I used to have a love-hate relationship with New Year’s. Like countless other people, I began each year with a resolution to finally lose some serious weight and keep it off. That was the “love” part … I loved feeling righteous and disciplined as I wrote down those all-important “action steps” to achieve my goal. By gosh, I’m really going to do it this year!
Unfortunately, my action steps always included sticking to some low-fat, vegetarian, or very-low-calorie diet, which led to the “hate” part … I hated waking up each succeeding January 1st knowing I was no leaner (and often fatter) than the year before. Naturally, I attributed the sorry result to a lack of willpower. I’d think back on all the times I surrendered to hunger and blame myself for caving in, instead of blaming the diet for making me feel ravenous.
Then, proving myself to be what Moe Howard might describe as “an intelligent imbecile,” I’d more or less repeat the previous year’s failed action plan: going to the store to stock up on rice cakes, Slim-Fast, pasta, fat-free pasta sauce, whole-grain cereals, skim milk or soy milk, Garden Burgers, Egg Beaters, butter-flavored spray for the low-fat popcorn, etc. One year I even bought a big ol’ electric treadmill and promised to walk on it for an hour every night. And guess what? I did. Unfortunately, my waistline wasn’t impressed.
My love-hate relationship with January 1st is long gone. After returning home from our holiday trip to Illinois, Chareva and I spent part of the weekend arranging our closets in the new house and deciding which clothes to take to Goodwill. Before hanging some dress slacks (which I almost never wear) in my closet, I figured it would be a good idea to try them on first. You can see how they fit in the picture below.
I bought those slacks two years ago, after I’d already lost a chunk of weight. Since I tend to store fat above the beltline – belly and love handles – I didn’t need smaller pants when I first lost weight after making Fat Head. But in the past couple of years, I’ve gone from wearing a size 38 to a size 36, and now the size 36 pants are actually a bit too loose. Size 34 pants are a bit too snug, so I’m probably a size 35. You won’t find that size in stores, so I’m putting up with the loose 36 pants for now. If I end up wearing a size 34 someday, cool. If not, that’s cool too. Reaching that size might require shrinking the width of my pelvis, and no diet will accomplish that.
The point is, I’ve continued getting a bit leaner over these past two years without starving myself, without counting calories, and without limiting myself to tasteless foods I don’t really like. I live on a meaty, high-fat diet most people would consider indulgent, and yet I no longer struggle with my weight. I no longer wake up on New Year’s feeling disgusted with my body and promising to do something about it. My resolution this year is to keep doing what I’ve been doing.
I know I can keep that promise.
Happy New Year.