As we move into a new year, millions of people have already begun to formulate their list of New Year’s resolutions.
No doubt, one of those resolutions for many of us will be to lose weight.
If you are one of those many who wants to shed a few pounds, I have a suggestion.
Don’t resolve to lose weight.
Because the amount of weight you want, or in many cases, need to lose is the destination.
And the destination is not your issue.
It’s the road you took to get there.
Your journey is what got you to be in a position where you need to lose weight in the first place.
Your destination right now, the place you currently find yourself, the number on the scale or on the tape measure or on the tag of your clothing is not really what you need to change.
It’s the path you took to get there.
That’s what needs to be changed.
You can take a quick trip on the Exercise and Diet Expressway to get to the destination of your Resolution Number.
But as soon as you get back onto the Bad Habit Highway (and you most likely will when you are solely focusing on the destination) you’ll end right back up in the destination you currently find yourself in.
So I propose a couple of things.
First, resolve not to refer to yourself as fat. Or disgusting. Or pathetic. Or embarrassing.
And this is aimed largely at women. Myself included.
Because I rarely hear men who are overweight uttering the words, “I’m so fat.”
I hear them say, “I need to get in shape.”
Not I’m disgusting and pathetic.
They know they are out of shape, and they know they need to do something to get healthier.
But they don’t stop wearing a bathing suit at the beach, and they don’t bash themselves in front of their own children.
Ladies, your children are watching.
Your daughters are listening. They are learning how to value themselves based on how you refer to and talk about yourself.
Your sons are listening, too. They are also learning what is most important about women and how to refer to them.
Stop with the bashing.
If your daughter referred to herself as disgusting, you’d be devastated.
So instead, resolve to be kind and firm with yourself.
Being kind to yourself is much different than spoiling, indulging, and enabling yourself.
Being kind to yourself means taking care of yourself.
Saying to your kids or in front of your kids, “This year, I really want to take better care of myself” sends a much different message than “I am such a fat ass, and I need to lose at least thirty pounds before I can put a bathing suit on.”
Stop putting as much junk into your body as you are right now.
You don’t have to stop putting all the crap into it. But start somewhere.
And instead of constantly thinking about not putting in the bad stuff, put in more good stuff.
When you put in more good stuff, there is less room for the bad stuff.
And the more good stuff you eat… the more good stuff you want to eat. Domino effects aren’t just negative. They also work in the positive direction.
Don’t resolve to never get take out or never eat fast food.
Resolve to prepare dinner more nights each week than you currently do.
Don’t focus on what you want to get rid of. Focus on what you want to do more of.
Focus on the good habits and the Universe will make it easier for you to get to them. It will allow you to exit the Bad Habit Highway more frequently.
And if you must have a goal number as a resolution and your destination, rather than focusing on that number you use to label yourself, the number on the scale, maybe your destination is a different number.
Maybe it’s a 5.
As in a 5K.
Maybe you resolve to complete a 5K by a certain date. Not necessarily to run it. Just to complete it.
Hate to run?
Here’s a resolution I propose to all of you.
Resolve to be able to do 20 consecutive push-ups. With that goal, you are aiming for strength.
Because if you are unable to do 20 push-ups now, that is a problem.
Yes! It is!
You know why you can’t do 20 push-ups when you are 75 years old?
It’s not because you are 75 years old.
It’s because you’ve been on the wrong highway.
If you cannot do 20 push-ups, that’s an indication of your level of health and strength.
And physical strength is important.
I mean, if you want to be healthy and happy. And alive.
Once you get past 35 years old, your body starts losing its muscle.
If you don’t do something to maintain it, you are putting yourself in a position to be a senior citizen who has trouble getting around.
I don’t know about you, but once I hit retirement age, I want to have fun, dammit! I want to enjoy those golden years!
And it’s gonna be pretty hard to enjoy them if shuffling and using a walker is part of the package.
I see plenty of skinny old people (barely) walking around the grocery store or into the gym.
When they step on the scale, the number they see is probably pretty small. But it’s certainly no indication of health.
Because they are shuffling.
I don’t want to be a shuffler.
I wanna be a hustler.
I want to be hustling around when I’m 80.
And hustling requires a couple things.
It requires muscle.
Muscle needs to be maintained. And it can’t be maintained by taking a temporary detour off the Bad Habit Highway.
It can only be maintained when it is an integral part of your journey.
So perhaps making your resolution, your goal, and your ultimate destination a number is not what you really want.
It’s not for me.
Happiness is a resolution for me in 2017. And every year after that.
But health, I suppose, is my ultimate goal. Both physical health, and mental health.
Happiness, true happiness, is not possible without that health component.
Because I know for sure that I’m not gonna be happy if I’m stuck on the sidelines in a wheelchair when I have grandchildren.
And if happiness for me is the resolution, the goal, and the ultimate destination, then I need to take a serious look at route I map out for myself to get there.
And happiness doesn’t mean perfection. 100% abstinence from all things unhealthy.
I still want to allow myself to occasionally (or semi-frequently) eat ice cream and pizza and drink Blue Moons. And wine. (And if marijuana ever becomes completely legal in CT, you can bet your ass I’ll be partaking in that).
But short lived detours off the Bad Habit Highway aren’t going to get me where I want to be.
Traveling mostly on the Healthy Highway with a few detours onto the Bad Habit Highway is much different than the other way around.
For me this year, my ultimate resolution is to log more miles on the Healthy Highway, and less miles on the Bad Habit Highway than I did this past year.
And it sure would be great to have some travel companions on the way.
Hope to see you on the road in 2017.