What’s Better Than Working Out? A Lot…

The holidays are approaching, and that means two things for fitness: The motivation to be active diminishes as the days get shorter and colder, and the temptation to treat ourselves to sweets is on the rise.

Exercising and eating healthy seem to take a back burner to indulging in holiday pleasures—only to re-enter our routine sometime around the New Year.

With that in mind, Dan’s Papers Senior Editor Stacy Dermont asked me what my “guilty pleasures” are. What do I do that is decidedly unhealthy?

I have to admit that I find it increasingly difficult to work out in the waning winter sun. Which is why I’m going to sign up for a race as a way to force myself to train through it. The  plan: Compete in the Sayville 10-miler in January and maybe run the Boston marathon—my first ever—in April. I’ll get on that…right after I recount the things I’d rather be doing.

First on the list of guilty pleasures is jamming to Taylor Swift. I’m a tried and true country fan. So much so that I don’t want to admit how much I enjoy rocking out to the decisively pop “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.”

I’ve already stalked her upcoming RED tour, and it was with a heavy heart that I discovered the only mark it makes on the Northeast is in Newark and at Gillette Stadium outside of Boston. Someone needs to tell the country–pop princess that New Jersey does not service the whole New York metro area—and especially not the East End. What gives? Driving there would be, as she says, “exhausting.”

“Any kind of dip” also tops on my list of guilty pleasures—particularly hummus, salsa, anything with avocado and also hummus. Fortunately hummus is healthy for you. But not when you consume such copious quantities in a sitting that you seal the container with a post-it note that says “Don’t eat your weight in hummus today.” Luckily my entire college track team shared my obsession, so we helped each other through the difficult times. I’ll have to invite them all over soon.

The same passion applies to frozen yogurt, but not the good-for-you, real yogurt kind. I’m talking the kind that comes with cookie dough. I was a frequent customer at this mom-and-pop place in North Carolina—they would text me when my favorite flavors were out. But, I have yet to find a suitable comparison up here, so my froyo intake has dropped off. Whew.

Then, there’s watching sports. Mets fans get plenty of exercise while nervously pacing in front of the TV, waiting for the team to blow the game. Now that baseball season is over, however, I’ve since succumbed to the couch potato way to take in the action.

What’s more, I’ve also discovered a necessary and calorie-intensive way to cheer on my favorite teams. Drink their local beer. It all started when I wanted—needed—Tampa Bay to beat the Yankees. I hate the Yankees. I had two Tampa-brewed beers that night, and the Rays won 2–0. Now, when I want the football Giants to win, I grab a Bluepoint Blueberry Ale. You’ve got New York, and Blue times two. Pretty sure that’s how they became Super Bowl champions last year.

To be clear, I only activate my “booze-it-or-lose-it” at crucial moments—yes, Number 3 Notre Dame beat unranked Pitt in triple overtime because I had the midwestern brew Goose Island in the fridge—and it has yet to fail me. (Goose Island hails from Chicago, not Indiana, but it counts because you have to fly through the Windy City to get to South Bend.)

With that it mind, my Wake Forest Demon Deacons take on still-undefeated Notre Dame this weekend. Is it legal to send beer in the mail? If anyone has some North Carolina suds, preferably from the Foothills Brewing Company, please forward it my way. We need this.

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