new and improved
Ah, New Year’s.
I like to keep the bar super low with resolutions. If I haven’t figured out how to be a better person in the 34 years I’ve already been alive, chances are, it’s not going to happen in 2012.
So this year, I have two resolutions, and only one requires active effort on my part. The other merely liberates me from doing something that I already hate doing. I sense great success ahead for me in 2012.
1. Make peace with my midsection
I gained six pounds in December from my binge eating. So I’ve been on a bender at the gym. I took a class on Wednesday that I’d never taken before, and the first 20 minutes of the class were devoted to ab work of such fiendish complexity and difficulty that I felt like the entire class was on Candid Camera. I gave it about seven minutes before I chose to work on my core by laying completely still on the floor.
When I gain weight, I gain it first on my stomach, so I have a long and complicated relationship with my abdominals, or lack thereof. The last time I tried a sustained campaign to get some abs, I developed a hard layer of muscle underneath without burning off the fat layer on top, which had the effect of making my middle look bigger, not smaller. Since that alarming experience, I’ve made no concerted effort to do anything specific about my midsection at all. When my pants get tight, I use a hair elastic instead of the button to fasten the pants until I can work off a few pounds. See below. Way easier than crunches.
And yet, it is tough to avoid society’s seemingly unquenchable appetite for rock hard abs. And that leads me to ask: what is with our fascination with that body part? The last time I wore a half-shirt, I was in Cancun and 22. My midsection only sees the light of day when I wear a bikini, which I wear maybe five days a year. And for THIS I am doing obliques and scissor kicks and the dreaded plank??
So today, I say: no thank you, abs. My first resolution in 2012 is to make peace with the fact that abs of steel are not in the cards for me.
2. Keep clothes off the floor in my closet
Note that I didn’t say “keep my closet clean.” That’s the other thing about resolutions. It helps to be very specific about the scope and parameters of the resolution. I have zero hope of keeping my closet totally clean. But I CAN try to avoid having the majority of my clothes on the floor, as they are in this photograph, which was snapped the morning of December 31, 2011.
The difficulty with keeping clothes off my floor is that my hamper is more than an arm’s length distance from the spot where I usually disrobe. When it’s the end of the day, the effort it takes to walk my clothes to the hamper feels herculean. So I usually end up dropping the clothes and shoes where I took them off.
Sometimes I get ambitious and try to throw the clothes into the hamper from where I stand, which merely results in my clothes being deposited on the floor around the hamper, otherwise known as Tom’s Side of the Closet. You can see a photo demonstration of this phenomenon below.
So my second resolution this year is to hang up my clothes, or actually place them into the hamper. I make this resolution for me, and for Tom, because I love him very much and I think he should not have to have my clothing strewn on his side of the closet. I can already feel myself improving, and it feels AWESOME. Huzzah.
Here’s to 2012 and our better selves. Cheers!
I LOVE your earthy, realistic written “voice”. Well done, Well done. This piece was truly inspiring. I’ve never been one for “resolutions” since I am one of those people for whom it is a “set up” for failure. I do work hard to change what I am able to change… But… to accept those things about myself (or my life) that I would love to change, in some “alternate universe”, but really must come to live with? Now, I’ve been motivated to find my own “hairband solution” to those things. Thank you!
Nice New Year’s post! Good luck in the wild future, young lady!
Did the angels just sing? Yes, they did. When, you ask? When I saw that freaking hair band holding your pants on!!! You wanna talk about an OMFGM? That was mine. Never before had I thought I could be comfortable in pants that were temporarily too tight. Thanks, yoo!
progeny aside, i consider the rubber band trick the true lasting gift of my two pregnancies. thanks for reading, jen.
I think you’ll use any excuse to remind your older friends that you’re only 34. And, you’re not even chubby. So shut up about your freaking abs til you’ve walked a mile in my abs. I gained SIXTEEN pounds this year. I have some serious resolutions in place. Those involve me being unpleasantly sober all the time . . . I do appreciate the tip on using a hair band!
you gained 16 pounds in a YEAR. i gained six pounds in a month. at that rate i would gain 72 pounds in one year. i’m just saying, as a 34 year old . i am intrigued by your resolution to be sober…we must discuss