I, for one, am glad that the holidays are finally behind us. Welcome 2017, come on in while I slam the door shut on 2016 — way too many celebrity deaths and weirdness I can finally put behind me.
So new year means resolutions, right?
Hell no, not again.
Let me talk about what I plan to do differently this year.
To start I resolve to use my food processor and slow cooker more often this year and truly expand my food palette. Pull out all my cook books and make my lists. Heck maybe even splurge and buy a new stove and oven.
What? No resolution to exercise more and do better on my diet?
Come on people. We are only four days into the new year. Why would I set myself up for failure that quickly? Last year I resolved not to diet but ended up on a diet anyway. To heck with that nonsense.
It’s too much pressure to stick to a massive list of resolutions just four days into the new year. It’s not like you wake up New Year’s Day and BOOM your mind is reprogrammed to follow only that list (Unless you’re in a mind altering cult or something. Hey, if that works in helping you lose weight drop me an email. I am crazy enough to give it a go.) In fact my brain was on holiday mode (which means eat, drink, sleep and be lazy) until I had to return to work.
I still have cupcakes in my fridge that need to be eaten. I still have some champagne left to drink. I still have some bacon (thank you Charmette Brewer) from last week’s National Bacon Day that I need to use up.
I have that bottle of Bacardi rum — oh wait — nope that’s done.
It may be a whole new year, but I still have last year’s appetite. That didn’t change overnight. If anything I resolve not to waste good stuff and all that I just mentioned is good stuff. Trust me.
And that’s just the stuff in my fridge. My freezer is packed with stuff most people would resolve not to eat just to start out on the right path for the new year.
Some folks would discard these foods to avoid temptation.
Those people are insane!
Why throw out perfectly good foods like frozen tamales, burritos, a pint of Breyers Rocky Road ice cream (my all-time favorite, hint, hint) some Klondike bars and frozen pizzas. You know darn well that within a week you will crave those foods and be right back at the store buying more.
Shame on you, wasting food and money like that.
Things don’t just magically change overnight. We don’t change overnight. And the extra weight didn’t just appear overnight. It happened gradually and it will have to un-happen the same way or you will fall short of your goals and expectations. This same train of thought may be applied to exercise, work habits, moods and so on.
I think of how many times I set out to follow my resolutions, hit a bump in the road and then thought, “Oh well there goes that one.”
We, well at least I, know I sometimes set unrealistic goals each year. Do you?
I have said this before but it is one of my favorite quotes from Oscar Wilde. “Everything in moderation, including moderation.”
So I plan to try something different for 2017. Instead of making a list of things I need to start doing or do better at (like diet, exercise, etc.etc.), I’m making a list of new things I want to experience this year. New recipes and culinary choices are on my list.
I’m not saying I will not diet or eat unhealthy all the time or not exercise. Those are things I’ve been trying to stay on top of in some form for the past few years. But they are not a new experience.
The old me would have planned to sit down and eat my whole fridge and freezer in one sitting. All on New Year’s Eve, then go out and buy only healthy foods for the new year.
Sadly, I did this one year and, sadly, it was a really bad idea.
This year I’m using what is in my fridge and freezer in creative new ways, like maybe bacon wrapped burrito bites. Or mix some of that ice cream in a banana, raspberry smoothie.
I plan to try new foods, especially new recipes, most of which are healthier choices than my current menu. Most are new recipes that I’ve never cooked or eaten before. I may place new restaurants to try on my list for another way of expanding my culinary indulgence.
And, of course, I will try to get some exercise in as much and as often as possible. But that again is not a new experience. So my list this year includes signing up for stuff I’ve never tried before, like a mixed martial arts, a boxing class, learn to water ski or underwater basket weaving (just checking to see if you’re still reading). Sometimes, when you least expect it, a new experience can transform you in ways other things can’t.
When I randomly signed up for roller derby back in 2010 the thrill of a new sport and group of friends resulted in an effortless 50 pound weight loss. And I kept it off until I stopped skating at the end of 2014.
Maybe it’s time for the next experience. So I made my list.
If you find yourself making out a resolution list and it nearly matches the one you made last year, chuck it. Make a new list.