Every year about this time, my mailbox ceases to be crammed with catalogs that started building up in August, selling “cool stuff,” fruits and nuts, and gadgets of all kinds for Christmas. Instead, it is now full of gym memberships and healthy cooking clubs.
Greetings, Baby New Year, you should know I am just as likely to join a gym in January as I am to give up fast food. Odds are approximately zero point zero-nothing.
I had a conversation this week about resolutions—those things we all work on during the first couple of weeks in January.
Saying I’m going to work out or stop eating junk food is so easy to break. It’s too specific, and too easy to fail. You either do it or you don’t. If I eat a quarter pounder one time, I’ve failed, so why bother. And I’m a parent; I’m never going to give up precious sleep for a workout.
I know my arteries will probably have gravy in them in another decade but I balance that with the joy of eating hot salty french fries a few thousand times in my lifetime. Perhaps smokers say the same thing about each cigarette being a little slice of happiness, so I don’t judge. Still, I’ve never heard of anyone dying from second-hand grease… but I digress.
On top of that, I hate exercise in a big way. While I’ve never been a big fan of panting until my throat hurts and wearing myself out for no immediate gain, I also believe the Information Age has given me ADD to a greater extreme so exercise is just plain boring. I can’t run, watch TV and play CookieJam at the same time.
Still, I do love to be active; I’m not trying to kill myself with sloth. Dancing, playing a sport or swimming for fun is a wonderful way to spend a day burning calories. But pushing a tire around a parking lot or walking up electronic stairs for 45 minutes makes my head explode. Can’t do it.
Ah, so what is an overweight, out of shape middle aged female to do?
Well, I’ll go vague on it. I’ll resolve to be more aware of the need to be more active and I will make better choices when it’s time to eat. I know I can do that. No resolution is going to give me the ability to choke down the vegetables from which a mere sniff makes me gag. But, I can easily *not* get the large value meal when I get my favorite quarter pounder. It’s not much but it’s a sure thing.
I can feel good about making a different choice now and then, rather than beating myself up for not being perfect. So let’s go a little easy on ourselves, dear readers!
Now, I simply have long term goals of being better at various things, but I make no promise of being better in a certain time frame or making new rules on arbitrary days on the calendar.
Growth comes in its own time – it may take years, or it may not happen at all, and I do have a family to stick around for. Still have a few things I’d like to accomplish but I’d also like to enjoy the life I’m walking through every day.
My dad had a heart condition and didn’t do anything he was supposed to do. He never stopped smoking and could eat a family bag of Lay’s in one sitting. He never exercised. I certainly don’t idealize his choices because I’m still mad at him for dying in his 50s but I will never forget when he told me that despite his health problems he was always so content and happy with his lifestyle. One of his best friends had a similar heart problem and he lived every day saltless; in fear of missing a pill or even having the hiccups. Ironically, his friend lived a whole 31 days longer.
Seriously, who wants to be around a middle aged mom who is skinny, hungry, tired and cheap anyway? So, in the real world I will instead resolve to try not to run up my credit cards, unless my car falls apart or my water heater breaks. I will resolve not to make every conversation come back around to me, unless I just really have to tell you how much I love “The Good Doctor”. I will stop texting while driving, unless it’s from my family, or my friends, or the people I work with. No problemo!
I resolve not to post photos of food, nor will I say “It is what it is” in decent company, and I promise to use my turn signals. That will be nice. And, I resolve to vote in every election this year. I dare you to do the same for us all.
Finally, for you fellow computer nerds, join me in my certain success to honor one New Year’s resolution… I’ll keep it at 3200×1800 like I always have.