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Sit a bit and hear some observational stories I’ve been steeping.

Darned 7 Deadly Sins

September 1st — for me is known as the dawn before the darkness that leads to nearly nine months of battling the 7 Deadly Sins.  Before you write me off as some miserable miscreant, hear me out.

Every year, around mid-September I walk into my local drug store and find myself caught between cringing and quivering at the sight of the empty racks that once held harmless back-to-school supplies.  Why this mixture of love and loathing?  Empty racks this close to October can mean only one thing: the return of the evil Halloween candy aisles.  Rows and rows of joy (almond) and bliss (dove) and an immoral amount of sugar and colors not found in nature assault my senses.

Please note that I’m not a chocoholic, dessert or sweet freak, but there is just enough temptation throughout three-quarters of every year that keep me on my toes fighting the good fight, all in the name of numbers: calories, carbs, scale results, tape measures and clothing sizes.  This could explain the mystery as to why I’m slightly number phobic, too.

Let the record show that I’m also willing to publicly profess that I’m not an exercise nut nor do I fixate on body image (and anyone who has ever sat next to me at any incredible meal can vouch for that).  I’m mostly all about moderation and being healthy, but the siren call of the holiday seasons kick my butt (all ten extra pounds of it) most thoroughly.

Shortly after my birthday in mid-June I start training, not really like an athlete, more like a warrior preparing for a spiritual battle, of sorts.  Anxiety sets in when I realize I have only three short months to gird my loins, or coerce my thighs, to get ready for the onslaught that’s coming.

Starting in October, I wrestle with lust – as bags and bags of candy call my name.  To quiet this voice, I have always purchased 12 bags of candy on October 1st insisting they’re for the costumed callers at the end of the month, yet I end up consuming close to half of the bags before All Hallows eve.

By November 1st, greed usually has me in a tussle with my own children as I beg them to part with their candy bags telling them that they can trade in the candy for other prizes and treats.  But, the candy never leaves my pantry as another four weeks has me digging through those candy bars, malted milk balls and tangy taffy. 

You can probably figure out for yourselves that gluttony accompanies the window between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.  It’s not just me either, as I join my compatriots across the land in indulging in the homemade treats and meals of our loved ones, for how can we say no when so much care (and butter) goes into each dish?  That's just unconditional love in a Pyrex, right there.

Are any of us surprised when sloth greets most of us during the first few weeks of January?  Fatigue and an additional handful of pounds literally weigh us down on sofas and recliners from Malibu to Miami.

I may be speaking for myself here, but by February apathy has taken up residence because by this point, I know from Valentine’s Day to Easter it’s useless to try and combat the seemingly endless current of gourmet chocolates, elementary school cookie dough fundraisers and the boxes and boxes of Girl Scout Cookies (and the crafty little minxes keep introducing delicious new recipes, too).

The end of May arrives and with it, the taunting advertisements filled with swimsuits, short-shorts and the middle-aged woman’s sworn tricep bat-wing enemy: halter dresses.  Envy rears its ugly head like a long horn bull in branding season, kicking and snorting through every triple-mirrored dressing room the mall has to offer.

By the time my birthday arrives again in mid-June those numbers return in full force to haunt me, provoking wrath.  Another year older, more lines to count and the same ten pounds I victoriously lost last year are back.  Are you kidding me?  Cursed numbers!!

I vow to fight the good fight again this year, hopefully holding on longer to the sins 7 counterparts – using self-control (buying only 3 lbs. of candy), charity (giving away more candy and treats than I eat), persistence (sticking to the plan day-by-day), kindness (cutting myself some slack when I backslide), purity (okay – I got nuthin’ for this one, any advice is appreciated), bravery and humility (giving some time and credit to the gym).  In the meantime, happy upcoming candy holidays to all and to all a good fight!

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