Back Talk: That Resolution Is Toast
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Fitness

Back Talk: That Resolution Is Toast

Why ignoring resolutions can be the best thing to ever happen to you this year.

Making a Change

If you watch the ball drop on TV this New Year's Eve, the first ad you'll see before the confetti even settles into the gutter will most likely be one from a weight-loss company, telling you that you can have a fresh start, a new life, another chance to be a totally different and better person. That this year is your year. As those extra pounds disappear, so too will all your problems -- your salary will grow as your thighs shrink, and your guy will bury a multicarat sparkler in the litter box to surprise you. But years of cramming into my mouth what I vow will be my last 30 peanut M&M's at 11:59 p.m. on December 31 have taught me something: No fad diet, no matter how clever the name or slender the spokeschick, will help me stick to The Resolution.

There are more than 76,000 diet books on Amazon -- no less than 82 of those are new ones coming out before the end of January -- many of which promise that losing weight will be that easy (swear!). Just perusing the upcoming titles is enough to make you stick a fork in your mission: The Aztec Diet and Cavewomen Don't Get Fat offer advice from folks who are long gone, and there's something called Eat Yourself Thin, which sounds like self-cannibalism, if you ask me. I suppose the Marie Antoinette Diet could work (having your head cut off will bring you down about eight to 12 pounds), but well, then, you would be dead and misquoted forever after -- apparently she never said that thing about cake. (Mmm...cake.)

Oh, I'm having my fresh start, all right. My resolution this year is to do more of what I want to do and less of what I don't, and to trust that my instincts -- about what and how much I put in my mouth and how long I climb on the elliptical -- are decent ones. I don't need to be a totally different and better person this year, even if losing a few pounds would help me do that (not!). I don't really suck to begin with, so what I have to do is to continue not to suck and head in the direction of sucking even less. That I can do.

I feel like a winner already.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, January 2014.

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