Okay. I have to admit it.
I have always been something of a Luddite, but there is no getting around the fact: the Internet is amazing.
You can find anything – absolutely anything at all – on the Internet… if you can swallow anything at all.
In the 1990s, the average person could expect to swallow enough to gain six pounds over the holiday season, and on average, never get back to their pre-Christmas weight.
In the following decade, British people expected that their average citizen – no name or address given – would gain seven to ten pounds in the month leading up to and including New Year’s Day.
Proof that the British are basically an optimistic people rests in their belief that that average citizen was destined to shed the added weight by mid-March – again, no vital information is offered, so we can’t look him or her up and see if their belief matched reality.
Americans, according to the results of a study conducted in Texas during that same decade, were found to gain only about one pound during the holidays.
But the study also suggested that once that pound took up residence in a Texan’s body, it rarely left, and in ensuing months, was more likely to call over all its friends, who would call over all their friends, who would call over all their friends…
Now, in the current decade, we have reached a new understanding.
It doesn’t matter what country you’re from (so I assume that includes us), you will gain weight over the holidays… but not because of the holidays! Our propensity to gain weight over Thanksgiving dinner, add to it with Christmas cheer, and multiply it by New Year’s celebration is purely coincidental.
We gain weight because our bodies like getting fat in preparation for the winter solstice.
That being the case, I expect to achieve my peak weight for this season at 2:23 in the afternoon next Friday. After that, I look forward to the days getting longer again, and my body getting lanker.
In the meantime, I’m going to follow the most up-to-date psychological advice available, and not worry about my holiday weight, because it’s actually worrying about my weight that threatens to exacerbate my solstice-inspired weight gain. It’s not the cream puffs, turkey stuffing, or egg nog.
It’s all there on the Internet… if you can swallow that.