And Now for Some Depressing Thoughts on Losing Weight in the New Year

I once knew this really fit, good-looking lady that had an 11-month diet plan that worked pretty well for her. She'd faithfully eat healthy and workout all year until Thanksgiving. Then, from Turkey Day to Christmas she pretty much did what she wanted. But by New Years Day, she was back at it.

I think that's a solid and reasonable plan. Work hard then reward yourself during the holidays -- and birthdays, of course. And national holidays (Canada and Mexico included). Well, weekends, too. Oh, and Opening Day (regular season, interleague play, the postseason, second half of regular season). And when the birds migrate south for the winter, meteor showers, and, obviously, any time a new baby animal (or mammal) is born at the zoo (Dallas or Fort Worth).

What can I say: I like to celebrate? And in doing so, there's always good reason for a plate of nachos and a couple beers to wash it down.

I have to watch it, though. Genetics aren't in my favor, but luckily I like to workout and run, so I stay fairly healthy. But, dang, it sure would be nice to drop 10 pounds. I've been working on it diligently for about five years now. Maybe next year will be the year I write a book: How I Lost Eight Pounds (and Gained Back Two) in Six Years. Just like Tom Arnold, I'll make millions.

Which is why I was so flustered when the cover of New York Times Magazine this Sunday asked the question: "Do You Have to be Superhuman to Lose Weight?"

Inside, the article, "Fat Trap," warned: "Science is uncovering a painful truth about obesity -- that in the battle to lose weight and keep it off, our bodies are fighting against us."

Writer Tara Parker-Pope went on to introduce us to Janice Bridge, who peaked at 330 pounds in 2004 and after nine months on an 800-calorie diet (starvation) she got down to 165 pounds. Subsequently, she then bounced up to 195 trying to justify eating more with more exercise. It didn't work. But Bridge decided she's happy at 195; however, she works out for an hour and meticulously keeps her diet at 1,800 calories every day just to maintain that weight. She rarely takes a day off from her strict routine that always includes a morning weigh-in to keep every half-pound in check.

Through a series of different studies, the article basically goes on to conclude that if "big jeans" are in your family genes, then it's a constant uphill battle. And even if you do manage to work off some weight, your body, even years later, fights to gain it back. It's ingrained in our DNA. Also with the constant barrage of food messages, not thinking about our next meal is an Herculean effort.

So, this is your January: Social isolation with a bowl of broccoli only after you jogged for an hour at 5:30 in the morning when it was 27 degrees outside. All in order to lose two pounds by the end of the week, only to put it right back on Saturday with that one free meal.

Thanks dark, bitter, cold place in my heart.

What's the lesson here? There isn't one. Just eat what we tell you to eat here on City of Ate and throw in some hearty exercise when you can (the third Spartacus workout in Men's Health just came out. It rocks and all you need is a pair of dumbbells). Oh, and go buy some comfy pants.

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