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Challenge: Parenting Resolutions

I'm Going to Eat the Candy

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I just waffled through the entirety of my 2020 notes-to-self in search of my usual “here’s my plan for next year” reminders and, lo and behold, apparently I didn’t have anything definite action items for 2021. I supposed that, in response to the muck of 2020, giving myself a mulligan for 2021 made the most sense. The nice bit is that it makes my annual Resolutions Revisit pretty straight forward.

2021 Resolutions: 0

2021 Resolution Success Rate: 100%

Mostly.

I know that, somewhere in the pile, there is a note about writing an actual book over the course of 2021 and, lo and behold, I did stick to that goal, though I have since learned that "writing a book" is only the first step. There is also editing, rewriting, debating far too long on whether to self-publish or not, finding a literary agent, etc. etc…which is all a very nice summary of the bulk of my 2022 goals. I am currently (and proudly) in the editing/rewriting phase with my husband, who has been both very patient and encouraging and has only once questioned if I remembered that his mother may read this book someday.

Right.

Moving onto the rest of my 2022 guide list:

I am going to eat the candy.

The end.

Just kidding, you know I love a good backstory.

For as long as I have lived with my custom made family, I have received a variety of sweets in my Christmas stocking, picked out especially for me by a gaggle that spent the previous twelve months mentally noting which were my favorites. No, in our house, we do not use our stockings for sundries such as socks, underwear, or toothbrushes. In our house, we go straight to the impulse buy section of the store. Is that bad parenting? Before you answer, let me offer some retractions: We are mostly cavity free, we limit the daily intake of said sweets, and both kids have a parentally requested amount of “go be active” minutes each week. That all sounds very regimented, but not really. We just agree, as a family, that we are all much nicer people if we activate our endorphins on a regular basis, whether in the pool, outside hiking, or kickboxing in VR. We are also lovers of goodies, though three out of four of us would write that as LOVERS.

And, in case you’re still not convinced, the only day each year that it’s a bad-for-you-bonanza is Christmas Day itself. We love the binge of Christmas, where we have a full day of all-you-can-eat-even-if-it’s-straight-sugar tradition. The following day, all delectables go into our overly organized pantry and are consumed under a daily limit that used to be two-per-day and now ranges in the area of use common sense, please.

Typically, the Christmas candy haul lasts until Easter. The Easter haul lasts until summer, when replenished, at each’s own cost during vacations, and the summer haul carries until Halloween.

Wash/Rinse/Repeat.

Except for me.

I often head into Christmas Eve with my overly organized pantry bin still mostly full of the goods I had received the previous Christmas.

I have two problems, see. The first is that I do not have an ability to fully enjoy items that have not come from the vegetable aisle without feeling an incredible amount of stress, guilt, and/or anxiety. The second problem, likely born from the first, is that I do have an unheard of ability to eat like two M&Ms per day and carrying on with my life. The second problem isn’t really a problem, I suppose, but it does drive my family bananas to see a bag of M&M’s with no signs of depletion for weeks or months at a time.

I mostly know why these two problems exist (thank you two decades of gymnastics and a lifetime of unrealistic magazine covers), so this is not a plea for help. However, it does directly relate to my one and only resolution this year.

I’m going to eat the damn candy.

This is not the goal of many, come a new year, I know. It is more common to cut the sugar and carbs. I’m going a different route, born in a strange moment of clarity while I was playing fetch with our dogs, of all things. We have two female doggies born from the same doggy family. They eat all the same food and they have, for the most part, a similar exercise routine. One doggie does have more trouble with her joints than the other. That same doggie also weighs about twelve pounds more than the other. That same doggie is also way more on the go than the other. Yes, they both enjoy tearing through the backyard together several times a day, but that heavier, achy dog? She is on the go twenty hours a day while inside of the house as well. She is just busy. If she were a child, she would be labeled with ants in her hairy doggy pants.

In summary, we have two dogs who are nearly genetically and lifestyle-y identical, yet the one that would be given the speech about food and exercise at her annual physical is also the one who is already way more active.

Huh.

I’m no doctor, but I have watched all 73 seasons of Gray’s Anatomy.

Could it be that people are the same?

Could it be that myself and the gal in the dressing room for size two’s may just have completely different genetic makeups and that an extra sit up or one less M&M is not going to make a damn bit of difference in my dressing room? Could it be that I should stop obsessing about anything that isn’t a leafy green landing on my plate? Could it be that we all should stop noting the blessed genetics of our skinny friend (we all have one) who seemingly eats whatever she wants? “You’re so lucky,” we say while begrudgingly laughing it off, “you can eat anything!!” Why do we give glory to her genetics, but then try to ignore, override, or beat our own into submission?

Why?

Don’t answer that, at this moment, I don’t actually care.

What I do care about is letting go of this monkey that lives on my back, constantly whispering in my ear about what will happen if I order the pasta in lieu of the mixed greens on the occasional night out. I’m tired of looking at each week and wondering where I will fit in the recommended exercise and panicking upon realizing that there is only enough time for three days at the gym than the suggested five. I’m tired of wanting one more bite but pushing my plate away for fear that those around me think I’m a glutton. I’m tired of getting to the weekend and trading in time with my family to make up for those two missed treadmill sessions during the week. I’m tired of obsessing over restaurant menus as I try to gauge what the best combination of macros will be when my husband asks me out for a much needed date night.

Do you want to know how much weight I’ve lost in my three decades of two M&M days?

None.

This year, I’m going to eat the candy.

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