Cristina Ferrare
I'm starting to think about my New Year's resolution. I make the same one every year—it never changes. It's the one where I resolve to lose 20 pounds…only this year it's 30! I added 10 pounds to my New Year's resolutions.

Why do we have to make resolutions in the first place? I can't seem to get past the first week. I wanted to know the most popular New Year's resolutions people make, so I did a little research. Here are the most popular resolutions:
  • Quit smoking
  • Give up drinking
  • Get a job
  • Change jobs
  • Get organized
  • Get expenses under control
  • Pay down debt
  • Find a mate
  • Spend more time with family
And the number one New Year's resolution: Lose weight, slim down and tone up.

I start off with the best intentions and get all fired up. Not before I totally eat too much over the holidays because I know my New Year's resolution to lose weight is right around the corner! Somehow, this gives me permission to totally pig out!

Cristina's typical New Year's resolution
When January 1 rolls around (because that's what I'm doing, rolling around), I throw out anything in cellophane bags, because whatever is in those has too much fat, salt and calories. I get rid of all soda cans with ingredients I can't pronounce. I buy vitamins, which I already have and forgot that I do, so now I have a year's supply. I buy boatloads of herbal teas with no caffeine—teas that move things along gently—and tinctures from the health food store that some how miraculously will restore my hair, face, neck, skin, nails, teeth and bones back to their youthful glow (this hasn't happened yet. Maybe it would if I could remember to take them three times a day for the rest of my life.)

I'm good for about three days when I'm on a diet-vitamin-herbal-laxative tea routine. I monitor my organic low-calorie, low-fat, no-flavor food, drink 12 8-ounce glasses of distilled water a day and make sure not to go out because I run to use the restroom every 15 minutes. The idea of having to stop in a gas station restroom pretty much keeps me at home. When I do go out, I have to plan how long it takes me to get to my destination! I get up early to go to the gym one day, the track the next and the park on the third day. On the fourth day, I wake up and I'm completely over it, all of it—the eating, the exercising and the remembering to take my vitamins.

I believe the reason I can't keep my resolution is because I set up unrealistic expectations for myself. I set myself up to fail. I buy into the idea that if I could only get into a size 8 again, I could sprout wings and be a 50-something Victoria Secret model, the first of its kind! That if I eliminate white things (sugar, flour, bread) I would lose weight faster and my sinuses would clear up. It's actually true because I have done that diet before, but you know what? I know that I can't commit to that diet forever because there are foods l love, like pasta, cheese, great breads, hamburgers, steaks, fried chicken, mac 'n' cheese, fries, pizza, ice cream, chocolate, cookies, pies, cakes (I'm making myself hungry here) and more. I can't go though life not ever having another burger!

So, what's the solution? I think in my case it's making the choice to make better choices . After all, I love fruits and vegetables and I do love the way I feel when I make better choices about what I put into my body. I notice when I eat foods that are processed, salty or fatty I just don't feel well afterward. I get moody, a headache and my stomach hurts.

When I do make choices that are better for me, I feel great and my attitude is so much nicer—so I've been told by the people who love me. But the reality is, I'm not going to always make the choices that are the best for me. I'm human and I love food, and when I deprive myself of anything, I just want more of it. So instead of making the resolution to lose weight, I'm going to resolve to make better choices for myself. For me, it's difficult. I struggle every day with food and food choices, but if I make the choice to eat a cheeseburger, I should enjoy it and not beat myself up and feel so guilty afterward that it makes me want to continue down a path of creamy, sugary destruction.

Cristina's new approach to New Year's resolutions
This year, I'm not going to make a resolution to lose weight. Instead, I'm going to make a resolution to "think about it." Here's what I mean by "think about it":
  • I'm going to think about ways I can stay healthy.
  • I'm going to think before I take a bite about how whatever I'm about to eat will affect my body.
  • I'm going to think about—when reaching for that second piece of cake—how eating too much sugar makes me mean, and do I want to go there?
  • I'm going to think about all the people who love me and depend on me, and begin to take better care of myself so I can continue to be there for them.
  • I'm going to think about how to incorporate daily exercise into my life, because deep down in my heart I know for sure it's the right thing to do for my health.
  • I'm going to think about ways I can become a better wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend.
  • I'm going to think about how reacting negatively or harshly when my kids or husband do things that send me over the edge is a poor reflection on me.
  • I'm going to think about ways I can be nicer when I'm driving and not honk my horn at someone who cuts me off (and not yell out the window using a word I usually would end up grounding the kids for).
  • I'm going to think about being patient when I have to wait in a line or if some one cuts in front of me (I really need to work on that one).
  • I'm going to think about ways to react in a healthier, more positive way when something does not go my way.
  • I'm going to think about ways of becoming more patient, kind and thoughtful toward myself.
  • I'm going to think about how to get out of my comfort zone and do something to help others in a way that will truly make a difference.
  • I'm going to think about how I can forgive people who have hurt me so I won't hurt anymore.
  • I'm going to think about how to find the courage to ask for forgiveness from the people I have hurt—and then do it.
  • I'm going to think about all the blessings in my life and continue to give thanks every day.
  • I'm going to think about all of these things, then do these things!
Let me know what you're going to think about. I would love to hear from you!

Now let's enjoy a healthy New Year's Eve dinner. Try my recipe for Grilled Chicken Breasts with Spicy Orange-Ginger Glaze .

Sending "Big Bowls of Love" and something to think about,


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