I Don’t Do New Year’s Resolutions

The impetus for this post was a story I read today in Pete McMartin’s column in the Vancouver Sun.  It was a story that will make you feel better about your own holiday indulgences, no matter how bad you think they are, about a woman named Donna Simpson from New Jersey who has said publicly – she has her own website – that her goal is to become the world’s fattest woman.  She currently weights 650lbs.   But what really got my attention (as if this wasn’t enough) was that she celebrated Christmas by eating a stunning 30,000 calorie (that’s not a typo – 30,000 calorie) Christmas Dinner.   I wondered how that was even possible, so I went online and found the answer.  

Here is what Donna ate for Christmas Dinner:

  1. Two 25-pound oven-roasted turkeys
  2. Two 15-pound maple glazed hams
  3. 10 pounds of roast potatoes
  4. 5 pounds of mashed potatoes
  5. 5 pounds of chopped carrots
  6. 5 pounds of sweet corn
  7. 5 pounds of roasted butternut squash
  8. 5 loaves of house-baked bread
  9. 4 pints of cranberry relish
  10. 4 pints of home-made gravy
  11. 5 pounds of herbed stuffing, and
  12. 5 pounds of mixed green salad including salad dressing

This was followed  by a “salad”  of cream cheese, marshmallows, cookies and whipped cream – though maybe that was dessert because it doesn’t look like any salad I’ve made. It took her two hours of steady eating to put all this away.   I had Christmas with about a dozen people and we didn’t eat this much.   It’s horrifyingly impressive.   

So this made me think about all the people who will make  New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight, get fit etc.  And as you can see from the title, I don’t do New Years resolutions.   I think that if you are going to effect real change in your life, you can’t just say “ok tomorrow I’m going to do XYZ”.   For the change to really stick, you have to make the changes incrementally and incorporate them into your everyday living .  And it’s not just about losing weight, or getting healthy, it’s any sort of change you want to make to how you live your life, for better or for worse.  I’ve been changing pretty much my entire life  – it’s taken me 3 years and I’m not done yet.  But the changes that I’ve made to how I think, what I want to accomplish, the lifestyle I want to lead, my goals and aspirations, have come about bit by bit.   First I had to take baby steps, then with a bit more confidence you step out with bigger and better stuff.  And pretty soon you are ready for the big leagues.  But it doesn’t all happen in one day, or even one week or one month.  Real, positive, stick to it change takes time and commitment.   You have to really want it.

And while I may be in danger of sounding a bit like a Grinch, I get REALLY annoyed every year around this time because the gym will be so crowded for the next 3 weeks – all those people who  make resolutions and then stick to them for less than a month will be crowding me out.   Oh well, there is some solace in knowing it never lasts for long, by February the regulars will have the gyms back to themselves again as all those hastily made resolutions fade away. 

But hey, I guess anything that gets people up off the couch is better than nothing.  So if your resolution is to get fit, get healthy, start exercising or anything like that, good for you.  But make the changes slowly and make them part of your everyday living.  Don’t go to the gym 5 times next week and then give it up as impossible.  Go a couple of days and see how that works for you, then add another day or maybe a walk or a run and slowly build being fit and healthy into an everyday lifestyle that you can maintain.  Adjust to healthier eating habits gradually.  Instead of throwing out everything “bad” in your fridge and buying diet foods (that don’t work), change one night a week to a vegetarian option. Have a salad one day for lunch instead of fast food.   Little changes, but add them up and stick with them and they start to count. 

So to everyone who is determined to make a positive change in their lives, good for you.   But make it realistic and workable for you.  And no matter what you do, you can take some comfort in knowing that whatever resolution you make (and keep or not)  it’s better than eating 30,000 calories for Christmas dinner and then proudly publishing that fact.  I usually add photos to my posts, but I’m not going to put any up for this one.  There are lots available  – just google the name, but really, I’m not into encouraging that sort of “15 minutes of fame”  attitude.   

Happy New Year to all and thanks to everyone who has been reading my little blog and sending me comments.  It’s the most unexpectedly satisfying thing I’ve taken up in a long time.   I’m looking forward to a very different and exciting 2011, I hope that you are also excited about the possibilities of the next year of your life.   It’s not a dress rehearsal. 

Today’s musical interlude – Impossible by Anberlin from Dark is the Way, Light is a Place.  I was just loving  it when I was out running this morning – the lyrics are fantastic.  Then I YouTubed the video.  OMG,  it may be the stupidest video I’ve ever seen.  But still loving  the song – guys just need a better video producer – seriously.  


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