Just four days in to the New Year, I am already wary of wishing anyone a ‘Happy New Year’ anymore. Not that I have anything against passing around some cheer and goodwill. Usually I am all for it. But due to some mysterious phenomenon, the birth of a New Year seems to whet folks’ curiosity and after returning my New Year wishes, they invariably want to know what my New Year resolutions are. Their happiness and health somehow seem tied to finding out the status of my prior years’ resolutions too. The conversation that follows this line of inquiry is, to put it mildly, quite embarrassing.
You see, I have the same single resolution each year. There hasn’t been any change to it over the past few years. I am steady and reliable that way. My modest resolution for every New Year is to lose enough weight to be able to recognize the image in the mirror. That is a perfectly plausible resolution, if you ask me. I am not aiming for world peace here, am I? Forget about fitting back into the wedding clothes. Forget about making the ‘Economy’ class seat in an airplane look roomier. All I want is to buy one dress each year that is not labeled ‘Jumbo’ size.
Let me tell you why weight loss beats all my other resolutions to the door each year. It does get a little annoying after a while to be singled out in a crowd and complimented on your chubby cheeks in social gatherings. Also, I don’t particularly care to have my cheeks pinched to see if they are as soft and round as the babies who model for baby food commercials on TV. Really! But my indignant scowls almost always go unnoticed so I have finally come up with an ingenious, if temporary, solution for this problem. I don’t knock on the door of a party without first sucking my cheeks in and holding them in to form artificial dimples. Lucky for me it fools them every single time.
I don’t know about you but I take my New Year resolution very seriously. Every January 1st, I go and enroll myself in the nearest fitness center. Then, I go out shopping and spend a week browsing the stores looking for a dashing new gym outfit. That being done, I sweat another week trying to find a water bottle that matches my new outfit. After all, there is no point looking shabby when you take an important step in your life. While at the store, I let the store clerk convince me that my feet have outgrown last year’s shoes so then I go home as the proud owner of a new pair of latest technology shoes that is said to melt pounds even while I am sleeping. You have to admit that I can use some extra help here.
I usually pack a lot of enthusiasm into my first few weeks at the Gym. This year, I got a head start by signing up for the gym membership the week before Christmas. The novelty of the new shiny machines keeps me going back. Every Cardio machine is tested and tried but the weight machines intimidate me so much so that I pretend an acute aversion to those monsters and dismiss them as unworthy of my attention. I compensate for this cowardice by walking around the living room couch 3 times a day with a 5 pound potato bag from the pantry. Do not underestimate your potatoes for they can muscle up your arms in no time. Every time I cross the bathroom to pick up a load of dirty laundry, I catch myself looking in the mirror, stretching my arm, straining to see the as yet invisible biceps and triceps. I have a hunch that I will watch those muscles bulge in just another week.
On top of puffing my way to health, every January, I also try to learn to eat all things that taste like sawdust. You may know these as ‘healthy’ food. It takes a lot of inner strength to sit in front of a plate of sickly-looking leaves that is termed ‘salad’ and not gag. It takes even more to push it down your throat. Determination, they say, is the key to stay on a healthy diet. And I have no shame in admitting that I have the determination of a dead earthworm. If you ask me, you have to be critically insane to choose a bowl of oatmeal or a salad over a bowl of hot steamed white rice and a cup of spicy sauteed vegetables.
And there lies the secret to my failed New Year resolutions. But this year I am determined to let this farce play out at least until end of February before I shelve it to be pulled out and reused next year.
Happy New Year to all of you. May the New Year bring good health and laughter to you and all your dear ones.