It’s that time of year: New Year’s Resolutions!!  Did you make {any,many}?  Many of us make an effort to eat better or exercise or quit myplate_whitesmoking after all the holiday excess.  Even though I didn’t make a resolution, I’m sick of all the sweets, fatty foods and late nights.  There is something to be said for the comfort of a regular routine and a healthier lifestyle.  I’ve already had some of my annual medical lab tests, have eliminated the pecan pie and eggnog from my diet and have laid out some workout goals.  Hopefully this launches me into a Happy 2014.  Even if I don’t do it all, it’s a start.  But I am running into some difficulty with my efforts: my teenagers.  They aren’t interested in eating less sweets and cutting down on calories, much less getting off the couch for a hike.  One of them said to me, “But I don’t need to lose weight so what difference does it make?”  On the one hand, she has a point, but my job is to guide her toward the right foods  and lifestyle for her long-term health.  One day, the junk food will catch up with her.

Studies have shown that efforts to exercise, quit smoking or eat healthier are easily undermined by our family and friends if they aren’t on board.  A recent independent evaluation has shown that the largest food and beverage companies are trying to help us.  They have volunarily reduced the calories sold by selling smaller 100 calorie packages of snacks and drinks and reducing the calories in some products.  But it’s not all on them.  It’s hard to stop smoking when you live with a smoker.  It’s difficult to make the time to work out when your spouse is saying, “Let’s just watch a movie…I don’t feel like walking.”  And, it is really painful to pass on the sweets and chips when your teen is strolling by with yet another handful of junk food.  I’ll stop buying the junk but the pressure to keep supplying the habit is pretty tough right now.  I have seen for myself that if you can take care of yourself and resist temptation, or get moving, it only takes 3 weeks to establish a new habit.  I hope that my kids will get used to healthier eating and more activity now that we’ve exhausted all the holiday fun.  Skip the chip and candy aisle of the grocery store so junk food isn’t laying around the house.  Get the lab tests you need to establish your baseline so you can set goals for your health in 2014!  I’m going to do by best to hold out!  Can you do it?  You have to take responsibility for your own health, sometimes in spite of your family and friends who want you to continue to be lax and keep on partying!  You are the one who will pay in the end, not them.

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