30 by 30: Why I Resolve To Lose Weight In 2013 (Even Though I Hate Resolutions)
I'm almost 30 years old and in those almost 30 years, I cannot recall a single resolution that I (or anyone else for that matter) 100% completed by the end of the year. I've always had a pretty extreme personality, so in the world of commitments and resolutions, that means I’m either all in or not interested at all. Over the years, as New Year’s resolutions go, this has included (but isn't limited to): losing weight, learning to knit, scrapbooking my college years, losing weight, learning photography, committing to a daily skin routine, losing weight FOR REAL this time, paying down my debt, DEFINITELY losing weight this year, and so on and so on.
You see, I go all in–which almost always leads to a rapid burnout caused from exhaustion, boredom or sometimes even injury. By March (May if I’m lucky) my resolutions are a thing of the past, relinquished to the top of my closet or bottom of my trash bin. In 2010, I resolved to go on real dates instead of either a) doing the fake “hangout” dates or b) getting stuck in the friend zone (the chubby girl’s favorite fate). That ended in a solemn vow to join a nunnery. My scrapbook collection sits unfinished after Freshman year, my knitting needles are nowhere to be found, and I’m pretty sure there is a half-finished scarf still in my sock drawer. All signs point to New Year’s resolutions being completely and utterly worthless.
And weight loss has been no less frustrating. Last week I met a friend for lunch at one of my favorite little comfort restaurants in New York City. As we looked over the menu, she cautioned: “You better not be on a diet, because I want the spinach artichoke dip.” I laughed and told her that I’d been on a diet since I was 13, which is 100% true and 1000% depressing. If I added up all the weight I’ve lost at varying points in my life, including the 60 pounds I most recently shed in 2009 and 2010, I’d have lost 17 small children and be thinner than an Olsen twin. Funny how it doesn’t work like that. As life goes, I got distracted and unfocused and put those 60 pounds right back on my body. Awesome.
But for some reason, despite everything that has failed the past year, each January, we all believe in the promise of a fresh start, a new calendar, a chance to make the coming year your best one yet. And at the end of the day, what every girl who has ever struggled with her weight wants each January 1st is to hope, deep in her heart of hearts, that this is the year that the weight will come off. We buy the diet books, we order the cleanses and, like every other woman in America, we vow to go to the gym more.
When Blisstree asked me to write a weight loss column, my initial reaction was less than enthused. Did I really need another public forum for the world to watch me battle my body issues? But I looked at the calendar and realized that I had every opportunity to make this year MY year. In 2013, I resolve to stop obsessing about the number on the scale, spend at least four days a week at the gym, pay closer attention to what I consume and count calories regularly (EVEN booze). If I can keep these resolutions, my ultimate 2013 resolution is to lose 30 pounds before my 30th birthday (hence, the name of this column). That’s a little more than half a pound a week.
It won't be easy: The gym is the worst in January. I will hate everyone who is there who I’ve never seen before and is filling up my classes or using my machines. “I’m glad you need to lose 10 pounds,” I'll want to say to them, “but I need to lose 50 so get the hell off of my elliptical.” But at the end of the day, what gets me there is what got them in the door, too: the promise of something better. Better bodies, a better outlook, maybe even a better life. As cliché as it sounds, I’m not sure I’ll ever stop hoping that this year is when I finally figure out how to get the body (and life) that I have always known I deserve.
So once again, with the promise of a new year, and my 30th birthday looming at the end of this one, I am going to be “that girl.” I have made my resolutions and I will work my ass off to reach them. And if I fail by March…well, I’ve had 28 years of practice in that area, so I’m sure I’ll be just fine with my half-finished scarf and my Freshman memories.
Each week in this column, I’ll share a snapshot of my highs and lows for the week, and a +/- count of my weight progress.
And maybe, just maybe, I won’t need this column at all by 2014.
HIGH: While you are reading this, I am currently sitting on a beach in Hawaii with every person in my family that I love the most, with two weeks off from work and not a care in the world.
LOW: I’m also spending that two weeks in a one-piece bathing suit, hiding from bad photos (2012 was another year that I definitely DID NOT lose all of the weight). Good thing my 2013 resolution will keep that from ever happening again.