The stereotypical column writer probably looks at the time around the holidays with one of two feelings: distain or joy.
Distain stemming from the fact that many of their readers will expect the holiday platitudes to ooze out of every pore of every column in every newspaper across the free republic.
Joy erupting because they can fill their column with trite drivel and claim the protection of the seasons when their editors question their sanity.
Last week, I wrote my Christmas wish list andndash; trite drivel. This week I'm taking a look at New Year's resolutions and sharing them with you, my platitude-seeking readers.
Before I progress too far though, I have to express some gratitude for the gifts I received.
Gratitude for most of the presents that showed up under the tree on Christmas morning was easily expressed with a hug and kiss, or a telephoned "thanks." But sometimes, when you don't know who the bestower is, a broader thank you is required. For that, I'm glad I have a weekly column read by gazillions of people.
Thank you to the kind soul who expressed their support for me and the lifestyle changes I have made. Thank you for your kind words and everything else. More than anything, your words of support help validate the changes I've made, and give me a dash of starch to keep my collars stiff for the rest of my life.
Words are inadequate for the gratitude I feel for the support, but thank you, thank you, thank you.
Now to share some resolutions.
At the beginning of 2011, I issued a challenge to my readers to join me on a weight-loss journey. I received three responses, and then I dropped the ball.
To Heather, Alan and Bruce, I apologize. I got sidetracked and didn't stay on top of weekly updates, motivational quips and all of the other frills that come with belonging to a "super group" like the one I created.
I've realized I'm a follower, not a leader or organizer. I'll do any job you give me, but if you want me to pull together the entire project; forget about it.
Shortly after I issued the challenge, I fell off the weight-loss wagon so hard I bounced to a higher weight than my initial 360 pounds. I was like one of those water-filled yo-yo balloons kids get at school carnivals andndash; fun to play with, but uncontrollable.
My best friend pointed out I probably won the challenge anyway; no one who entered had as much weight to lose as me.
This year, I'm not challenging anyone to anything, other than to be the true you. Be happy.
I'm also not making any resolutions.
New Year's resolutions are bunk.
According to the most reliable of sources andndash; the Internet andndash; New Year's resolutions were created by the Babylonians around 4,000 years ago: to help them remember to return farm equipment.
That doesn't really apply here. Maybe if I had 40 acres and a neighbor with more than one tractor, I'd make a resolution, but I don't.
What I'm going to do is use Jan. 2, 2012 like I've used every Monday for the last 37 years; as a spring board for change.
I've always figured it's good to set Mondays as the day to begin anything different. It provides a clean break and there is no residual poison hanging on from decisions made the previous week.
I made my lifestyle change on Aug. 18, 2011; adopting sugar-free dietary guidelines, and trying to reduce my dependance on processed foods, including simple carbohydrates.
I weighed 366 pounds then, I weigh 287 pounds today.
A difference of 79 pounds. Not because I set a goal, but because I changed my life. I was helped to see the light at the end of the tunnel andndash; yes, the one people speak of when they have near-death experiences andndash; and decided I wasn't ready for that yet, and made a change.
I determined that it would be a life-long change and only my death, hopefully many, many years from now, will prove if my determination was enough.
The problem I face is I've not added any kind of workout regimen to my life. I was too focused on making good eating habits to make any kind of workout plan happen, but I feel ready to take on the next step in my healthy life.
Not only that, but I've procrastinated getting ready for the Azalea Festival 5K, 10K and half-marathon that will be happening over Memorial Day weekend, and I need to be able to jog/walk/run at least 10 kilometers to keep my word.
So, I'm going to draw up a plan. I've got lots of methods at my disposal and I'm going to use them all. Bicycling, walking, sprinting, crawling, jujitsu-ing, Bowflex-ing and kid wrestling, just to name a few.
I got an important tip from my friend Brittany Jenkins: not be so regimented in my workouts that missing one causes me to miss the rest of the year. Brittany owns Modandeacute;l Salon and is the organizer of the Azalea Festival running events.
If I've learned anything as the son of a licensed beautician andndash; it's to always agree with a woman who has a pair of sharp scissors less than an inch from your ears, and could be one snip from altering the symmetry of your head for life.
Actually, Brittany and her husband Charlie have been some of my biggest weight-loss supporters. They always offer support and advice, and are very effluent with their praise for my hard work every time I see them.
So I'll take that praise and add it to my stockpile, but I'm not going to set a resolution, I'm gonna make a change in my life.
I'm going to live differently.
Don't worry, part of living differently is going to involve sitting down as a couple with my wonderful wife and setting some goals for the upcoming year.