By Tom Naughton
shared this story
from Fat Head.
I received an email today from Kahn Academy with the subject line Why New Year’s Resolutions are broken. The explanation (if you can call it that) in the message was that most people break their resolutions by February, so why not commit to completing an online course in January?
Cute. But it did get me thinking about why we break our New Year’s resolutions, especially resolutions to lose weight. I had quite a glorious career as a resolution-breaker back in the day, and I have the paperwork to prove it. From about age 25 all the way up until my daughters and Fat Head came along, I kept a daily journal. That journal is filled with optimistic resolutions committed to paper in January, followed by self-recriminations and occasional self-loathing around April or May. Lather, rinse, and repeat the next year.
Twenty-some years ago, I was on a comedy tour that ran through Iowa and Nebraska. I was also on a New-Year’s-resolution diet. The headliner, who happened to be one of those lean-jock types who’d never been fat a day in his life, rang my room at our hotel in Iowa and asked if I wanted to go out for lunch.
“Thanks, but I can’t do it. I’m on the Slim-Fast diet.”
“Really? You’re living on those little shakes?”
“Yeah, I need to lose 25, maybe 30 pounds.”
“Well, I guess that keeps the food bill down when you’re on the road.”
The show was at a nightclub just off a two-lane highway in the middle of nowhere. As I parked in the nearly-empty lot an hour or so before the show, I wondered what kind of crowd they could possibly draw. The answer was: a great crowd. An awesome crowd. A packed-house crowd that cheered wildly when I finished my set and turned the stage over to the headliner. Man, I thought, they must get everyone who lives within 40 miles to show up for comedy night.
I went to the bar, intending to order a Diet Coke.
“You want a beer?” the bartender asked. “It’s on the house for the comedians.”
“Uh … sure. I’ll have a Miller Lite.” I was on a diet, after all. A light beer couldn’t hurt.
The second one didn’t hurt either. The third tasted awesome – and I don’t even like light beer. But man, was I craving that third one. I craved …read more