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The most wonderful time of the year...

Let's talk about a very important topic this time of year...


I'm serious. Since October 15, I've been eating non stop.

First there was Halloween Candy.

Then Thanksgiving.

Now it is December. It is cold, and frosty, and the Holiday treats are out in force.

This is the time when all kinds of goodies start showing up at workplaces around the country.

At the bike shop, grateful customers bring us all kinds of treats. We get tins of cookies, and other homemade delicacies. Some customers know us really well, and bring in "adult beverages" (for after hours of course).

My favorite is the homemade fudge that one customer brings in. We fight over that plate.

On top of all the goodies, the cold weather just makes me want to cuddle up with a mug of hot chocolate and not leave the house.

Yummy, warm, comfort food is what I am craving during this time of year.

Chili, soups, stews, all the goodness, and most of it full of creams, butter, and lots of fattening items.

And still not leave the house.

Delicious Beef Tenderloin Tips from the restaurant where my brother is the head chef!

I am at the time of my life, where if I look at the word "carbohydrate", I gain 5 pounds.

Dammit, just typing that put on 3.

Anyway, the point is, this time of year is tough.

The weather is cold, it gets dark out at 4pm, but the food is delicious, and I just want to eat my body weight in cookies, fudge and anything else that makes my mouth drool.

Not the best way to keep my conditioning--ok, any conditioning. In fact, I'm looking more and more like the Stay-Puff Marshmallow girl.

Actually, I'm not even really working out, so that isn't helping either.

Which leads me to what's really going on.

This is the most wonderful time of the year, but it can be also really suck.

In the past month, I've had two close friends lose their fathers. And another friend lose her mother.

There have also been other friends with family difficulties, death of pets, and other heartache.

And then there were the tornadoes that ripped through Kentucky and other states recently.

All of this has made me reflect on the loss of my own father and step-father (who we lost at Christmas time).

No wonder I'm eating constantly.

Visiting my mom and brother...and eating great food!

But as usual, even though this time of year can remind us of the heartbreaks, we try to gather together as family and friends, and celebrate the holidays, and each other.

Granted it has been pretty difficult these past couple of years to gather. And just when it seems there is light at the end of the tunnel, another variant pops up.

Whether it is the birth of Christ, the miracle of Hanukkah, the joy of Kwanzaa, or even Festivus for the rest of us...coming together with friends and family help make it all better.

Even if you have to wear your "fat jeans".

So, as I stuff another Christmas cookie in my mouth, I know that come January 1, I will start anew...not only in a new job, but also with getting my act back together. I'm looking into a nutritionist (even though I kinda know what to do), and I'm going to have to get back in shape.

My friend wants me to run a trail race in April (more on that later).

So, I'm not going to beat myself up for putting on a few pounds, and taking a break from working out. We all need to take a moment, to relax and breathe.

Sunset from my mom's condo in Florida.

And be a little kinder to ourselves.

I'll be back. But after I take a short break in Florida.

Now, hand me another "Grandma" cookie or two! Thanks Aunt Jane!

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