Yesterday marked the beginning of the end for the gift-giving season.
With one last hurrah, the big box retailers shouted "hey, look at all these great items we found buried in the stock room!" No, they weren't holding out on us.
They weren't purposely torturing the last minute shoppers with a picked-over, leftover collection of useless crap a mere two days earlier. It's just that after getting the sleigh loaded and in the air Saturday night, all those productive little elves discovered they had some extra time to replenish store shelves while the rest of us sat around stuffing ourselves on Christmas Day.
Yes, modern retailing is every bit as magical as jolly old Saint Nick himself.
Year after year, we buy into it. From Black Friday to Manic Monday, compulsory gift giving and the overindulging of sweets and spirits now symbolize that most wonderful time of the year.
Somewhere between now and mid-January, however, each of us is bound to experience another season; Guiltmas - the gift that keeps on giving, Clark.
Maybe we'll realize it when we're standing in that long return line, praying that our lack of a gift receipt won't subject us to the 75% off sale price the store had for a two-hour period on a single day in the past year.
Maybe it will come on New Year's Day when we step on the scale and the word "tilt" appears on the display.
Maybe that moment will be postponed a week or three into January until the credit card bill finally arrives.
In the end, it always comes down to math; cold hard numbers.
How many meals of Ramon noodles must I eat just to cover that gift I bought for my boss? Let's measure that against the raise I might get. I start with COLA, factor his new Lexus, subtract the quarterly revenue projection shortfall, carry the two...
How long will I have to ride the stationary bike at the gym to make up for that plate of kolaches I brought home from the office party? Six hours?!
What if I just drank diet soda instead of the regular stuff? 24-cans for every pound I gained? That's not so bad, as long as the diet version doesn't have an aftertaste and make me crave more sweets and salty snacks...
Yep, days of reckoning are a bitch, no question about it.
As your resident bicycling cheerleader, I do have a suggestion for dealing with holiday weight gain. In lieu of the fact that the weather outside is potentially frightful and the stationary bike at the gym just plain sucks to ride, I'll make this super easy.
There is a piece of equipment that anyone, of any physical ability can use to eliminate the effects of holiday weight gain. It's inexpensive. It's simple to use. It's easy to obtain. If you act now, you may even be able to get two for the price of one.
It's called a leather hole punch.
You can use it to add another hole to any belt. In mere minutes, you will be breathing easier and no longer reminded of your recent overindulgence. It's sold at discount stores, Amazon, or through late night infomercials.
Buy it. Use it. Stop feeling guilty.
When the weather gets nice again, you'll get out on your bike...
Keep riding and be safe!
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