Weighing in on…Fat Sunday

You’ve heard of Fat Tuesday, right?

Also known as Mardi Gras, it’s the hedonistic celebration before Ash Wednesday, which launches a month and a half of devout self-discipline before Easter Sunday. Fat Tuesday doth not know restraint. It’s the night when all rules are ditched, excess is in high fashion, freaks are out in full regalia, bingeing is king, and repercussions are far, far from anyone’s mind.

Well, there’s another five-day event that shares these same traits, but no one talks about it. It’s named after its final hurrah: Fat Sunday. It’s the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

Day One of the Fat Sunday experience is Prep Wednesday. Dips are mixed, desserts are whipped, potatoes are mashed, and the spoons and bowls assisting with these matters are scraped, slurped, and licked by Fatties all over America, including me.

Buttery, creamy, slathery treats, just waiting to be assembled. No guests are watching, just us Fatties in the privacy of our kitchens, thinking about the Yum Factor, about all the folks who’ll be digging into our delights, and how no one will be worrying about the calorie counts. 

As you know, Prep Wednesday rolls right into Permission-to-Gorge Thursday, better known as Thanksgiving. Most Fatties go dainty on breakfast – or skip it altogether! – thinking those 200-300 calories will take the edge off the 2,000-3,000 we’ll be consuming throughout the day. (It’s Fat Math.)

Blessed Mother of Gravy, but there’s a lot of eating to be done on Permission-to-Gorge Thursday! I’m surprised this day hasn’t inspired a niche industry of porto-vomitoriums. Even the veggies surrender, with carrots drenched in sugar and butter, appetizer celery sticks gunked with cream cheese and olives, and 20-pound bags of potatoes infused with as much thick richness as the USDA allows. And of course, there’s that little matter of the 20+ bird perched atop the table in its crisped-skinned glory.

Since more food is presented on Permission-to-Gorge Thursday than can be consumed by a tribe of 50-feet tall sumo wrestlers, the consumption fest spills into Leftover Friday, followed by Refridgerator Raid Saturday. Both days involve piling the same fatty foods into our systems over and over again, with Leftover Friday being an attempt to recreate the magic of the former day, and Refridgerator Raid Saturday being a desperate act to clear out the best goodies before other family members move in on our territory.  

At long last, we’ve come upon Fat Sunday.

One more day before the reset button, and before we discover our pants won’t button. By now, mega-consumption is not a joy but a habit. If we listen carefully, there’s a chain gang of Fatties chanting in the backs of our minds:

Oh, Lawd! Have mercy on my intestinal pain

I’m a sinner who never gonna get no thinner

Ain’t got nothin’ but a belly o’ jelly

And thighs the size of the Mississippi river

After 40 days and nights of rain!

This is the day when all Fatties must decide what gets thrown out and what gets gobbled up before the midnight deadline, cuz we simply can’t begin our work weeks with that same shovel-it-in mentality. After all, we Fatties already have issues with massive and swift weight gain when we think we’re behaving. All bets are off if that feeble exercise in moderation is taken out of the picture.

On Fat Sunday, there’s a slew of emotions battling it out. Panic. Dread. Sadness. Surrender. Regret. Numbness. And determination – to eat-eat-eat for one more string of 12-16 hours, before Monday’s wrath falls upon us.

So we do. Maybe there’s a party to go to. Or a brunch. Or a holiday parade in a nearby town, streets lined with treats and warm-hearthed specials for weary parade watchers.

Or maybe we just throw some sweatpants on, hope for a good movie or three, and finish the gastro-masochism we started.

Hey, it’s Fat Sunday, baby. What can ya do? And not so far back in our minds is the bigger realization of this hopeless day: It’s the launch of the holiday season, with parties and cookies, potlucks and eggnogs, festivities, fudge, and fruitcake golore.

For Fatties the world over, it’s the great white flag of surrender. If we couldn’t lose the weight for yet another year, we’re certainly not going to lose it during this last stretch. Sad, but true.

So on Fat Sunday, we mourn. It’s no fun being stuck in a fat suit. No fun at all.


“Maybe next year…” we stammer.

Yeah. Maybe next year.

But we doubt it.

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