I’m not much into making resolutions. That’s probably because, statistically, the likelihood of me sticking to any of them falls somewhere between an imminent alien invasion and the shoes I like going on sale at Zappos.
But that doesn’t stop me from trying.
There comes a day each January, sometime after New Year’s but before the Super Bowl, that I realize it’s no longer acceptable to continue my daily ritual of eating a dozen or so Christmas cookies and anything covered in gravy, under the “Eat-Whatever-You-Want-Because-It’s-The-Holidays” clause.
Around that same time, the bills from my excessive holiday shopping, which sometimes includes gifts for other people, roll in, proving once and for all that money doesn’t grow on trees or in my bank account.
It’s then that I swear off Marshalls and chocolate-covered Oreos in a concerted effort to get it all back into some semblance of control.
For the first few days I’m unflappable in my commitment. Determined to transform myself into a pillar of self-discipline and responsibility, I read Suze Orman articles and make grocery lists for my new and improved diet plan, consisting mostly of carrot sticks, brown rice and yogurt.
On average, I make it less than a week.
Typically, it’s a Target clearance rack or the desire to eat something that doesn’t taste like a paper towel that’s responsible for my downfall, and months pass before I work up enough motivation to try again.
Last year, I resolved to “get serious” about my health and save the world at the same time by becoming a vegetarian.
In the ’90s, I also became a vegetarian. It was around the same time that I decided to cut off all my hair, dye it red, and seriously contemplated inking a large, blue and green tattoo of the earth on my ankle.
Thankfully, some measure of common sense prevailed, and I decided to hold off until I was certain of what I wanted to permanently emblazon on my body, till death do us part.
A decade later, I went for it anyway. Instead of a planet on my ankle, I’m now the proud owner of a generic butterfly on my back.
Regardless, during that first pass at vegetarianism, I was devout. I consumed veggie burgers and tofu while turning down meatballs, Thanksgiving turkey, BBQ ribs and all things worth living for.
After two years, it abruptly ended when, passing by a McDonald’s, I stopped and ordered the two-cheeseburger meal at the drive-thru window, thus effectively concluding The Meatless Period with little to no fanfare.
My most recent attempt was even less successful.
Lasting merely five weeks, it began shortly after I decided that the world and my waistline would be better off if I simply stopped eating meat.
This proved to be false.
Apparently, swapping out protein for vast quantities of pasta, rice, and bread can result in an almost instant upgrade in pants size, along with the need to binge-watch “Daredevil” on Netflix.
Even more, the world hardly seemed to take notice of my considerable sacrifice.
Still, I remained steadfast despite attending any number of social events where I was forced to eat only side dishes while explaining why I had to pass on the medium-rare rib-eye.
In the end, it was an omelet and not steak or Five Guys that did me in.
Out to breakfast with my family, the aroma of bacon, sausage and eggs all mixed up with pancakes and syrup assailed my senses and I felt my resolve begin to weaken. Scanning the menu, I searched for options that would provide a satisfying, but meat-free alternative, but my eyes kept darting back to the Western Omelet.
Onions, peppers, cheese and diced ham. Onions, peppers, cheese and diced ham.
And just like that, it was all over.
Not only did I gobble down my omelet, ham and all, I ate everyone else’s meat, too, with a cursory, “You gonna eat that?” before reaching across the table to take it off their plate.
This year, I’ve decided to skip resolutions altogether since I don’t seem to be very good at keeping them. Besides, with Christmas cookies still in the freezer and a McDonald’s five minutes from my house, it’s unlikely that I’m going to save the world anytime soon.