I know, Buttercup. This is the only style that covers up our rolls. I just don't know if the polka-dots work...

I know, Buttercup. This is the only style that covers up our rolls. I just don’t know if the polka-dots work…

Let’s face it People, bathing suit season is behind us (unless you live in one of those places that’s always freaking hot and sunny).

That means it’s time to bundle up, which means it’s time to cover up, which means it’s easier to camouflage those few extra pounds your body has been aching to put on.

And the packing begins.

Heck, we’re getting into prime pound-packing season:

1. Oktoberfest (when everyone is German, has sausage breath and is drunk)

Notice how fleshy these women are? It's awful, huh?

Notice how fleshy these women are? It’s awful, huh?

2. Halloween (when candy is its own food group)

3. Thanksgiving meals (when you know you’re finished when your clothes start to explode)

Yup. I'm done. For now.

Yup. I’m done. For now.

4. Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Festivus Super-Calorific partying, and New Year’s Pre-Healthy-Resolution alcohol and hors d’oeuvre megabinging (no explanation necessary)

Well, People, I’m here to help. Yes. That’s just the kind of selfless, party-pooper I am.

I have discovered seven, count ’em, seven reasons why people “mysteriously” gain weight.  Well, I read about them in one of my handy-danderific daily AARP news alerts meant to inform and scare me straight. I’m just passing along the article that caught my attention: “7 Reasons You May Be Packing on the Pounds.” 

If you’re serious about not schlepping around more of yourself than necessary, here are seven things you might want to keep in mind and/or out of your mouth:

1. Avoid All-You-Can-Eat Buffets. There are two problems with these panoramic food orgies. One is that we’re hard-wired to “get our money’s worth, dag blammit!” So we’re gonna make sure that restaurant doesn’t make any profit from us! Of course, the health care industry will profit from our over-indulgences, but we’re not generally thinking about that. The second problem is the layout. We don’t want to miss anything, so we take everything. Even the Jello. We lose all sense of discretion and dignity when we queue up at a buffet line.

It's cafeteria-style food, People, not Mount Everest. You don't have to conquer it just because it is there.

Show some restraint…and some plate.

2. Avoid Stress. Yeah right. I know the theory. Stress leads to seeking comfort and nothing spells comfort like c-o-o-k-i-e-s, c-h-o-c-o-l-a-t-e, c-h-e-e-t-o-o-e-s, or any number of c-foods. So avoid stress by asking your doctor to put you into a chemically-induced coma. Short of that, cope with stress in non-hand-to-mouth ways. Walk (not to the bakery), learn a hobby (not cooking), volunteer (not at a food shelf), journal or blog (not about food). You get the idea.

3. Get Plenty of Sleep. Supposedly this has something to do with brain chemistry and hormones, but I think that the more hours you’re asleep, the fewer hours you have to stuff your face.

4. Just Say No! Well, Nancy Regan thought it would work for drugs, and some foods are as addictive as heroin or “Pawn Stars”. Adding extra salt to chips and extra sugar to everything turns “family sized” packages into “single servings.” We just can’t stop. It’s a brain chemistry thing. The only way for me not eat a whole bowl of nuts is to stay away from the nuts, which, is all-around good advice.

I love these single serving bags!

Single serving snack and endless entertainment! I’m addicted.

5. Just Say No Way! Think about what is on the menu. Really think about it. Who is the sick, but admittedly creative, turd that thought putting two bacon cheeseburgers on a glazed donut was a good idea? And isn’t a vanilla milkshake sweet enough? No! Let’s add a big wedge of apple pie to it and call it a Big Apple Shake (Johnny Rockets restaurant). Then there is the ever popular deep-fried butter balls and chocolate covered bacon at your nearest state fair. (At least local gastroenterologists, cardiologists, and, alas, morticians have job security.)

Good idea! Cut it in half and only double your chances of a coronary! Such a deal...

Good idea! Cut it in half and only double your chances of a coronary!

6. Banish All Straws. Yes, you heard me and the AARP. Drinking from straws can make you fat. There is a caveat. If you drink only fresh water from straws, I think you’re okay. You might feel a little bloaty, but wait a while. If you’re drinking juice or anything with the words “soda” or “pop” associated with it through a straw, however, you may be in big trouble. There are actual studies that show that people drink more when they drink with a straw. So, for pity’s sake, don’t drink beer, martinis, or whisky with a straw, either.

Quick! Someone take that straw away from that man!

Quick! Someone take that straw away from him!

7. Eat Backwards. I don’t mean sit with your back to the table, although that would cut down on your food intake. I mean reverse the amount of food you consume throughout the day. Most people skip breakfast or have “a little something.” Then they have a “light-ish” lunch because most employers get miffed when you nap on the job. The biggest meal is usually dinner. Heck, most people eat non-stop until bedtime. If you want to lose weight,  you have to pull a switcheroo. Strap on the feed bag in the morning. Go to work with a full belly. Burp and fart all morning if you have to.

You'll be surprised how much work you'll get done because no one bothers you.

You’ll be surprised how much work you’ll get done because no one bothers you.

7. (cont.) Eat a normal lunch. Go ahead. It’s all right. Skip right past the “Salad” section and explore other areas of the menu you never knew existed. The hard part will be dinner. This is where the salad is appropriate. Eat lightly then STOP! You’ve already consumed your calories for the day.

Gaining weight is easy (for most of us); losing it is hard (for most of us). But it’s not impossible. All you have to do is change everything about your life and routines. But think about all the new clothes you’ll get to buy when your old wardrobe gets too baggy on you…and your health will improve, too.

I think it's about time for a new coat, don't you?

I think it’s about time for a new coat, don’t you? But I sure do feel great!