I've always hated New Year’s resolutions, so I did something about it

jpaulsims Posts: 43 Member
edited January 2016 in Success Stories
I don’t really like New Year’s resolutions. They’ve always seemed to me like dares to out yourself as a failure who isn’t capable of keeping commitments. However this year I did make a 2016 New Year’s Day resolution, except I made it back in May of 2015. This is a long post so bear with me.

I'm 45 years old, married for 22 years to an amazing woman and have three teenage boys. I started gaining weight after we had our first son. Over the years it kept creeping up until this past year when I found myself 60 pounds overweight. I had other health issues starting to creep up as well. I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes 1 ½ years ago. I was on medications for high blood pressure and high cholesterol. This May I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea, waking up 60-70 times every hour according to the test.

Every New Year’s day I would think about how I wanted to be healthier, but refused to make the resolution because I didn’t want to have it fade away as the year moved forward and feel like I’d failed. This meant that I never made any changes. However, this May I was truly concerned for my long term health and decided I’d had enough and that I would get to New Year’s Day of 2016 with some sort of progress.

I always felt like conditions were never “right” for me to make the decision to get healthier. I would always get overwhelmed with the big picture of needing to lose 60 pounds, and all the setbacks and challenges that I would face to make it happen. To overcome this mindset I decided to do what I’ve learned in my professional career when tackling large complex projects, and that is to answer the question “what is the very next step that needs to be taken”. So I decided that my very next step would be to find an app to track what I ate and start tracking.

I found myfitnesspal and started to track everything I ate. I set a target to lose 1 ½ pounds per week with a daily calorie target to make that happen. Approaching it this way was a game changer for me because it gave me the tools to make good decisions throughout the day. I didn’t make a huge change in the type of food I ate, but making decisions about what to eat based on how many calories I was “spending” helped me make better choices. I also started working out in July to improve my cardiovascular health.

It wasn’t a linear process, but I was always committed to moving forward no matter what kind of setbacks I had. It also wasn’t a diet. I find diets to be too depriving. If I really wanted to eat something I ate it, I just made sure to track it and adjust my day accordingly. This Christmas I ate cookies, fudge, and all sorts of goodies and gained 7 pounds. However, I didn’t feel guilty about it like I’d failed at my “diet”. I knew after Christmas I would continue the process that’s worked for me and I’ve lost 4 of those pounds already.

So up to this point I’ve lost 50 pounds (the picture attached is from May and from Christmas), my Hemoglobin A1C is now no longer in the diabetic range, my cholesterol is now in the normal range and I’m off my blood pressure medication. I now weigh what I weighed when I first got married and I feel better than I’ve felt in a long time.


I only post this hoping to be an encouragement to you if you’ve struggled with resolutions regarding health in the past. I encourage you to not put it off to tomorrow or next week. Decide what your very next step is and take it now. Then keep taking the very next step toward your goals.

Happy New Year, and I wish you well as we begin 2016.


  • kasaz
    kasaz Posts: 274 Member
    Great job. You are looking terrific and I'm sure you are feeling terrific too!
  • Tatileb
    Tatileb Posts: 9 Member
    Awesome job! You look great! And thanks for posting this! You are so inspiring ! Thank you very much for posting this :smile:
  • treebek
    treebek Posts: 261 Member
    Awesome work! I love your mindset.
  • RoseTheWarrior
    RoseTheWarrior Posts: 2,035 Member
    Well done!!
  • plushieboo
    plushieboo Posts: 38 Member
    You look great!!!! And prob feel great as well!!!
  • jenfest647
    jenfest647 Posts: 1 Member
    I needed to read this today! Thanks for posting!
  • LaceyBirds
    LaceyBirds Posts: 451 Member
    Great post. Congrats on your success, and continued success.
  • Healthy_4_Life2
    Healthy_4_Life2 Posts: 595 Member
    You look awesome!! Congratulations on your success!!
  • MrsMizart
    MrsMizart Posts: 1,275 Member
    Well done on making the change lad. 'Next steps' is a lovely and helpful way to break down into manageable chunks what could be perceived as an insurrmountable challenge.
  • forruths
    forruths Posts: 196 Member
    Thank you for sharing your journey. The health benefits you've had are worth so much more than the numbers on the scale. Well done!
  • cmjohnson53
    cmjohnson53 Posts: 61 Member
    I like the idea of taking 'the very next step'!
  • agzram
    agzram Posts: 199 Member
    Great post and too true! The big picture is scary and over whelming. Per my Dr I broke it up into lot's of small goals and that helped alot!

    You look fantastic!
  • maureented
    maureented Posts: 59 Member
    Awesome! Thank you for posting.
  • cnj27
    cnj27 Posts: 9 Member
    This motivation is just what I needed.... thanks for sharing your story
  • islandgirl340
    islandgirl340 Posts: 1 Member
    Great story, you look awesome!
  • dennissinging
    dennissinging Posts: 8 Member
    Great post! Congrats! I know it's cliche but I've done the New Years resolution thing this year too. Hoping MFP will help me track and make me more aware of my food intake. Goal is abs :)
  • getitamb
    getitamb Posts: 2,019 Member
    Great work!!
  • DanBGVa
    DanBGVa Posts: 50 Member
    Your post is so on target, congrats!
  • KimberHenry3
    KimberHenry3 Posts: 3 Member
  • Cathscottage
    Cathscottage Posts: 75 Member
    It is wonderful to read your journey. So many people think it is insurmountable to think of how much there is to lose. But you have to start sometime and why not today. I have lost16 pounds and enjoying the journey thus far. I think what I like the best is feeling healthy for the first time in ages. I never feel hungry so I don't pig out. It is truly wonderful especially as I have now given myself permission to accept and love myself for who I am right now. Best gift ever to myself for my birthday tomorrow. No present from anyone else could top that. Thank you for sharing your wonderful journey.
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