“That’s it”, she said, for the 30th year in a row, “this year is the year I’m going to stop being a fat person.”
But, does she really believe it? She said the same thing last year...
Hell yes! She has believed it every year because she's stupidly optimistic. But why on earth would this year be any different? You know what, nobody likes a downer. Besides, fresh starts are awesome, aren’t they?
It’s arbitrary, of course, when we turn the calendar to start a new year. It’s not even at a good time. Honestly, who wants their fresh start to be right after the beginning of winter? Who would really choose that? Starting an exercise program when it hurts your skin to go outside? Starting to eat healthier when there are no vegetables growing? What a terrible idea. Thanks a lot, Pope Gregory XIII.
But, maybe it’s for the best. Winter is when people would probably most naturally not be eating well or exercising because of how much harder it is than in ALL THE OTHER SEASONS BECAUSE WINTER IS TERRIBLE. So, having an extra incentive to kick it in rather than hibernate is not all bad, I guess.
But why am I so much more able to eat vegetables in January than in any other month? Why is it so much easier to start than to keep going? Well, because it is. Starting is delicious and new and exciting and fresh and our little novelty-craving brains just love it. Where’s the fun in maintaining momentum? Where’s the spark? As someone who has been married going on 18 years, I’m here to tell you, fresh and new are not sustainable. There has to be something else to keep you going.
Truth be told, vegetables in January are so easy because it’s been so long since I’ve had any. That is the sad reality. Vegetables and lean proteins feel new again! But, every day? Forever? Well, it wears on you. There needs to be something beyond novelty driving the Let’s Go! train. Otherwise, mmm, Let’s Not... will takeover.
So, what's the secret? When the novelty is gone and all that’s left is the drudgery of day to day, how do you choke down another salad? Hell if I know, but, I’ll tell you what I’m going to try this year that is different. Maybe this will be the thing. You ready? You ready for my big epiphany-like breakthrough? Here goes: I’m going to keep doing it even when I don’t want to anymore.
Shew. I know that’s a lot to process, so, feel free to stop reading this post and go have a celery stick or something.
For those of you still here, how, you may ask, obese person who has never successfully kept weight off, do you plan to achieve such a mind-blowing victory? Well, I’m glad you asked. I have a three pronged plan:
Avoid hunger. Hunger leads to terrible decisions like Chinese food and cold french fries.
Almonds. Skinny people are always counting almonds, you guys. I think they know something. So, I’m going to carry almonds around with me to ward off fatness. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to eat them or not, so, I’ll have to get back to you on that. Because maybe I’m supposed to form them into an actual shield of some sort. I mean, I’ve never seen a shield made of almonds wielded by a skinny person, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. OR, maybe they really just keep counting them. The skinny person you know may have been counting the same almonds for the past 12 years.
Have a plan when steps 1 & 2 inevitably fail. Because, you guys, hunger and not having any almonds will happen. They just will. Life does sneaky things. One day I’ll find myself at a restaurant, I will have missed a meal and I will have forgotten my almonds. The grilled chicken breast and broccoli is not the choice I’m going to make. It’s just not happening. First of all, I don’t eat broccoli. Second of all, I love things with gravy. Gravy makes everything better. If I’m hungry and almondless, I’m ordering something with gravy.
BUT THEN, and here’s the real crux of it all, I’m not going to hop on the Let’s Not... train and bagel and ice cream and pizza it up until it’s January again.
Once I come down off the gravy high, I’m going to take a walk with my almonds, regroup, and go back to eating healthy even if I don’t want to anymore.
There you go. That’s it. That’s how this year will be different. Or it won’t be. But even if I only manage to eat healthy 1/12th of every year, there’s hope. Waking up some January 1st without the will to at least try to be healthier scares me a hell of a lot more than being a fat person.
So here’s to you, fellow Fresh Starters. May our vegetables be crispy, our chicken breasts be savory, our feet be move-y, and may we never find ourselves without almonds.
I like to throw things.