I've spent most of my adult life losing the same ten pounds multiple times a year. Around my birthday, always, and for any big events (I'm at the age when it's perennially wedding season), and before the holidays, like clockwork. I have historically gone swanning into the festive season with a little roominess by the zipper of my party dress, hungry and vaguely irritated, with a glint in my eye that tells the canapé man he can run, but he can't hide. The logic being that I will look good for the event and in photos and then be able to eat my way back to normal once it’s all over.
This holiday season, however, I just ... didn't. And the world kept spinning, humblingly enough.
I didn't get dumped or fired and none of my friends greeted me at the door to a party with, "Actually, now that I see you, I’m going to have to ask you to leave."
I look exactly the same coming out of December as I did going in, which is to say, like a human woman. I am blessed to be able-bodied and in good health, and I don't take either for granted for a second. Those are always nice things to think about when you’re having a tough time wiggling into your jeans.
Not saying it’s all been smooth sailing, of course. The primary downside is that only half of my wardrobe is available to me at the moment. But fellow fluctuators surely know that's why it's crucial to keep a couple of dress sizes around at all times, and luckily for me my partner doesn't use much closet space. When we’re getting dressed to go out, instead of having ye olde “I have nothing to wear and everything looks bad on me” meltdown, I’m trying to be a bit more like him. His main qualifications for what to wear seem to be (a) is it an article of clothing? There is no (b).
The upsides, however, have been revelatory. First off, not being hungry is amazing. If you are lucky enough to be able to be choosy about your diet, I highly recommend it. Also, eating filling food on a regular basis might actually mean you are less inclined to stalk the canapé man, safari-style. You can focus on the person you’re making small talk with (Blessing? Curse? A topic for another time) without your eyes flitting around the room, searching for a platter of finger foods because your stomach is growling and mini grilled cheeses have never ever sounded so good.
Finally, I'm not dreading January, because I plan to carry on exactly as I am. New year, same me, slightly fluffier than holidays past, surrounded by love and counting every blessing. Cheers to that, eh?