Goals, Resolutions, Promises You Don’t Intend to Keep.

I’m pretty sure that exactly a year ago when everyone was writing New Year resolution posts, I did my best Liz Lemon eye roll and clicked far away from them all.  I was just leaving my first trimester and my only goal in life was to survive the winter and have my baby.  And I accomplished both!  2014 was a success!

I did have one goal last year that I tried and failed at, though.  I have this same goal every year and I’ve yet to fully succeed at it.  I’ve never shared it with anyone because I’m superstitious and think that telling anyone will doom me.  I’m also a little ashamed that this is something I need to work on. ALSO, I feel a little silly and perhaps prideful about sharing it.  Recently it’s occurred to me that perhaps I should share it in case anyone else has this same goal every year and “fails.” Perhaps it’s not pride as in not-being-humble that keeps me from sharing.  It’s the type of pride the keeps you from telling your spouse that you’re starting that diet on Monday.  If you don’t tell him, he won’t know that you weren’t supposed to have that cookie!  Ok, where am I going with this?

I try every year to go to confession once a month.  Some years I come closer to succeeding than others, but every year I fail.  It’s really easy to conclude that maybe I stink at this.  It’s really easy to despair.  But no, I know that’s the devil.  I know it’s the devil whispering in my ear every Saturday in January “But you just went in December for Advent… Just go next weekend.”

I’m not going to give up and I’m not going to feel defeated.  Usually, New Year Resolutions frustrate me because I tend to feel overwhelmed by them.  Who knows what’s going to happen in a year?  So much changes so fast, especially with little kids. Why make promises you can’t keep?  But this resolution I make every year is on a month to month basis. [A related aside: this is why I love Ashley’s blog.  She’s always making reasonable but inspiring monthly goals!] Right now, all I’m worried about is January.  I don’t know if I’ll make it to confession every month in 2015, but golly I’m really determined to get there this January!

Since I’m already on the topic and blabbing on, I’ll share a little bit about my other January goal: going (mostly) sugar free for (most of) January.  I know, I’m so inspiring, huh?  This one has been on my mind for a while. I kicked my almost decade-long addiction to CoffeeMate in October.  It was hard at first but eventually I liked half and half and a bit of sugar.  But then Halloween happened and that was a new low. Dave and I ate so much candy on the weekend following Halloween (which was on a Friday) and I felt like utter garbage by Monday.  But I couldn’t stop! I would have a healthful lunch and then boom! Sugar cravings would hit all afternoon and I had no self-control.  I clearly needed to work on this.

I did a little research during December (in between baking and eating Christmas sweets of course!) to see what kinds of programs were out there for sugar addicts like me. Most of them involved cutting out fruit and carbs too, and I just can’t do that.  This nursing mom can only deal with so much! Plus, I’ve done lots of diets in my day, and it’s never been good for me to eliminate food groups. I love food and I love cooking and baking and I’m tired of feeling ashamed of that.  What I really want is to be able to enjoy food, even sweets, healthfully and have the self control to stop myself when I’m done.  Laura shared this video with me and it was mind-blowing and very inspiring to me to get my sugar addiction under control.  Haley’s posts Why I Don’t Want to Be Healthy and Confessions of a Sugarholic were also very timely for me and made me fist pump a little a lot.  I  was ready!

So! I’m on day two and it’s not too bad!  No sugar in my coffee, and no added sweets. I’m not too worried about sugar in things as long as it’s not a predominantly sugar-y food.  So, I’m not going to have jam on my toast, but I won’t worry about a little mayo in my tuna. But I did switch from bottled salad dressings to oil and vinegar. One of the main ingredients on my favorite (lite!) poppy seed dressing is high fructose corn syrup! [Gah! Listen to me, I already sound obnoxious!]  I did have a glass of red wine with dinner but only after Dave looked it up and explained that dry red wine is really the least sugary wine of all.  Moderation, folks.  Thus, it’s mostly sugar free, but not totally sugar free.  And it’ll be most of the month, but not all of the month because my birthday is on January 28th and I must eat cake. I’m not that crazy!

Whew.  This is a wordy post.

What do you think of resolutions? Are you for? Against? Indifferent? Do you just want to get on with the New Year already? Me too!


12 thoughts on “Goals, Resolutions, Promises You Don’t Intend to Keep.

  1. I love that Beauty and the Beast line! So funny every time.

    Re: Confession: Joe is much better about going than I am, but when he does make a point to go, it reminds me how lazy I am about it. He set a reminder for every 3 weeks or so (I think) and it's worked pretty well. It also allows for a bit of flexibility (as opposed to every 4 weeks) in case we're busy some Saturday and can't make it.

    I think your reduced-sugar goals are good–I'm not one for eliminating food groups, either, but I do want to make a point to do a better job of eating healthy this year. I'll be nursing too (if this baby ever comes) so I'll have to be extra careful, since I think I tried to drop weight too quickly after Sophie and that led to my supply drying up/her weight loss. I think it's important to be able to have some sugar, just to be able to control it… after all, I want to enjoy life! 😉

    • Yup, I counted calories (not even really well, just a bit!) when I was about 4-5 months postpartum with SK and she was underweight at 6 months. I've been much more conscious about eating enough for Gus' sake. But Gus and I don't need the sugar!

  2. This is so great, Ellen. I think monthly confession was my resolution last year too. Didn't happen. But close! The important thing is what you said: "I’m not going to give up and I’m not going to feel defeated."

    P.S. I'm glad mayo in tuna is okay. 😉

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  4. Love this. Monthly confession is a goal I want to strive for but the Saturdays come and my excuses or forgetfulness always win. 🙁 But as wise Daniel Tiger says, "keep trying, you'll get better!" 😉 Also, major sugar addict over here, too. And I agree about moderation w/ food!

  5. Love this. My mindset regarding monthly goals is that it keeps us thinking about what we want most in life. It keeps things front and center in our minds and reminds us to stay focused when we're pulled in all those different directions (hello, motherhood!). You may or may not get to Confession every month and that's okay. Even every other month or every three months is admirable! The most important part is that you've acknowledged what you want to improve on and are committed to try. No guilt allowed! I'm cheering you on!

  6. I'm a major sugar addict too. That one thing that helpes me most in eliminating sugar, is making sure I eat plenty of fat. If I'm eating a ton of fat, the sugar cravings are definitely less than if I don't eat enough fat. (And my natural tendency is to eat less fat).

    • It's hard for me as a child of the 80's and 90's to be ok with eating fatty things, but you're totally right. That's what makes the no sugar thing work. And I definitely need the fatty things with breastfeeding. I just finished my 2 eggs with cheese and avocado breakfast. Lotsa good fats!

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