It’s December, so that means after three months of Jose Mari Chan singing about boys, girls, and lanterns on the street again and again and again on every single shopping mall’s PA system, we only have thirty or so days left before our suffering mercifully comes to an end. Unfortunately, this month has its own unique set of challenges that most of us will encounter.
According to statistics (that don’t exist and I’ve just dreamt up right now), the average adult will be invited to approximately 24 Christmas parties during the entire holiday season, of which he or she will definitely attend 16. Aside from the gifts, the fake smiles, and the drunk flirting that goes on at these events, another thing that is always present is food—mountains of it. With all the lechon, bagnet, kare-kare, hamon, and pancit on seductive display, it’s almost impossible to not succumb.
Gaining a pound or ten during the holidays is not only expected, but inevitable. Of course, you could just continue to eat sensibly and exercise regularly even though it’s Christmas, but who’d do that? That’s insane. For a much more logical approach, check out my 7 ways to not get fat during the holidays.
7. Break Up
Remember those (completely imaginary) statistics I mentioned earlier? Well, if you have a boyfriend or girlfriend, those figures immediately double. Since you are each other’s permanent dates, you’d have to go to all of yours and his/hers office Christmas parties, college reunions, high school reunions, and family disasters reunions. Instead of gaining 10 lbs, you’d be up 20 by January. It’d be even worse if you’re a guy and your girlfriend likes to regularly pass all her leftovers onto you to finish. Good luck fitting into your pants come 2014.
Clearly, the smart thing to do is to break up with your significant other, at least until the holidays are over. This way, you only have go to your own parties, celebrations, and barkada get-togethers. A bonus perk is that, if you do it early enough, you’d save yourself the trouble of buying him or her an expensive present. It’s a win-win.
6. Stop Taking Showers
There are a lot of positives to taking this drastic step in personal hygiene above and beyond its weight loss benefits. You’d be saving a ton of clean water for one, which every after school special I’ve ever watched assures me is a good thing. Also, since regularly showering with freezing December water at 5:00AM in the morning is a great way to quickly become sterile, you’d both be spending less on your electricity/gas bill (depending on how conyo your water heating preferences are) and insuring that that future visit to the testicle doctor never happens.
But how is it going to help you lose weight, you ask? Just try it, and after a week or two, you’ll be amazed at the results. Not only will your friends and coworkers conveniently “forget” to invite you to their parties or ask you to participate in those horrible secret santa shenanigans, but they’ll probably stop talking to you completely, which will minimize the amount of time you spend eating out during your lunch break. If you’re dedicated enough, and find nothing wrong with smelling like an open sewer, even restaurants and groceries will start barring you from their premises. Which is great, because those places are filled with nothing but food.
5. Eat Somewhere Shady
Roughly a year and a half ago, I bought two bitso-bitso rolls for twelve pesos a piece. While they tasted decent enough, those damn cheese buns were really not worth the blood-curdling pitiless intestinal holocaust I had to go through exactly three hours and forty minutes after my first bite. Who knew buying bread from a smelly lady with hands dirtier than an auto-mechanic’s would be so dangerous?
Still, the unholy violence my stomach and I were forced to undergo had an unintended positive effect. For the next week after, in between bouts of puking my guts out in the toilet, each time I looked in the mirror confirmed one unassailable truth, it was the thinnest I’ve been in years. Also, it effectively killed my appetite. Even free fried chicken couldn’t make me want to eat.
One warning though, you have to time this well so that your condition coincides with the biggest, most fattening Christmas parties you have to attend. If you’ve been an avid follower of our more ghetto recommendations, your tummy probably won’t upset easy. My advice? Borrow a spoon or something from a friend following tip number 6 on this list.
4. Punch Your Boss (or that annoying douche in the next cubicle)
Go on, do it. You know they deserve it. That punch is good for the soul, and good for the waistline. Yeah, you’ll get fired, but that just means you don’t have to go to that compulsory office party. Plus, the loss of a steady source of income means you’ll probably starve find it easier to stick to a diet for the next few months.
Fighting off the office security as they drag you kicking and screaming from the 17th floor is also a pretty good workout.
3. Move to North Korea
In the west, “Christmas” celebrations are becoming more and more secular (hence the more PC “Happy Holidays!” instead of “Merry Christmas!”). Here in the Philippines, though, it’s still unabashedly a religious event. We make tiny dioramas of Jesus’s birth that we display in our living rooms, or huge ones you erect on your front lawn if you’re rich and live in a posh village with no tricycle service. Almost every household hangs a glowing lantern made to represent the star the three wise men followed and hearing mass on Christmas Eve is so ingrained in our ”No doubt Garber’s sentiments were a minimum of partially meant to battle moves by gambling government bodies to take particular notice at social casino games , which made great strides in recognition this past year. culture that we stay up all night just so we could immediately eat after.
As far as I know, Christianity is banned in Kim Jong Un’s little dic(k)tator paradise. It’s be pretty hard to pig out during the holidays if you’re in a place where acknowledging that the holiday even exists will get you tortured, shot, or forced to copy the Great Leader’s god-awful haircut. Plus, isn”t not having anything to eat just another Tuesday over there?
2. Unplanned Pregnancy
There’s nothing like stress to make you lose weight without you even being aware that you’re shedding the pounds, and there’s nothing like an unplanned pregnancy to stress you out till you’re skeletal. You’d stay awake all night (another great weight loss trigger) thinking of all the new bills you’d now have to pay even though you barely make enough to afford your Internet connection at home as it is.
Even if you end up overeating at the free Christmas party buffets to save money (babies are expensive), you could always just say you’re feeding the fetus in your belly. The fetus is the one that’s getting fat, not you. And yes, you can use that excuse even if you’re a guy. Everyone else will understand, they’ll just think you’re going crazy from the stress of having a surprise baby.
1. Be A Decent Human Being
We all know of the tragedy that’s still going-on in the south. Of course, when the destruction was still fresh, we all pulled together to give whatever help we could. Our entire country, actually the whole world too (China’s penny pinching notwithstanding), displayed such awe-inspiring solidarity that it made a million teenaged girls tweet with the hashtag #givesmehopefortheworld. That said, though the constant news coverage has ceased and Anderson Cooper’s silver locks have flown back home to the States, things have yet to return to even a semblance of normalcy in the areas affected, and they won’t for a good long while.
This holiday season, there’s nothing stopping us from practicing a little austerity in our own individual Christmas preparations in order to continue to help those countrymen of ours who so sorely need it still. Maybe instead of buying that bone-in hock of ham for Noche Buena, you could just serve something cheaper and simpler, with the money saved being donated towards the relief efforts. Rather than springing for new designer duds to wear on the 25th and the 1st, why not just wear your old (still perfectly pretty) stuff this year, and instead buy as many simple clothes and blankets that would fit inside the biggest box you could ship off to the south. Another thing you could try is to convince the organizers of that Christmas Party you don’t want to attend to pass the hat around during the festivities.
Don’t be a Grinch, do what you can. Every little bit helps after all, and what’s the true meaning of Christmas, really, if not that?