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Kent Bernhardt: New Things

We’ve just finished our celebration of the New Year and all the hope it holds. We’ve popped our corks and raised our glasses in anticipation of what we hope will be.

By now, many New Year’s resolutions are probably just well-intentioned memories. Mine never saw the light of the morning of January first. I resolved a few years ago to make no further New Year’s resolutions, and that was the one I kept.

I’m more into goals these days, and goals are a different breed. In my thinking, a resolution is a more impulsive venture, usually destined to fail.

A goal has no shelf life. You can set a goal and fall off the wagon many times along the way, but it never leaves you. There is accountability, but there is also forgiveness and the opportunity to resume the journey to the goal. It never ceases to exist.

Having said that, I have trouble with goals too.

Like many of you, I’d like to see less of me when I look into the mirror each morning. When it comes to my physique, time has accomplished what time tends to do to us all sooner or later. It’s made it more difficult for me to see all of my feet.

I could see them plainly when I was twenty-five, but between time, food intake, and gravity, it’s a wonder I can see them at all.

I don’t think people point at me and say “Hey, who’s the fat guy” yet, but that moment can’t be far away, given my full membership in Cheeseaholics Anomymous. Put cheese on most anything and I’ll eat it.

So moderate weight loss is still a goal of mine and I will try, try again. I won’t do it through dieting though, that’s not the permanent solution.

I’ve observed relatives and friends as they discover the latest diet fad. They lose a dramatic amount of weight quickly, then gain an even more dramatic amount of weight when the newness of the diet fades.

The trick, I’m told, is to change the way you think about food. I did that recently in one small area of my diet.

I have always felt that one of God’s great blessings to mankind came in the form of potato chips and onion dip. I’m certain the same God who created the heavens and the earth produced that culinary delight, presumably right after he rested on the seventh day.

Whip up a life sized container of that one snack, and I will happily plunge into it head first and never come up for air. I love potato chips and dip that much.

But thanks to a holiday visit from my health conscious daughter, I discovered a workable substitute; pita chips and hummus.

Very few of my friends like hummus, so there’s more for me. This pleasant blend of chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice, spices, and salt appeals to my taste buds for some reason, so I have made what I hope is a conversion to a healthier alternative.

Now I’m waiting on the inevitable government study that will claim hummus contains fragments of nuclear waste and if you eat it, you’ll start glowing like phosphorescent paint just before you explode.

I’m hoping that my pride over that one simple dietary change will lead to other lifestyle alterations that will over time yield a slimmer, healthier me.

During the past year, I’ve proven to myself in other ways that I can make positive changes if I want to, so I intend to jettison more of the old and usher in more of the new during the coming year.

And that’s a goal, not a resolution.


Kent Bernhardt lives in Salisbury.

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