Of Diets and Dachsunds (and Other New Year’s Resolutions)

Am I paranoid, or does this slice of tiramisu look like it's smiling evilly?

I can’t think of New Year’s resolutions without remembering all the diets I went on in my teens and twenties and all the weight I gained back. Obviously I’m not alone–the cover story in today’s New York Times Magazine is called “Do You Have to be Superhuman to Lose Weight?”

Tara Parker-Pope’s article cites increasing evidence that overweight bodies will do just about anything, after suffering the discomforts of even a ten percent weight loss, to regain their old familiar form. According to researchers, all sorts of hormones will readjust, from those in charge of making you attracted to the tiramisu to the ones in charge of impulse control. Not only that, but the evidence is in that different bodies burn calories at sometimes significantly different rates, and that this, too, is affected by weight loss.

The hormones regulating my resolution activity have readjusted, after many failures to keep New Year resolutions, to the point that I stopped making resolutions well over a decade ago. I just know how it will end. Although there is a distressing amount of room for self-improvement, arbitrary rules are not the path by which I will attain it. Even arbitrary rules I make myself. I can always justify an exception.

So, no resolutions in this patch of desert. Although Gbot did express a longer term goal for himself. This evening Uncle Marty asked him what he wants to be when he grows up.

“I vant…to be…a dachseen gull,” said Gbot.

“I think he wants to be a dachsund,” reported Uncle Marty.

“I don’t think so,” I replied, more practiced at decoding the dialect. I asked Gbot to repeat it.

“I vant…to be…a DACHseen gull,” he said again.

“You want to be a dancing girl?” I asked.

“Yup!” He nodded wildly, blond curls bobbing as he galloped off across the lawn.

Uncle Marty thought a dachsund would be better, but I’m not distressed. Tomorrow, Gbot will probably want to be Batman again. At least as a superhero, if he can’t squeeze into his bat tights, he could lose the weight and keep it off.

What do you want to be this year?




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