Thursday, November 17, 2022

“How I Manage to Never Lose Weight” by Gisele Winton Sarvis

Gisele (L) and Karen (R)

Losing weight has been top of mind since I was 14.

Looking back, I can’t believe how good I looked as a teenager. I was slender and muscular from years of dance, figure skating and running.

Forty years and 40 pounds later, I’m still talking about the need to lose 10 pounds.

Right now, I’m eating chocolate chip cookies and drinking hot chocolate while writing about losing weight.

Friends tell me about the effectiveness of keto diets, protein shakes, about going vegan and losing 35 pounds of meat fat.

I can lose five pounds with a lot of effort but I always find it again.

I tried the work-out regime. I lost five pounds which led to a celebration where I drank wine and ate dessert. I gained four pounds in a weekend. Then out of despair, I ate chocolate and added another.

Working at a physically demanding job last winter, I lost five pounds. I gained it back in the spring.

Then I took another physically active job this summer and lost five pounds. Celebration. This time I didn’t gain back the five pounds - until Halloween candy came out.

Purchasing a box of 100 mini chocolate bars, it sat perkily in a corner, all sealed in its red box. Curses. My husband opened the box of mini chocolate bars and what’s a slice off a cut loaf? Of course, you have to sample each type in the box and then have a second of your favourite.

By Halloween, I’d gained back the five pounds and am now faced with the same perpetual task.

You see, I’m a chocoholic. I love chocolate eclairs, chocolate bars, chocolate chip cookies, brownies, chocolate popsicles and frozen yogurt, which actually has less sugar than vanilla.

Chocolate is No. 1. I don’t care about chips. I could never each a chip again and be happy.

Chocolate is perfect when you want to celebrate life’s important anniversaries and accomplishments. It’s also perfect as an after dinner snack, a little reward for working so hard during the day. And who doesn’t need a little sweet after a bitter lunch?

What’s better after a tragedy, a disappointment, a high-stress situation? Chocolate anything soothes the soul.

If I only craved chocolate, I’d be fine, but I also like any baking featuring cinnamon, lemon, applies or berries. Peanut butter and raspberry jam on sourdough bread is divine when you are in need of something to bit your teeth into.

Oh and I should mention my years’ long quest for the perfect butter tart. I like light pasty and lots of butter goo with raisins.

At the end of winter, comes the maple syrup season, a toast to spring. Maple is also excellent flavour in butter tarts.

Now I know it’s hard for you to understand why I’m not losing weight when it’s my goal. In my mind, I’m losing weight even while eating cookies. Surely the full day’s activities will burn more calories than my simple meals and a couple of small treats. This I tell myself everyday.

To cut down on sugar, I eat dark chocolate but if milk chocolate is all that’s available, then I guess it will do. Really, I will eat any chocolate except for the dollar store foil wrapped chocolate balls because they are just brown wax.

I know I’m not thin. I picture myself just right, even though I could float in a pool without a noodle.

I’m happy and healthy. I like who I am most of the time. I like going on outdoor adventures as long as I don’t miss dinner.

Once at a fall party, wearing a cranberry lace top and skirt, I told a man “I’m at my full winter weight” and swung by big butt out to the side. He looked confused and soon left the room. I don’t know where he went.

I’m not fat. I just have a small head and short legs.

Oh dear. Would someone just pick me up and take me to the gym and back because I can’t do it by myself. I’ll go as long as we can stop for a coffee and chocolate donut on the way home.


Gisele Winton Sarvis worked as a print journalist across Simcoe County for more than 30 years. She is now trying her hand at creative writing. She burns off cookie calories by walking with her chocolate lab.


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