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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Resolution Revolution: Seize TODAY!

DON’T eat that cupcake…

I would have eaten it last week (and evidently, everything else in sight). Why not this week? Because the holidays are over, and with each new year comes new motivation. At least for a day or two. Isn’t that usually how it goes?

The problem with resolutions is that they’re daunting. If you didn’t do it before, why now? Because it’s a new year? Because you feel empowered to tackle that giant, seemingly unattainable goal? New Year's resolutions have a well-deserved reputation for failure…and usually before the end of the first week of January.

Here’s the first trap – “I’ll start as soon as….” You fill in the blank. I’ll start as soon as the holidays are over. I’ll start Monday. I’ll start next month. Then the second trap – the time frame. I’ll go to the gym every day this month. I’ll eat right so I look good for our vacation. I’ll monitor my salt intake until my blood pressure reaches X. Then what? Revert to bad habits? Have one bad day and feel defeated? Whenever I have a time frame, I fail. If I go running and just run, I can go a lot further than when I go running for a certain distance. Even though I could keep going, I stop (I hate running!). I reached my goal. Right? And the thought of cutting out something FOREVER just makes me want to run right to it. I can’t stop thinking about it. No more junk food EVER. Yeah, right! I can’t stop thinking about that cupcake!

This year, I don’t have a resolution. I had a fun, free-for-all month with turkey dinners, cookies, vacation food and drinks. But it’s over now. I’m back to eating right and going to the gym. Not because it’s a new year, but because it’s my lifestyle...now.

It reminds me of the year I made the resolution to simply “have a healthy lifestyle.” That failed, too. That daunting change was just too much all at once. Does this sound familiar? What should you do?

Don’t get discouraged! You can still have these goals, just understand that they ARE attainable. Make a plan without having that completely fall-off-the-wagon end point. Resolve to eat right TODAY. Resolve to go for a walk TODAY. Resolve to quit smoking TODAY. Resolve to clean your closet TODAY. When tomorrow becomes today, resolve again. Sooner or later, the new behavior will become the rule, not the exception. And don’t worry if you’ve already fallen off the resolution wagon. Get back on. We’re strong, and we don’t need a date on the calendar telling us when we should improve ourselves. Who cares if it's the 3rd day of the year, the 30th or the 300th. If you have a goal, start TODAY. You can do this! And if you need a little motivation, try one of my recipes. “Having a healthy lifestyle” never tasted so good!

It was just over a year ago that I began writing this blog, and I’ve been overwhelmed by the positive response I’ve received. 2010 was quite a year! My cookbook launched just before Christmas last year, and the social and local media blitz began. Three months later, I made 180 quarts of creamy broccoli soup to serve to thousands at the Charleston Wine & Food Festival. Surprisingly, I still love the soup! As the year went on, I got braver with my recipes. I was featured in another health writer’s book. I entered FoodBuzz.com’s Next Food Blog Star (better luck next year, I guess!). Most recently, The Svelte Gourmet was awarded a position in FoxNews’ Best Health Blogs of 2010. I am so honored. Thank you for reading!

And yes, I might eat that cupcake…just not TODAY.

The Svelte Gourmet: A Month of Main Courses cookbook is available at www.thesveltegourmet.com/products.html. Enjoy!


Jessica said...

FANTASTIC! I am so proud of you Jen! Great food, great information, incredible recipes and such a down to earth presentation... I hope you're proud of yourself, too.

You're doing a great service and I'm glad to promote you to my patients and friends.

Thank you!


The Svelte Gourmet said...

Thank you Jess! This is such a fun and rewarding outlet for me, and I hope others enjoy and benefit from it. Here's to a healthy and fruitful 2011!