Thursday, January 3, 2008

New year, new me?

So it's that time again. The wee days of January, which means a new year, and, invariably, a slew of resolutions. I'm not one to make new year's resolutions per se, but I suppose now is as good a time as any. There are a few things I want to work on, but they all have the common thread of instilling more discipline in myself. Not the spit polish, bounce a quarter off the bed, drill sergeant type of discipline, but enough to stick to a plan to accomplish a goal.

For example, the one thing that I've always struggled with for as long as I can remember (well since I was nine years old anyway) is my weight. There are a whole host of reasons why I gained weight -- emotional eating, food as comfort, rebellion, exercise averseness, etc. -- but the effort to lose weight has always been one fraught with stops and starts, success and failure. Frankly, I'm sick of people telling me that I'd be so pretty if I just lost the weight. In addition, my weight has been a major sticking point between my dad and me, which adds to the whole complexity of the situation. Add to that the frustration of having to hunt high and low for clothes that will fit me (not my ten year old cousin) and that will be stylish. Oh, and one more thing, one of my best friends is getting married at the end of March, which means I'm one of the bridesmaids and have to look presentable. That's an automatic 20-30 pounds to lose.

For those fortunate enough to have either good genes or the discipline and motivation to eat right and work out consistently, being overweight is simply a "mind over matter" issue. In many ways, it is. To me, however, it's more of a mind over heart issue because the heart, lovely and full of feelings as it is, is sometimes the grand saboteur of success. The heart is what will tell me whether something feels good or bad now, whether something is fun, whether that piece of chocolate will make me happier or not. The heart is right most of the time, but often, when hard work is required, it turns into a wuss. That's where the mind should kick in, take over, and push the body further than the heart wants to take it.

This whole situation brings to mind a quote someone told me many years ago: "Discipline without love is rebelliousness; love without discipline is anarchy." Do I love myself enough to not let myself descend into anarchy? That is, can I instill some modicum of discipline in myself so that I get where I want to go without rebelling against the self-imposed restrictions? It will definitely be a constant struggle, and one I wish I did not have to endure. For my health's, satisfaction's, and inner fashionista's sake, however, it's a struggle I must undertake will all due fervour. Or else I'll be doomed to make this same resolution on January 1, 2009.

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