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Friday Report: How to become Whippet-thin

Jon de Vos/Friday Report
Grand County, CO Colorado

I’m a great believer in helping people with their New Year’s resolutions. There’s always something you can do to improve yourself, even if you only resolve to be nicer to me.

There’s two ways to look at New Year’s resolutions. The first is that you should set goals that inspire you to improve yourself by doing things you don’t want to do. Traditionally, a proper resolution calls for us to lose weight, gain success, quit smoking, start saving, drink less, jog more, build confidence, tear down bad habits, begin smiling, quit gambling, punch the boss, pick up a new job or drop a nowhere relationship.

New Year’s Resolutions should challenge you, as well as being impossible to keep. Studies show that 92 percent of all New Year’s Resolutions are but faded memories by Superbowl.



There seems to be disagreement whether a proper resolution can be something you enjoy. For instance, being a film buff, I could resolve to watch more movies in 2011, but saying that provokes a conscience twinge because I would actually enjoy going to more movies.

No, a proper resolution should be cause for pain by denying yourself something you really want or enjoy. Besides if I eked out any more time for movies, I would turn into a pale creature with luminous cave-dweller eyes, living on jujubes and raisinettes, lurking in the multi-plex like the Phantom of the Theater.



The other way to look at New Year’s resolutions, if you are one of the 92 out of 100 who cannot keep them, is to think about tricking yourself into success. Lose weight? A noble resolve, but one that lasted less than a week last year when you polished off the chocolate-covered cherries that cried out to you from under the Christmas tree.

Say, for instance, on January 1st, you resolved to become whippet-thin and bicycle the length of Chile after learning Spanish. By March, you’ll probably be forced to acknowledge a horrible conflict between your goals and deep-dish apple pie. By October, you’ll give up and accept a permanent seat at Red Lobster’s All You Can Eat Shrimp Night.

Gain weight! There’s a resolution that sounds a lot better than its grim alternative and if you’re as unsuccessful at that as you were at losing weight, stand back and let the whippet out.

Ask yourself one simple but real-life question: Could you gain 10 pounds and still buckle the seatbelt in your car? If so, consider the fact that you may already be perfect. Think about it … Aren’t you already getting enough exercise every time the batteries die in the remote? Become a supporter of art and culture with the HBO upgrade.

Let others struggle with improving themselves. Laugh at them in January as they toil through the snow to get to pilates. Smile condescendingly in March when their own resolve crumbles. Do not mock them in June as they kneel in your doorway begging for a cup of Cherry Garcia and staring gape-jawed and green with envy at your stash of double-stuff Oreos.

It’s the New Year. Get your own ice cream. I’m resolved to have plenty this year.


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