 2016

The 7 Deadly Sins of Holiday Eating

The package arrived right before Christmas and the kids were used to seeing boxes piled on the front step. This one was different though as we couldn't tell who it was from. "What's in the box? What's in the box!" they exclaimed as I fumbled for the scissors. It wasn't a sick joke from Kevin Spacey and it had nothing to do with Gwenyth Paltrow's head. It was a box full of #PinkRelief from Pepto- Bismol. The box had me thinking about all the ways we sin against our usual eating habits when the holidays roll around.

It starts right around the end of October. First it's the Halloween parent tax, then it is Grandma's special Thanksgiving stuffing. It's after your family calls you the human garbage disposal that you start to realize that it's just not possible to maintain the healthy eating facade over the holidays. When your mom asks you "Would you like another mountain of sweet potatoes?" you may start to think "How is this going to affect me later?"

The problem for me is, my metabolism and stomach just aren't what they used to be anymore. Passing the forty year threshold has taught me that I can't just eat whatever I want anymore. Internally though, my mind is still stuck in the glorious college days when eating disgusting things was just a way of life. Realistically, I know I shouldn't eat certain things because of the way my body reacts to it. If you've ever purposely chosen a hard chair over a soft chair to contain your busting insides after trying to go back to the place where you once ate 20 atomic wings, you probably know what I'm saying. I just can't hang with that guy anymore without having serious consequences.

Do you carry Pepto wherever you go? I do. In fact, my wife and I have a safe word to indicate to her in public that I am about to erupt. The safe word came after a bad reaction from some delivery food. When things are spiraling out of control I will say "Domino Fred" named after the delivery guy who brought my demise. I used the word at the worst possible time when my wife had just started a new job.  My wife's boss wanted to introduce her to Philly in the best way possible so he decided to take us to every cheese steak place in the city. One cheese steak in though, the jalapeno poppers and wit were not getting along and I shifted nervously in the back seat trying to make it go away. It didn't and I screamed out Domino Fred! Domino Fred! until he pulled over and I ran for it leaving her to explain why I had practically jumped out of a moving car and headed for the nearest lobby bathroom.

It doesn't stop there though especially when I'm travelling. I've suffered from IBS and traveler's diarrhea enough to know that I'd hate to be stuck on an airplane making that long walk to the in-flight lavatory while crop dusting everyone behind me. Maybe it's the sense of pride that gets in the way. Nope, it's the stupidity. I know what jalapenos do to me but I love them so. Crowding around the spicy cheese dip might be a good thing during the holiday party but the aftermath is not pretty.  For all these reasons and more it makes sense to have Pepto's #PinkRelief on hand not only for the holidays but any time our eyes get bigger than our stomach. Here are seven reasons why I still punish myself to this day.

1. Pride

I grew up with three brothers and ate my food with my arms protecting my plate so they wouldn't steal my portions. I'll be damned if I am going to let them out eat me or out spice me. We idiotically add jalapenos to every meal and think that a hot sauce designed to make your posterior leak like a faucet will actually be good for us. I want to be the one victoriously standing, okay well sitting bloated, while my father marvels at the number of helpings I had at the family style holiday buffet. This is usually followed you thinking unbuttoning your top pants button is going to help with that relief. Now your family knows the real reason you didn't tuck in your shirt for the holiday picture. Did you walk into the family celebration only to be rolled out afterwards? Pepto will be there for you to alleviate the indigestion.

2. Gluttony

Honey roasted ham. Turkey with all the trimmings. Pork tenderloin wrapped up in strings. These are a few of my favorite things. When your grandma, heaps a helping upon your plate, you can't shout out that you need her to wait. When your plate tips because it's far too full, you decide that your salad plate can handle the overflow. We LOVE to overdo it during the holidays like we are getting a holiday hall pass for our stomachs. Eating everything in sight because it is there isn't a good choice but it's one we often make because "Hey! I'm on vacation now!"  Isn't it comforting to know that Pepto has your back for your poor choices and can help you get through that upset stomach?

3. Lust

I recently attended a Christmas party where everything was wrapped in bacon. Bacon wrapped scallops, bacon wrapped water chestnuts, bacon wrapped dates filled with cream cheese. If you're reading this you've probably already decided to have a BLT for lunch and I don't blame you. Bacon is ridiculously good.  Is it weird to lust after a food as delicious as bacon? No. Keep calm and bacon on. But if all that grease is making you pay the price the next day, reach for the Pepto and put out that fire burning in your belly.

4. Greed

We've all been there. We've posted up in front of the holiday spread around the donuts like Shaq in his heyday grabbing bear claws like they were rebounds. We take the last cup of coffee, stab at the last piece of food, and vie for the final coffee cake crumbs like the Grinch in a Who's refrigerator. It's the self loathing afterward and often the cramps that remind us of our poor choices later.  Good thing Pepto provides #PinkRelief for our tummy troubles.

5. Envy

Ever go to a restaurant and order the exact wrong thing even though you sent the server away three times? It's that sinking feeling in your gut as you watch another person eating the very thing you should have ordered. Instead, of that catch of the day that should have been thrown back is sitting in front of you and it seems to not be processing nicely. It's only when we are later sitting on the throne that we relive those envious mistakes as if in slow motion replay. Good thing for us #PinkRelief is just a dose away from giving us respite from our burning mistakes.

6. Sloth

It's always a great idea to eat a ton of food and directly end in a sedentary stasis for hours on end. If you've eaten a turducken and watched football for two days straight, it's no wonder your insides feel like a cement truck. We didn't stop there though as the Christmas cookies came out and your aunt is eyeing you with giddy anticipation. She loves to watch you scarf down her culinary contribution almost as much as she loves pinching your cheeks and saying "How BIG you are!" even though you are a grown man. Unfortunately, my wife takes the brunt of this punishment as the bedroom soon becomes a gas chamber. Luckily, Pepto's #PinkRelief handles gas associated with my digestive by-products.

7. Wrath

You've made it through your family's holiday shenanigans and it's time to go home but all that eating has left you feeling rather nauseous. Your mom doesn't want all these leftovers in her fridge as apparently dad doesn't need to eat anything. But you are eyeing the turkey left over from earlier afraid because you feel like the cheese plate, the green bean casserole, and that turkey leg you tried to eat as if you were at Medieval Times are not getting along anymore now that you are vertical. Gravity can do that to a person. While mom is stuffing the family scraps into a lime green coffin all you can think about is rushing home to have quality time with your toilet.

FTC Discalimer: I was compensated for this post by Pepto Bismol and received product for my post. All opinions expressed are my own but you should heed my warning. Uh oh, DOMINO FRED!

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