This is the moment of truth.
Well, actually, its much longer than a moment, like about six weeks, and during those six weeks, my self-discipline and willpower will be sorely tested.
I have known this test was coming ever since April. That's when I finally decided I had to keep the New Year's resolution I made in 1985 and lose some weight. To that end, I, along with my good wife, began paying closer attention to just exactly what we were eating and how much of it we were putting away.
Now this isn't the first time I've ever done this sort of thing. I've managed to diet for as long as two weeks on several occasions.
Those campaigns usually came to abject losses about five pounds later as soon as my brain began complaining about a chocolate shortage. Three or four Hershey bars or a large hot fudge sundae later, and I'd be on my way back to the original state of fatness.
But this time, to my surprise, I was successful beyond my wildest dreams. About 15 percent of myself has disappeared and I'm down to a weight I last saw in 1968. In wrestling terms, I've dropped more than three weight classes since April and have been forced to spend more money on clothes. Xantac and Prilosec, however, are no longer on my shopping list.
Now, though, I'm faced with Thanksgiving dinner, and I'm afraid my will power is getting a bit shaky. I can already smell the turkey roasting. I'm beginning to crave mashed potatoes and gravy, dreaming of sweet potatoes and imagining the whipped cream on a piece of pumpkin pie.
Even worse, the temptation doesn't end with the pumpkin pie. My imagination already has me spreading mustard on a cold turkey sandwich on Friday, if not sooner.
But, while Thanksgiving dinner does present a pitfall, I think I am prepared to handle it. I have not, after all, been a fundamentalist dieter. I've cut way back on pasta, but not completely avoided it, and, when the time is right, have indulged in a scone or nibbled a bit of cheesecake. I've even stopped at the Dairy Queen—only once, and for a small sundae — and eaten a Hershey bar, which took more than a week, since I only ate one square a day. In short, I've developed a modicum of self-discipline with regard to food.
So I think I'm fully armed to deal with Thanksgiving. I will, no doubt, eat too much, especially the potatoes and gravy, a dish I haven't eaten since last Thanksgiving, but I am prepared to compensate for it. After all, I managed to get through my birthday on only one small slice of carrot cake and went all summer without purchasing a large Blizzard at that place in Cody. If I can do that, I can handle Thanksgiving.
Unfortunately, Thanks-giving is followed by the cookie season, also known as December, which coincides with the candy season and the party mix season as well. Tis the season to be nibbling, to paraphrase an old Yuletide carol.
But though temptation will be everywhere, I am fully armed to resist it, and will triumph in the end.
At least I hope so, because, after 25 years, I'm pretty tired of making that New Year's resolution.