birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Kid Frosting

January 1st is resolution day. January 2nd is resolution broken day. Might as well be a holiday where you break all your resolutions. Resolutions are too much pressure for me because I can never stick to them. They are too limiting. Why do I even make a resolution knowing that I'm going to break it? Lose weight. Eat healthy. Work out. Be kind. Pay bills on time. No white stuff (sugar and flour). Get all my checkups on time. Write thank you notes. Ok, the last one really isn't a resolution but a seriously nice gesture.

And as much as I'm portraying myself as a flake, lazy, and non-committal, I have stuck to one thing that I never thought I'd do. Actually, make that two - although one wasn't a resolution, so much as a commitment, and that was to 40 days and 40 writes. Cannot believe I actually did this! Not always easy to stick to the schedule, but I did it and I am grateful for this experience. However, my main resolution came out of the blue at the end of last summer. A great summer filled with swimming and bbq's and road trips. For someone unemployed, I was very carefree and enjoyed every moment. And then I couldn't paint my toe nails any longer. I was too fat. I couldn't bend over to paint my toes. How the hell did that happen? How the hell did I gain enough weight that I couldn't see my feet when I was standing up? What the what? I mean, I watch my 600lb life and nastily comment on how do these people get that large? Certainly at 350 pounds, you'd be concerned. No? 450? 500? I mean, come on.

Now I wasn't 600 pounds, not even 300 pounds, but sliding comfortably towards 250 pounds at 5'11". For a female, not healthy, hell, even for a man, not healthy. I was in total denial, and exhausted about being in denial. I've been thin my entire life and only in the past 7 years has the weight crept up and yes, partly because of a thyroid condition, partly because of early menopause and partly because I love carbs. And fat. And cheese. And kid frosting. I really love kid frosting. The kind that makes your teeth feel waxy when you eat a tub full. No mystery as to why I can't paint my toenails anymore.

It was a Wednesday. I saw myself in a stretched out bathing suit that I tortured all summer, and that was it. It was time. I made a resolution to lose weight and get healthy. However, this time, I didn't start on the first of the month, or give myself a goal weight, or join a gym. I found a kindred spirit of sorts who listened to me, is trained in nutrition, and is a tough cheerleader. "It's not a race, it's a marathon" is not my motto - because I don't like to run. Big boobs get in the way. Not pretty. What has helped me lose 40 pounds in six months is my resolution to not beat myself up anymore for being fat. For being unhealthy. For being who I am. I'm gentle on myself and if I eat something I shouldn't, ok, move on. Go back to what works and what has made you feel the healthiest you've ever felt in your 55 years. I'm no longer opposed to resolutions because they are only as limiting as you allow them to be. And my goals and dreams are limitless.

Why Make Them?

Denouement