Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Year's Resolutions

I've never made New Year's resolutions before, because I don't work in finance and so the calendar year is kind of meaningless to me. I sometimes make mental notes to make my life better on my birthday, or on either Solstice, but January 1st is such an arbitrary date to me. Nevertheless, this year I have made my first, and I have two.

One is to focus more and stop pittering and puttering and procrastinating. When I have something to do, I need to shut up, quit whining, and just do it.

The other is that I'm going to quit this gluttony thing. I neither want nor need to lose weight, but I need to break this habit of eating until I feel like I am about to explode. It's unseemly and unhealthy, and it feels downright immoral, in a world where so many people don't have enough to eat. Not to mention, multiple studies have shown that eating less is healthier for almost everyone, even those who are not concerned about weight control.

I have two strategies to achieve this goal. One is to mimic my friend D2. D2 used to be bigger than she liked (she's Inupiaq), so she began her still-standing habit of taking loooooong daily walks with her adorable little chocolate lab, Maya. Her other change is that she made a deliberate effort to eat less. But here's the thing--she still really enjoys her food. She is the only person I have ever known who limits her food intake, but still eats food with absolute joy and sensuousness, and has not developed any sort of disordered eating habits. She still eats rich foods (such as muktuk, buttery cakes, and fat-marbled meats), but she savors every bite of limited quantities, and then... stops eating.

I eat like my dog Autumn, wolfing down my food and shoveling it down my gullet as if I've never had a proper meal in my life. I enjoy my food, but not like D2 does.

My second strategy is this. You know how people say of people whose eating habits they disapprove of, "There are people starving in China!" even though it's totally meaningless in that context, since whether or not you clean your plate and whether or not you go for second helpings, those people in China will still be starving? I've decided to put some meaning behind this. For 2013, every time I find myself reaching for another scoop of cheesy whatever, or about to have a second helping even though I'm already full, instead of doing that, I'll add a tic mark to a piece of paper. At the end of the year, I'll make each tic mark equal a dollar, and donate the lot to The Hunger Project. Now I'll be literally putting my money where my mouth is!

Finally, here is a wonderful article (with photos!) of a river otter in San Francisco's Sutro Baths. How otterly wonderful!

Happy New Year, everyone!

I rang in the New Year with Sandy here:


mdr said...

Yes, A famous Chinese saying -- Being 70% full and 70% warm (Fairbanks people have no problem on this one) keeps you healthier. Also, never force in leftover because you don't want to waste it.

Luckily you don't need to gain or lose weight, but you do want to be healthy.

Vanessa said...

Ugh, I read this right after I stuffed my face with lunch leftovers. And now I'm feeling bloated. You've got a very good point...

mdr said...

BTW, It seems you can always find clothes for all occasions from websites and fit you well, not easy for many women. This one looks good on you.

mdr said...

I wouldn't choose bright red lipsticks though., you are no longer on the stage.

Debs said...

I like that Chinese saying mdr, I've never heard that one before ;-) We've found hens and dogs are a good way to use up leftovers without feeling bad about waste lol

Calendar new years has never meant much to me either I always worked in education too (presumably your year starts in Sept, like here?). Oddly, our financial year begins in April, so that doesn't match either.

Arvay said...

Yup, our academic year starts in September. Our financial year begins in July! But I am not involved in finance at all, except that I occasionally sit in front of the immensely skilled woman who keeps our books, and shrug and mutter until she's happy with her budget for me. :)

Arvay said...

Thanks, mdr. I was concerned that when mdr read this, she'd worry that I'm not going to eat enough, but you understood. :)