I’ve developed a new strategy for avoiding Holiday Weight Gain. (Notice the capitalization. Holiday Weight Gain is a proper noun – the name of an annual event that starts with that first bag of Halloween candy you buy that is supposedly going to be for the trick-or-treaters and ends with the “better finish off all these treats” marathon that takes place on New Year’s Day.) We’re all familiar with the more common strategies, like just taking one bite of something (impossible), loading up your plate with fresh veggies (gotta have the dip), or using a smaller plate (just doesn’t fool me). You can also refrain from putting eggnog in your cart every time you go down the dairy aisle at the grocery store. And when you do buy it, don’t hide a carton all for yourself in the back of the fridge. And during the holidays, when you eat chocolate chips out of the bag, take smaller handfuls. But these strategies all involve resisting temptation. You probably won’t be successful one hundred percent of the time. We all know that there are two parts involved in achieving or maintaining a healthy weight: eating less and exercising. My new strategy involves the exercising part. Here it is: Every time you shop, park as far away in the parking lot as you can. This shouldn’t be a problem. There are always plenty of spots out there. I know because I’ve been doing this since Halloween. And then run all the way to the store entrance. Or the Mall entrance. And then, when you’re done shopping, run all the way back to your car. (Which somehow always seems farther. I think it’s because the store is big and your car is comparatively small. Bigger things look closer…) Mini-workouts! You get an especially beneficial mini-workout when you push a cartful of groceries all the way out to your car. I did this at Walmart the day before Thanksgiving. You just can’t go home and eat everything you bought. You may be thinking “But I’ll look like an idiot!” Who cares? Think about how you’ll look by January if you don’t increase your activity now. Besides, people will just think you’re in a hurry. And you probably will be; you have to get to your car, and it’s way the heck out there!