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Friday, December 31, 2004


Well, it's that time of year again. That one week of the year, after the feasting and before the hangover, when you look at your life, notice (again) how pathetic you really are, and make resolutions on how you're going to change X, Y, and Z and be a new person in the coming year. And it takes about 3 weeks for you to break every one of the promises you make to yourself.

Cynical, you say? Well, yeah. I've made all those promises to myself in years past. "I'm going to lose weight." Yeah, that's why I still have too much weight to lost. "I'm going to keep the house cleaned up, neat and tidy." Have you seen our house lately?

We need to face a few facts and come to grips with our weak human nature. We will never make changes, even if they are good changes, if we think we "should." No one likes to be guilted into anything, even we're trying to guilt ourselves. There's no incentive, no positive reinforcement (usually) for the things we "should do" - at least not short term. You can say "well, if I lose 20 pounds, then I'll feel better." Yeah, right. You can say that all you want- but that 3rd (or 4th, or 10th) cookie provides an immediate reinforcement that celery sticks and crunches just can't match.

So, where does that leave us? Are we doomed to the pathetic patterns we've gotten ourselves into? Well, no... if that was the case, I'd be raiding my kids' stash of White Chocolate covered Oreoes right now instead of typing this. It has to be a matter of wanting something enough to make change. Wanting it more than you want the comfortable familiarity of your routine.You have to want to change so much that it becomes a priority for you.

Well, either you have to want it bad enough, or you're left with no other choice- you have to change. (There's a fine line between "should" and "must"- work with me here.) I think I am finally to the point in my life where my desire to change is meeting with the neccessity of change. And I'm hoping that this convergence is powerful enough to push me into the changes I know I need to make.

It's been a crazy year. I discovered that, although South Beach is a good diet that works, it's not the best option for me ( I'm one of the .4% of people - or whatever the percentage is) who get more migraines instead of less while on the diet). Last June, my back went out (again, but evidently not as bad as Spoons- poor guy ruptured a disk), so the doctor sent me for an MRI , just to have a look around. (FYI, when the nurse calls you and says, "we have your MRI results, and we're sending you for a consult to a neurosurgeon," it's probably not a good thing.) In the end, I have a few bulging disks, one slightly herniated disk, and Degenerative Disk Disease. Then, this fall, after my routine physical, I get a call saying "can you come in for some more blood work?" They were checking for diabetes. That turned out to be a false alarm. But...

So... what does that all have to do with New Year's resolutions and life change? Well... guess what both doctors told me... "You know... if you lost some weight and got into shape, this wouldn't be a problem." It's one thing to think to yourself, "hmm... I'd look better if I slimmed down and got rid of the cottage cheese thunder thighs." It's another thing for one doctor to tell you "if you don't get your act together, you not only will not get better, but your pain will get progressively worse and you'll end up having abnoxiously painful surgery, " and another doctor to point out that "if you don't change your diet and lose some weight, you'll end up a complete lard-butt with a medical condition that can kill you and on a diet that is really no fun." (OK... that's not what they said. That's what I heard. Important difference.)

So I'm going to make a plan. First, I know what I'm not going to do- I'm not going to become a slave to my diet. I will buy healthy, sensible food to eat at home (and do my best to keep the junk out- sorry gang!) I will try to make intelligent choices when we go out to eat. BUT, I will not completely deny myself goodies.(SuperBowl Sunday, I'm going to be a piglet. It's just the way it's going to be.) I will exercise (Curves is a good start, but I need to figure out how to protect my back a bit better until I build up those muscles.) I will take my vitamins.

What diet am I going to follow? I have no clue. Low/no carb is out. Maybe Weight Watchers. Maybe the Curves Low Cal. Maybe just eating a little less and a little healthier. I'll figure it out.

When does this start? Today, sort of. Monday, officially. Am I going to grumble and complain? You bet.

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