Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

Call me a grinch, but I do not do New Year's Resolutions. Today on the way to get my morning coffee, I heard an ad on the car radio about totally transforming your body "in just 8 weeks". On television, there are ads galore for joining the YMCA, the JCC, and every other gym in the area. The covers of magazines (as always) say how to drop 10 pounds without dieting and I've read more in the past few days about the latest and greatest (not to mention fastest) weight loss plans than I've read about in years.

Don't get me wrong, I know this happens every January. Ask anyone who makes resolutions what their main resolution is and chances are it is to lose weight or get in shape.

I used to do this in January. I'd say, "I'm going to the gym starting today and I will be a size  6, 8, 10, 12 by Valentine's Day. Then I'd get sidetracked and say, "The neighborhood Super Bowl party is here. Let me pig out on nachos and guacamole and mini hot dogs for the day...but wait, it's almost Valentine's Day...let's pig out on chocolates and dinners out and start my diet again on the 15th." I'd eat well and exercise and then say, "I'll start my diet again after Easter. Or Memorial Day. Or the 4th of July." Before you know it, you're scarfing down your children's Halloween candy and eating your third helping of mashed potatoes and gravy on Thanksgiving. Of course, that means it is almost Christmas, so you then resolve to start of the next New Year eating well and getting in a good workout.

Does this sound familiar to you at all? It's been about 3 years now--that's when I just decided one day in March that I wanted to change my way of living. I wanted to lose between 50-65 pounds. And I've hovered at that between 50-55 pound lost mark depending on the time of the month and what I have been eating (can we say Christmas treats?). I knew that a quick fix wasn't right for me. I'd already done Atkins, South Beach, the Carbohydrate Addict's Diet, the Sonoma Diet, Flat Belly Diet, SugarBusters, Dean Ornish....Every time I did one of those, I'd lose weight right away and the moment I attempted to add in something like apples or cheese, my weight would creep back up.

The difference at that point in 2008 was me just seeing a picture of myself from the summer before from the zoo. I was in a size 18/20 and I could hardly get my rear up the slight hill near the elephants while pushing the boys in their stroller. Not long after seeing that, I realized, "I am fat. I am not healthy. I skip meals then eat three helpings and finish the night with a pint of ice cream."

The Dreaded Zoo Picture:

When I decided to stop pretending I wasn't stop thinking the problem would just be a quick fix, to stop hating how I looked....while that is when my life started really to change for the better in so many ways. I decided one day that I would make TODAY the day I would treat my body with respect. It's been a long process of some ups and downs, but I have shed most of the weight because I am realistic.

I don't eat frozen or processed "dinners". I mostly shop from the perimeter of the grocery stores where the fresh food is. I really don't use canned anything unless you count the canned Wegmans tomatoes for making sauce. The thing for me--I eat a good breakfast each day. I never used to eat breakfast. I also allow myself treats. Instead of denying myself a little treat every now and then, I do allow it knowing that it is my duty to exercise and to control my portions. It's silly, but I usually eat off of a child's divided plate. That helps me choose the right portions.

The point is--unless you truly are in a frame of mind where you want to change your actual LIFESTYLE, a "diet" started only because it's a new year won't work. Why not resolve to treat yourself right each and every day--whether it's January or June?

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