Friday, January 01, 2010

The Holidays Are Finally Over: Resume Diet

Christmas creepImage via Wikipedia
If you are looking to lose a little weight and get back in shape, the Rio Grande Valley is probably not the best place to do it. I am so glad the holidays are behind us.

So the first holiday is Thanksgiving. It's an American holiday, not unique to the RGV. Fine. Still, it's the first of several. So, we eat a 5 billion calorie meal, get the sleepies, and go shopping. For some, the turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and other foods are not enough. We also need to throw in tamales and Bud Light. I don't know why Bud Light is so popular here. Suffice it to say that you'll see it at every gathering.

Then there is Christmas. In the United States, mostly non-Catholic, Christmas is a time for gifts and good-will. For us, it's occasion for Midnight Mass and another feast. The feast can be another turkey and all the traditional dressings, or you can go all Mexican with the buñuelos, capirotada, piñata, menudo, and whatever the custom from wherever in Mexico the family hails. Of course, no feast is complete without tamales and Bud Light. Unlike Thanksgiving, however, which is not very well felt amongst recent immigrants, Christmas is occasion to bust out the Presidente rum and assortment of tequilas. Some people will want to get all fancy and bust out the Bucanas (Buchanan's).

Christmas is just a practice round for New Years. Geez, Louise. More buñuelos than the eye can see, tamales up the ying yang, menudo, pozole, and ... Bud Light. Whatever you had for Christmas in tequila, Presidente, or Bucanas, double it. New Years is the time to get fit shaced. One thing I admire about my Mexican heritage is the willingness to deal with tomorrow when it comes.

There is still one holiday left, Dia de los Reyes Magos. Many families leave their Christmas tree up until that day when a second round of gifts comes along. It's a little more mellow with a big pastry in the form of a ring being the main food item. Whomever gets a baby Jesus figurine in their portion of "la rosca" has to provide a meal for everybody at the gathering. This is probably why it's not as popular.

So, after New Year, you are most likely to get your diet back on track. With a "hispanic" population (we're all Mexican, which the census seems to forget) of more than 80%, don't think you can live here and get away with not eating some tamales. You'll create so much bad will that you might as well move to East Texas.

So, it's time get that diet going again. You only have 10 months to go before you start packing on the pounds again. And to think that winter used to be the time when people starved until the next harvest. Good luck and get your burn in ASAP.
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