New year resolution by Angela Caldin
I understand that the people who make new year resolutions generally make them about losing weight, adopting a more healthy lifestyle, cutting down on alcohol, taking more exercise or a combination of all four of these. Like many others, I resolved on 1 January to lose some weight by cutting down on fattening food such as biscuits, cakes, pies and pastries, at the same time enjoying low calorie healthy salads, lean meat and vegetables. In my mind’s eye, I saw a slimmer me, glowing with health, emerging by about the end of February.
The resolution, I’m ashamed to report, bit the dust on day one when we were invited for dinner at Trevor and Pam’s. Pam had made an amazingly wonderful chicken and leek pie with puff pastry, accompanied by garlic bread and a plateful of Turkish eggs. A slice of heaven, you could call it, and utterly delicious. I had a second helping. Never mind, I thought, tomorrow is another day to start again with firm resolve. On day two, my son-in-law made a superb chicken curry with potato, accompanied by a well-oiled naan. As the granddaughters said with hearty appreciation ‘It was yummy.’ Day three saw us at Emily and Susan’s sampling with gusto a pasta dish with grated courgettes brought to culinary perfection with a huge lump of grated Parmesan and a massive dollop of butter. For pudding we had Pavlova with toffee sauce and a giant chocolate Swiss roll with whipped cream filling. How was I going to keep to my resolution at this rate? The choice appeared to be stark: either give up socialising and enjoying great food in order to stay at home to eat salad and get slim, or accept that having a great time with friends and sharing fantastic food with them would mean putting up with those extra pounds.
Minor and major success
It’s not that I lack determination. I’ve done Weight Watchers; successfully enough to get gold membership, though there is a clue in the fact that I’ve done it twice which indicates that the weight didn’t stay off permanently. Greater proof of resolve is that twenty or more years ago I gave up drinking alcohol. Why? Because I drank too much and it was bad for me. Bad for my health, bad for my relationships, bad for my day to day functioning, bad for my state of mind. I was worried that it would be difficult to deal with social situations without the crutch of alcohol, but that worry proved to be unfounded. The all or nothing decision to cut alcohol out of my life completely proved to be one of the best decisions I have ever made.
I’ve thought of another resolution now and it’s not about self-deprivation or giving up things. It shouldn’t require too much determination or resolve, though it might require a small financial outlay. My resolution is to have fun in 2017, to meet with friends, to share meals and to have wonderful experiences, though for me alcohol won’t be involved.