Discipline is tough to muster in December, especially when it comes to the holidays and all the food it generates.
It's in excess this month, don't ya' know. No doubt about that.
Goodies, goodies and more goodies.
Just when you think you can't eat one more Peanut Butter Blossom cookie, you have two and a Carmel Cup and a Thumbprint for good measure.
The countertop of the island in the middle of the newsroom is proof that it's the season to stuff yourself.
Of course, I come to work with the best of intentions to eat smart and steer clear of this Bermuda Triangle of Taste-Treat Temptations.
I bring my little pack of instant raisin, date and walnut oatmeal.
My Greek yogurt.
A 100-calorie count bag of dry roasted almonds.
A baggie of blueberries. Gotta' have those antioxidants.
I pretend to be the Poster Child of Healthy A.M. Workplace Eating, eager for the noon lunch hour to put a hurtin' on some cucumbers and have my co-workers stand in awe of my dietary discipline.
Hunger pangs aside, I'm feeling in control, pretty smug about calorie counting and all.
But it's early in the day, and I know that December's dangers are lurking.
The onslaught of holiday goodies starts innocently enough.
It begins one day with a big box of doughnuts on the counter - doughnuts that I know from experience taste really, really good with a cup of coffee, the morning nectar of the newsroom.
I walk by this box, nonchalantly stopping just to browse and catch a whiff. What's the harm in a little window shopping? After all, it's been a long time since I longingly gazed at some glazed doughnuts - at least a week.
It's not like I want any of this stuff. I'm just vaguely curious about what everyone else is going to have.
Then I realize it's a variety box of doughnuts, its contents full of choices. Big doughnuts. Little doughnuts. Cream-filled doughnuts. Sprinkle doughnuts.
My stomach does its "Feed Me!" growl.
I do a visual inventory, telling myself sight is sufficient, that I don't need to eat any of this stuff and even if I did, it wouldn't taste very good for very long anyway.
But I can't take my eyes off the cream stick with maple icing. I want it badly, even though I know it's sickeningly sweet.
But I talk myself into it.
It's the holidays, after all, so why not indulge.
I eat the doughnut, which seems more like a hoagie.
It's a sugar rush I'm not regretting, the start of a steady stream of goodies.
Let the holiday eating begin.
There's always January for oatmeal.
(Kiaski, a resident of Steubenville, is a staff columnist and features writer with the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and community editor for the Herald-Star. She can be contacted at email@example.com.)