A resolution we all can live with

Published 2:11 pm Tuesday, January 5, 2010

So this is the time of year that everyone starts living with their respective New Year’s resolutions. National polls suggest that the top resolution people most hope to adhere to is to spend more time with family and friends, (which is odd, considering many of you probably just saw more than enough of them during the holidays).

The second? You guessed it: weight loss. Gyms across the United States start seeing new faces creep into the environment. Chubby faces with bodies that have acquired the trappings of age: paunches, saddlebags, double chins, cellulite, flab, and good old American fat. The wealth of our nation is symbolized not by Wall Street, but by our ever-expanding waistline. Food is bountiful. It’s at every turn of the car. Fast food for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Nacho chips or candy bars from a nearby vending machine or convenience store. A late night splurge of the recently purchased carton of butter pecan ice cream. It’s only in December when our gluttonous ways catch up with us and we begin to think: “Gosh, I’m a fat pig…perhaps I need to make a RESOLUTION.”

So we do. Which, inevitably, fails.

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According to a recent British study up to 78 percent of people who make a resolution fail to follow through with it. The gyms go back to belonging to the crowd of people who gyms usually belong to. The lines at the nearby fast food franchise become much longer. Sales of fat free, sugar free, and salt free items drop, replaced, of course, by their calorie loaded cousins. Resolutions – rules – are made to be broken and we break them. In fact, we like breaking them. That juicy hamburger slathered with mayonnaise and grease is much more tasteful then a bland turkey sandwich on whole wheat isn’t it?

But here’s a trick: moderation. Yes, we can have our cake and eat it to. We can be healthy and – at times – eat unhealthy. We can exercise. We can walk. We can run. We can live. The mistake that many of us fall into is that we’re “too old” or “too busy” to make our health a top priority.

Health care is the big topic today, because so many Americans are frightened as to the prospects of it all. We’re not going to get into the “ifs, ands, and buts” of the Obama administration’s vision for American healthcare, but instead let’s make a pact with ourselves, one based upon personal responsibility. It’s a fact that many of the health issues affecting this country’s population could be prevented if Americans would simply eat better and get an adequate amount of exercise.

That’s not something our gluttonous egos wish to hear.

But it’s something that needs to be heard.

The only way to make healthcare the least of our concerns is to take our personal health seriously.

And that starts with the individual.

Not with a doctor, a health insurance administrator, or a bureaucrat in Washington D.C.