New Year's Irresolution
By Walt Raleigh
We're already two-thirds of the way through January as I write this, but due to the special Monthly Columnist's Exception to the common-sense rules about holiday greetings, I can still wish all of you a Happy New Year *and* get away with writing a column about New Year's Resolutions... if I hurry.
Health clubs and diet centers do tremendous business in the first few weeks of any New Year, because everyone makes some version of the same New Year's Resolution: eat better, exercise more, shed some pounds and get into shape. Honey, I joined the gym!
It's a wonderful business opportunity for the owners of gyms and health clubs, because many or most of the monthly memberships that they'll sell on yearly contracts in early January will be going essentially unused by March... but the money will just keep flowing in until contract termination. (Wouldn't you love to get paid for *not* providing services to customers who won't complain or try to weasel out of their contracts because they feel guilty and sheepish, or because they tell themselves that next week, they'll start going to the gym again? Man, how do I get a gig like that?)
Avowed gym rats grit their teeth in January, knowing that the hordes of well-intentioned newbies are going to make them wait for the stair-climber and the recumbent bike in the morning, but they also know that in a few weeks, it'll mostly be back to the same old faces again. New Year's Irresolution is in play, and the discarded good intentions will soon be piling up faster than the paving crews can use them (on the road to you-know-where.)
Believe me, I do not write from a position of moral superiority; the ID photo from my gym membership card recently showed up on a milk carton. I know; I saw it in the corner store when I was buying some tortilla chips.
Managing diabetes, or any chronic illness that demands real lifestyle changes, consistently applied, is like dealing with New Year's Irresolution every day. Every morning is a fresh opportunity to take charge and take care of yourself better; every day you face every kind of temptation and opportunity to Do The Wrong Thing.
I have had some modest--very modest--success with making lifestyle changes in the past, and from my experience only, I can tell you that "today is the day I completely change my life!" has never worked for me or for anyone I personally know.
"Today, I can make some healthier choices," though... that works often enough to make a difference.
Have you already blown your New Year's Resolution? Take some friendly advice from a s-l-o-w-l-y slimming fat man: get out of the "change your life overnight" business, because there's no future in it. Take it one day at a time.
Eat a healthy lunch today instead of a cheeseburger--today--and take a long walk or get some other kind of exercise that you enjoy, just for today; don't worry about tomorrow and the rest of your life just now.
Get enough "just todays" under your belt, and you'll be able to tighten it a notch or two tomorrow.
Here's to a healthier 2007!
dLife's Daily Living columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team to find out what will work best for you.
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