New Year’s Day, 2019. It’s as cold as Iceland outside, but your living room is warm and comfortable. You are surrounded by your loving family. The fire crackles and smells like all of your favorite winters rolled into one and the Rose Bowl parade is on the massive new high definition television you gifted yourself for Christmas. You nudge the dog off of your feet so you can get up and have a slice of pie- after all, what goes better with winter and contentedness than pie? Besides, you reason, tomorrow you will start your diet and this year your resolution will stick.
As you begin to move, you become aware that it takes all of your strength just to push off the couch. And you are struggling to breathe. Your clothes have become uncomfortably tight, much tighter than they were in early November but its ok you tell yourself you expected this –planned for it even. As you cut the pie you remind yourself that there is no reason for deprivation today, the diet starts tomorrow. Still, you experience a choking, bloated feeling. Is it the pie, or the guilt?
How many of us have lived this scenario? The story we tell ourselves seems entirely rational, “It’s the holidays, a time of celebration and indulgence. I’ll live it up a little and then when the New Year comes I’ll get serious about my resolutions and lose all of the weight that I have gained in the past 2 months.”It is a contract we make with ourselves and one we likely will not keep but, even if we did, it is an absurd contract.
Let’s change the language of this agreement to make it more honest and forthright…
“For the duration of the holiday season, I will abandon self-control and responsibility for my health. I will likely gain weight and suffer all of the consequences of said weight gain: guilt, decreased energy, shattered self-esteem, increased risk of heart disease and diabetes, etc. etc. On January 1st or 2nd, I will begin a weight loss program (and this time I mean it!). Under no circumstances will I deviate from this plan or seek to increase my health/longevity before January 1st as that would be A) Difficult and B) Un-American”.
Still want to sign? To paraphrase an old Chinese proverb, “The best time to begin was years ago, the second best time is now”.
It is possible, even preferable, to start a weight loss aka: health restoration program during the holiday season. Let the other guy wake up on New Year’s Day 10 pounds heavier and in a sugar-induced fog. You can sprint into 2019 leaner, cleaner and healthier.
Make no mistake about it, health is a battle for control. You’re either dictating terms to your body or your body is dictating terms to you; it is not a democracy. And control is a NOW proposition. A general does not say, “OK, we’ll let them capture the capitol today and resolve to take it back after Christmas”.
So here is the challenge… Begin now- whenever now is. Set a health and weight loss goal not for the New Year but to be accomplished by the New Year. “Deprive” yourself the “pleasures” of increased girth and decreased space in your blood vessels. Suffer the barbs of the envious who try to tempt you with pastries and alcohol and see if your victory isn’t that much sweeter come the first of the year. This is the new, updated contract. Want a pen?
Dr. David Rendelstein offer an all-natural, fully-customized scientific approach to fat burning, weight loss and improved health, with offices in Cranford, Marlboro and Toms River. For more information, call 908.325.5192.
This article appears in the December 2018 issue of Natural Awakenings Monmouth/Ocean edition. Click here to subscribe, or download the entire issue below.