New Years Is-a-Coming

Surprisingly (at least to me) there are only 15 days left to 2010, which means it is time for me to make a New Years resolution. Of course, I need to give you a little history.

For most of my life, I thought New Years Resolutions were basically stupid: An arbitrary time to start something is also a way of delaying decisions (as in, I don’t have to worry about my diet until Jan 2.) So most of my life I eschewed making any resolution. But about 13 or 14  years ago I had an idea that maybe it wasn’t the timing of the resolution but the resolutions themselves that were the problem. Maybe I set myself up for failure by setting the bar too high. So that year I set what I thought was a simple resolution: I would cook more and eat out less. At the time I was basically living off take-out food and instant/frozen meals so to cook any meals would be an automatic improvement. I started by concentrating on one meal a week and don’t think I really got started until the end of February but eventually made some progress. It was going well so I went to two meals a week. Over time I was cooking more often than not and without really thinking about New Years or resolutions. The next New Year I was surprised at how much progress I had made and decided to go to the next level: Make an add on resolution.

Year Two I resolved to lose 20 lbs. Twenty pounds in a year doesn’t sound like much, especially since I frequently lose, re-gain, and re-lose hundreds of pounds every year, but by making it an official, written down resolution seemed different. This time I didn’t really do anything until July, when I joined Weight Watchers (for the 5th or hundredth time). Something clicked and I lost somewhere around 50 lbs between July and Christmas. That was a bit scary because I now met my resolutions two years in a row. What would I do Year Three?

At this point I was feeling pretty cocky about my weight loss so I went for a big one: I wanted to lose another 50 (for a grand total of 100 pounds.) It must have been a good time in my life because once again I stuck to my diet. I weight-watchered my little butt off (literally) and either got close to or surpassed my goal- I don’t remember exactly.

Year Four my goal was to maintain my weight loss. That, at first, was easier than I expected so when I got to Year Five, I thought I would choose another area of my life – I would work on developing a relationship, something I had never but much effort into. Maybe I should have stuck to dieting. I met a man who I thought was a dream come true, but as most readers could guess, he was actually a nightmare in disguise. I won’t bore you with the gory details but over the next few years I didn’t make any new resolutions and felt all my dreams and goals die. (insert maudlin music here). In fact, for the past three Christmas/New Years, I barely acknowledged the season was passing and would have skipped it all together, except I have a child who no longer believes in Santa Claus, but still expects some seasonal traditions to be observed.

But this year things are a little different. I feel myself getting stronger again… something I had predicted would never happen, and am starting to get back a little of the fire of my youth. I want to be empowered again. I want to be stronger again. Having said that, I’m looking towards this New Years as a way to bring my former power and luck to the forefront again. I’m not sure what my “official resolution” will be yet, but I want it to be something I can do and something I want to do. Something that is meaningful to me and will make me feel better.

I only have 15 days to figure it out. No pressure. 🙂

A Book I Can’t Wait to Read

A friend of mine on Facebook linked to this blog post: The Inanity of Overeating. The author, Gary Taubes is releasing a book called “Why We Get Fat.” I haven’t read the book (it isn’t out yet) but the article is interesting enough to make me want to read it.

The major premise, is that the scientific communities expertise about the “obesity problem” is essentially vacuous. We are fat because we overeat is essentially as meaningless as saying one is an alcoholic because one over-drinks. (love that analogy) The medical community address they symptoms, but not the cause.

His blog (as of this writing) has only one post, so I will have to reserve judgment on whether he has anything meaningful to add to the discussion, but I loved reading the article. When I get the book, I’ll add an update!