New Year's resolutions (we actually kept!)

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 30, 2006

By Susan Shinn

Salisbury Post

LifeStyle Editor Katie Scarvey had what we thought was a great idea.

Why not ask folks the New Year’s Resolutions they actually kept?

Guess what?

Not many of us are successful at keeping resolutions. We’re Americans, after all. We have that famous 15-minute attention span.

These days, that even seem a tad long, doesn’t it?


What were we talking about?

Ah, yes, New Year’s resolutions.

According to a bit of Internet research, we all tend to set the same sorts of goals: Lose weight, exercise, quit smoking, quit drinking — you know the drill.

But by setting our goals too high, says Ester Burgess, fitness director at the J.F. Hurley Family YMCA, we often fail. Moderation is the key, Burgess emphasizes, especially when it comes to New Year’s resolutions.

Here are some of the responses Katie and I received:

She didn’t take the ‘easy way’ to lose weight

Although it was one of your typical New Year’s resolutions, I didn’t do it the typical “easy” way.

I determined 12 years ago that I needed to lose about 45 pounds. But I didn’t start the latest new fad diet; I didn’t join the gym or buy any workout equipment. (Well, maybe a couple of Tae-Bo videos.)

I did a bunch of research on food and diet, metabolism and health. I reduced my food portions at meals. I cut back on between-meal snacking and replaced the yummy but fattening goodies with fresh, healthy alternatives. I eliminated the white stuff — white flour, sugar, etc.

I began eating fresh, mostly organic produce and as many free-range meats as I could find. I read package labels and stayed away from the processed food-flavored edible substances.

I increased my physical activities. I began walking to work and taking the stairs where I could and parking my car farther out in the parking lot. I put on some funky music when I got home at night and danced around the house, looking foolish but feeling fine! All these things helped me to lose the weight.

And I realized that the fears, anger and mistrust that helped me keep everybody at arm’s length also strived to protect me with the extra poundage. So I worked really hard on dealing with the emotional issues that prevented me from dropping my fatty “armor.”

This, I believe, was the key to keeping the weight off.

And, except for my annual 10-pound weight increase for winter hibernation and the subsequent spring shedding, I’ve maintained this weight ever since.

— Betz Bigelow is project manager for Downtown Salisbury, Inc.

‘Time for life to be better’

In a nutshell, I’d say my main resolution last year was to simply work to make my life better. In doing so I figured I’d be able to help others along the way make their lives better, too. And I have kept that resolution in so many ways. I never dreamed of all the positive benefits that would come to pass. Indeed, I believe that — for everyone — it can be, it is “Time for Life to be Better.”

— Dave Cook is a potter in Granite Quarry.

A hairy situation

Grow a beard. Kept…

— Jon Lakey is a Salisbury Post photographer.

Wake up and smell the decaf

Several resolutions ago, I decided to give up coffee with caffeine – and it was a painless switch, especially with all the good brands of coffee available now. I don’t even miss it. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee is half of the obsession to me.

— Sharon Jackson is the Salisbury Post’s prepress manager.

Old Stone House Christmas, new determination

I made the old inevitable resolution of losing weight. Last year, we had Old Christmas at the Old Stone House Dec. 31-Jan. 1. There were photos taken of me in colonial garb which is actually layers and layers of clothes and adds 30 pounds visually.

When I saw them, on Monday, Jan. 2, I thought, “Oh no! Hope no one ever sees them! I really need to lose weight.”

Later that morning, I got a call from my physician who gave me the news after reading my lab reports that I was diabetic. We chatted and of course she shared that I needed to lose some weight.

So twice in one day, I’m thinking I really need to do this. And I did. I lost 25 pounds and have kept 20 off. So that’s a start. Maybe I can lose another 25 soon… Maybe if a certain POST LifeStyle writer and I get our act back together and walk more…

— Kaye Brown Hirst is executive director of Rowan Museum.

Maintaining her losses

I can’t think of a resolution I have kept, but for the first time in my entire life (I turned 50 this year) I can for the first time make the New Year’s resolution to maintain my weight.

I have been overweight my entire life. I graduated high school wearing a size 16/18, and wore a size 22/24 for the last 20 years.

Weight loss surgery has been the best thing I have ever done for myself. I am so much healthier. Feel better than I have in years. It’s amazing how much more energy I have weighing 126 pounds less!

Dr. Bauman gave me before and after pictures of myself recently. I can now put my entire body into one pant leg of my old jeans. I can’t believe it!

I hope and pray I can tell you this time next year I kept within 5-10 pounds of my weight loss.

I got a pair of knee high boots at Marshalls recently and I love wearing boots to my knees for the first time. I wanted those white gogo boots so bad when I was in school and they would never fit over my fat calves.

My mom was patient over the years. I tried every pair I found, but this is the first year I can wear them.

It’s amazing by the grace of God how good things come to us for the first time — even at 50!

— Betty Slife lives in Salisbury.

Never again!

The rest of the folks we heard from vowed never to make New Year’s Resolutions again.

Oh well.

Whatever you decide, best of luck and Happy New Year!