Thanks To COVID, My Diet's Not Starting Until 2022 — And That's OK

If there's one thing I've learned during quarantine, it's that they call it comfort food for a reason. I feel soothed by mac 'n' cheese, I live for the warm embrace of a brownie, and nothing beats the anxiety reducing power of a bowl of freshly popped popcorn oozing with melted butter.

Don't even get me started on nachos (serotonin-boosting), guac (healthy fat), and cheese burgers (protein!).

Of course, the comfort levels of these foods are only amplified by a glass or two (or three) of wine.

What I'm really saying is, I choose my happiness over my hips, because I'd rather coast through quarantine with a few extra pounds than deny myself vital (greasy, sugary) nutrition in addition to not having vital face time with the girls.

You heard it here first, ladies: my diet isn't starting until 2022, and I couldn't be happier.

If cheese and wine for dinner is wrong, I don't want to be right.

Yes, I know the gremlins need a well-balanced meal with equal parts protein, starch, and veggies. And they get it — I swear! (Potato chips count as a vegetable, right?)

But after I've prepared their baked chicken fingers with cheesy broccoli and potatoes, all I can think about is how good that melted cheese will go with a bottle of Pinot Noir.

I've never been good at dieting because as I understand it, you're not supposed to eat tasty food or drink margaritas.

I don't know who came up with the idea of dieting, but it sounds like the work of a man to me. And trust me when I tell you any man who's been around me when I've been on a diet has regretted it.

My understanding about diets is that you're not supposed to eat midnight nachos or drink happy hour margaritas. And seeing as those two things are almost singularly responsible for helping me survive the lockdown, I think I'll put dieting at the very bottom of my to-do list for the foreseeable future.

I'm not just thinking about feeding my soul; I'm feeding my mind, too.

Did you know that comfort food actually has a soothing effect on your mind? That's not just something I tell myself as I make my way through a large pepperoni pizza.

According to the journal Psychological Science, eating comfort food can improve your mood by boosting good thoughts and decreasing loneliness.

And considering how much mental health has declined during the pandemic, it seems that indulging in chips and cocktails is the healthiest thing I can do for myself.

The CDC announced in June that 40 percent of Americans reported struggling with mental health.

Now, I'm no psychologist, but after a bag of Queso Cheese Ruffles and a few dirty martinis, I tend to feel pretty good about my life choices.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying chips and booze are adequate substitutes for professional mental health treatment, but have you tried it? Take two martinis and call me in the morning.

I've tried to lay off the comfort food during these trying times, but the results haven't been promising.

Did I lose a measly few pounds? Sure. But that was all water weight anyway. And from what I understand, water is good for you, so I always add a splash of it to my whiskey.

Eventually, I'd crack and start shoving fistfuls of M&Ms into my mouth, which is really dangerous. I could've choked on those!

See, dieting kills.

I guess what I'm saying is there are a bunch of other things I'd rather do for the next year or so than think about dieting.

We've all been through a lot this year and we're still getting used to this "new normal" everyone keeps talking about. I'm still mostly FaceTiming with the girls and we've postponed our annual wine weekend. Thanksgiving will be virtual and Christmas is looking a lot different, too.

To cope with all this, I'm going to need to lean on my pantry and my bar cart, in addition to endless hugs from the gremlins, and that's OK.

As far as I'm concerned, dieting is so 2019, and it won't be back in style at least until 2022. With any luck, by then muumuus will be fashionable. For now, I'm sticking with stretchy leggings, classic cocktails, and loads of comfort foods.

Happy eating, ladies.

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