New Year’s Resolutions — Thanks, But No Thanks

December 16, 2008

newyearseveIt’s ironic (or maybe not?) that during the most joyous, food-filled time of the year, everyone seems to be talking about dieting, “being good” or “being bad”, weight loss, exercise … it’s like a national past-time this time of year. A fixation on “fat.”

At work, at home, out socializing, at the mall, restaurants, you name it … I’ve heard it. I’m convinced the topic du jour is the dreaded, dirty four-letter “D” word.

Collectively, we indulge and talk about it. We don’t indulge and talk about it. We talk about the new pudge around our middles and the extra flesh forming on our backside, real or imagined.

We commit to the gym, our trainers, our nutritionists, our diets, our programs.

We pooh-pooh things people bring to work (or to the gym or deliver to our home) as “too fattening” and groan when we see it … then we over-indulge at home on Puffins or something equally ridiculous.

(Note to self: If one is going to spluge, please let it be on something other than a whole grain cereal! Of course, I wouldn’t know about this … HA! Though I will say, yesterday I actually enjoyed some treats my co-worker brought it and it was totally worth it!)

It’s all so unhealthy, on so many levels. It’s just food. No, of course I don’t mean to imply the holidays are a license to overeat with abandon and skip the gym; not at all. You know I’ve never missed a day on WW in almost 5 years. (And trust me on va-k I tend to go wayyyy over but I still follow the mantra, “you bite it you write it”.

But the general obsession, the frenetic hemming and hawing about it, the debating of whether something is “good or bad” — it’s (dare I say it?!) kind of annoying.

And if I’m being honest (and I always am here), I totally participated in these conversations in the past. Hell, I probably drove these conversations in the past, I’m ashamed to admit.

I think the reason I’m not participating this year because I’ve just gotten to the point where, yeah, I still might think these things … but now I keep them in my head.

Because if I choose that moment to eat a piece of fudge, I don’t need to hear someone else saying, “I’d love a piece, but the calories, oh the calories … I’d have to ride the bike an extra half hour.”

They don’t know that I budgeted that in for the day, have gym plans that night, or am giving myself a freebie treat sans guilt.

And so giving someone else persmission to make me feel “guilty” about my choice is just ridiculous on my part — no one can make me feel guilty. Dr. G. helped me see that, too.

If I’m eating a piece of fudge, I’m eating a piece of fudge. It doesn’t require an outlined defense or even a passing commentary. Case closed. Would someone else want to hear it from me? Heck no.

But the sad truth is, I soooo was “that girl,” the one who (not thinking) made those annoying comments … or who would eat it, bemoaning myself the whole time. Not anymore, though.

Fortunately, of all my friends/family, I’m probably the “most obsessed” (and they tell me I’m getting so much better about it! Yea!), so I luckily don’t hear this chatter from them per se, but I have noticed a general megaphone-effect this year just living in this world.

Maybe because with the economy in the dumps more and more people are baking or entertaining at home? I don’t know.

But I do know it makes me even more aware of what I’m thinking internally … and causes me to “Slow it Down” (to quote Dr. G.) before speaking.

All of which brings me to the notion of the much-yakked about NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION. And why I’m not making one for 2009. Like that bridge to nowhere, I’m sayin’ “thanks, but no thanks.” ;-)

For three years now, since being about 10 lbs. above my WW goal where I felt my sveltest and my leanest, I’ve said I wanted to get back to goal, where I was in Dec 2004 & Dec 2005. That was it: my resolution.

And it hasn’t happened. Not because I didn’t want it bad enough, but I don’t think my head had been at the right place to tackle such a challenge.

In fact, I’m right back where I started this time last year, even after losing 5 lbs. earlier this year … only to gain it back. And since it’s that time of the month right now, I can’t even gauge where I am at this point!

So this year, my resolution is: I’m not making a resolution. Instead, I’m going to commit only to being the best wife, daughter, friend, sister I can be.

I really think that overall “goal” will cover so many areas of my life. For example, I feel I’m at my best when I eat clean (but don’t feel remorse for enjoying things I like). When I work out regularly (but not excessively). When I lift (and do it enough to feel the difference). I’ve noticed I listen more and argue less when I’m happy with my body, inside and out. I’m more confident, too.

I really believe these nagging pounds will fall off when I truly get to that mental place where I’m really ok with myself, inside and out.

It’s funny, for years now, my mom has been signing every one of her e-mails to us with the following line, “bs, bw, aaa, bh” (Be Safe, Be Well, and as always, Be Happy.”) I always love seeing that little line in her messages, but today I took the time to really think about those simple words. Be Safe, Be Well, and as always, Be Happy.

Be happy.

In the end, isn’t that really what it’s all about? It’s not about if I am in a snug-6 or a loose-8. It’s not if I had a “flawless” menu or if I ate totally off plan. It’s if I am happy with the person I am, the person I project to others.

There’s seriously more to life than our bodies. Yes, I want to nurture my body (I hope I always have that determination), but I also want to focus on nurturing my mind and soul this year, as well. Follow my passion for writing. Challenge myself with a book proposal. And prepare myself mentally for motherhood sometime in the next year or two.

The underlying thing behind all of these smaller goals is being the best me I can be. That’s why I don’t think Oprah is being silly with her commitment to health and personal improvement.

This isn’t about perfectionism at all; it’s simply a reaffirmation of my hope that 2009 will be the year I come into my own: mind, body and soul.

I’ve got a ton to be grateful for and happy about; it’s time to take that energy and devote it towards capitalizing on that good fortune, much of which I have created on my own, and some of which has been a byproduct of life’s mysterious ways.

I think I’m a happy person, and I think I have the potential to be even happier if I can let myself live just a little more. I’ve made awesome steps in 2008 with my blog, therapy, etc. But there’s always more work to be done.

For today though, I want to just love the person I am, and what 2008 has made me. A little heavier on the scale, but a lot lighter/clearer in my mind.

Talk about an amazing gift!

How about you? Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? Do you usually keep them?

Entry Filed under: Blogging, Special Occasions, Weight Loss. Tags: , , , , .

18 Comments Add your own

  • 1. marafaye  |  December 16, 2008 at 7:25 am

    For the last few years, my new years resolution has been just what you’ve committed to do this year… it’s far easier to make smaller goals throughout the year than to make a year-long goal, especially when it comes to weight loss!

  • 2. Jenny  |  December 16, 2008 at 7:47 am

    Amazing post, I can certainly relate to ALL of this! I workout at a gym surrounded by women (my mother included) who are constantly talking about how the only reason they “suffer” through a spin class is for the calorie burn. They talk about how much wine they indulged in that weekend, etc. It’s awful. I think it affects me more because I’m putting SO much effort into enjoying a few glasses of wine, rather than angsting over it, and hearing others is counterproductive. But you are right, we need to BE HAPPY, and if we choose to have a piece of fudge it is just that, a conscious choice that there is no reason to worry about. So, no new years resolution for me, unless you count striving to live a happy healthy life as one, but I’m not waiting til New Years to try that!

  • 3. lissa10279  |  December 16, 2008 at 9:45 am

    So true, Mara ‘break it into palatable pieces.’ So much better that way!

    Hi Jenny and I am so glad it’s not just me noticing all the hullabaloo this year in particular!! Like you, I don’t want to be angsting over a piece of fudge. And amen to banning resolutions and rather just LIVING!! It totally goes against what the media tells us but … oh well! :)

  • 4. Missy (Missy Maintains)  |  December 16, 2008 at 10:01 am

    I am not making a New Year’s resolution. I am trying to help myself now and not wait till New Year’s. Each night I try to get by without a binge. Why wait til the New Year? I try my best to be happy each day that goes by.

  • 5. lissa10279  |  December 16, 2008 at 10:55 am

    That’s the spirit Missy — and checked out your blog, BTW — I’ll add you to my blogroll, it’s fab!

  • 6. ramona  |  December 16, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    Wonderful post Melissa…My only “resolution” - which begins now, is to not participate in the appearance/weight/diet discussions and commentary!

  • 7. lissa10279  |  December 16, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    Amen, Ramona!!!!

  • 8. Leila  |  December 16, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    I second this post. When I started on my journey, I realized that I had completely labeled food as “good” and “bad” and it was totally to my detriment. Now it’s funny, I ask myself, ‘why is a cookie bad’; the answer is now, it’s not, just don’t have a ton of them and don’t have them all the time. It’s completely taken a load off my shoulders. I also agree with the perfectionism comment. I am such a perfectionist and for the longest time I put this effort into work, but then somehow it changed to food and my body, but really, the most perfect thing is full acceptance of yourself, faults and all. Probably the easiest thing to say and the hardest thing to do, but every little bit helps. Keep at it, you’re a great inspiration.

  • 9. lissa10279  |  December 16, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    That’s the right attitude, Leila. Thank you!

  • 10. Jen  |  December 16, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    I’m a long-time lurker coming out of the woodwork because I loved this post SO MUCH. Clearly, I found my way to your blog because issues of food and body image are never too far from my mind, but when I listen in on conversations about this stuff I can’t believe how trite and ridiculous it all sounds (when I am participating, it feels like the most urgent topic ever.) Think of the change we women could make if we talked about peace, poverty, education, the arts… ANYTHING… with as much passion! Like I said I am guilty as charged but I am going to adopt a “holiday season” resolution starting today to NOT discuss the calories in eggnog or how many minutes I will have to jog to burn off my holiday dinner. I think this will be a great lead-in to the resolution for 2009 that you posted about… I might have to steal it!

  • 11. lissa10279  |  December 16, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    Hi Jen and thanks for coming out of the woodwork — you’ve no idea how much it means to me to hear from all of you. Your comments are what keep my blog going and you give me ideas with your insights. Thank you!

    It DOES sound so silly; it’s like a fixation and I’m totally guilty as charged but want to start making a difference with my voice at least the one I project to the outside world (blog aside).

    There will be days I feel “fat and ugly” (that time of the month — wait til you see tomorrow’s post, hello 180 degree change) but the truth is, if we all spent less time fretting about the “small stuff,” maybe we could make bigger changes in the world.

    I need a new passion for sure — writing is one of them, but even blogging about this stuff is a double-edged sword. Sigh … I am still working on this thought process.

  • 12. bleachusd  |  December 16, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    In the past I’ve made weight-related resolutions… and usually by the end of the year it’s been deemed a failure.

    I do make resolutions though. Last year, I made a resolution to write every day. It didn’t matter how long what I wrote happened to be, I just had to write. I’ve written 2000 word essays on some day and 3 or 4 word sentences every day. Right now, I’m 15 days away from completely my resolution.

  • 13. lissa10279  |  December 16, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    What a fantastic resolution, and congrats for keeping yours all year!

  • 14. Margaret  |  December 17, 2008 at 12:08 am


    I have been reading your blog ocassionally and I really like it. I also really admire your strength to go public about disordered eating.

    Anndd then I noticed you lived in Argentina!!! I lived in Argentina myself for 10 years :)

    What a great post. So true and so sad.

  • 15. lissa10279  |  December 17, 2008 at 8:48 am

    Hi Margaret, thank you. And I am so glad you can relate to my affection for Argentina!

  • 16. bleachusd  |  December 17, 2008 at 9:07 pm

    I just realized the typos in that comment… yikes! Haha, but thank you. Since graduating from college, I’ve felt the need to utilize my writing skills and other things. It’s that whole “use it or lose it” mentality.

  • 17. lissa10279  |  December 18, 2008 at 8:34 am

    LOL — no worries! Good for you — I love writing too.

  • 18. Brigid  |  December 23, 2008 at 12:43 am

    While I may not have a blog, I read a few on here from time to time, and this is one that I read. As a recovering disordered eater myself, I can definitely relate to what you are going through. But this post speaks volumes about what I am currently dealing with in trying to recover from anorexia/BED. I can totally relate to when you say: For three years now, since being about 10 lbs. above my WW goal where I felt my sveltest and my leanest, I’ve said I wanted to get back to goal, where I was in Dec 2004 & Dec 2005. That was it: my resolution.

    And it hasn’t happened. Not because I didn’t want it bad enough, but I don’t think my head had been at the right place to tackle such a challenge.”
    That is exactly what I have been battling mentally for a long time, and its made me so unhappy for so long, and I’ve lost many friends because of it. But I’m slowly beginning to realize that obsessing over weight/ numbers/ calories is a total waste of energy, and that are plenty of other things I could be doing with my time that are so much more meaningful and impactful. So I just wanted to say thank you for posting this because it means a lot to me.

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