December 29, 2011
Editor’s Note: Carole Townsend, a correspondent for the Daily Post, is writing a blog called “Food for Thought.” It is available online at http://www.gwinnettdailypost.com/townsend.
Oh my goodness; we’re drawing the curtains on yet another year, waving goodbye to 365 days of our lives, hopefully well lived. I love this time of year, but it also makes me a little bit sad. Christmas is over, a new year looms large, and for some reason, we as human beings feel the need to make promises to ourselves, maybe even to others. These promises are commonly known as “New Year Resolutions.”
I swore off making New Year resolutions years ago. All I ever seemed to do was disappoint myself and in some cases, others. Now I get that I was doing it all wrong. I was resolving to lose an unrealistic amount of weight in an unrealistic amount of time – way faster than I put it on. And of course, during that dark 7- or 8-year period when I smoked, I resolved every new year to quit. The pressure was just too much; I’d beat myself up the first time I strayed off the path, and that was it for me. I’d go right back to whatever bad habit(s) of which I was trying to rid myself, and voila. Another failure.
Many psychologists are quick to tell you: resolutions that kick off on Jan. 1 are doomed to fail. They are seldom supported by conviction and commitment, and since they usually involve lifestyle habits, resolutions simply fail, and rather quickly.
I’ve thought about this long and hard, and I’ve decided to resolve publicly – right here - to become healthier. I no longer smoke (haven’t for years), but my weight does fluctuate. Right now I’m experiencing an uptick – that sounds better than a disturbing increase, doesn’t it? - and I know why that is. I’ve been extremely busy lately, and my rigorous gym routine has been all but forgotten. O.K. it’s been forgotten.
Too, I am not nearly as careful about my eating when I’m on the go so much. The combination of no exercise and careless eating, and my metabolism (that apparently mimics that of a sloth), always bears the same results: weight gain. But I know that the number is not the issue; what it represents is. It represents the invitation of heart disease, diabetes and other life-threatening illnesses.
I need to make some changes, not some resolutions, and I am going to report in here maybe once or twice a month to keep you readers apprised of my progress. Hopefully some of you are deciding to get healthier too, and we can share ideas, success stories and yes, even setbacks (notice I didn’t say “failures”). I will get back to a regular exercise routine – a consistent one. I will be more careful about what I eat, whether at home or on the go. And I’m going to watch and report the changes I experience as a result, right here. Maybe with a lot of conviction and a little humor, we’ll all succeed.
Do you make New Year resolutions? Is anybody out there resolving to get healthier in 2012?
Carole Townsend is also a Gwinnett Daily Post staff correspondent and author of the recently-released book, “Southern Fried White Trash.” The book takes a humorous look at families and how we behave when thrown together for weddings, funerals and holidays. She has been quoted on msnbc.com, in the LA Times and the Anniston Star, been featured on FOX 5 News and CNN, and is often a guest on radio shows nationwide.