Sunday, January 31, 2010

Quick thoughts in a short time

I am sitting in my living room on a fabulous, West Coast January day. My kitties are stretched out in the little patches of sun which make it through my north facing window and I have (more or less) successfully completed two weeks of the six week 'learn to run' program I suckered myself and THR into. It has not been without its ups and downs--the first Friday a nagging calf muscle turned it into a speedwalking outting, this past Friday a siezed back muscle turned it into a laydown with the heating pad--but for the most part I'm proud of the effort that I've put into it. I really don't know if I would haven't gotten this far without the addition of THR with me. 'Planning on doing' and 'actually doing' are two very different things and it would be very easy to have never gotten out of the planning stage if I didn't have someone else I was responsible to in this whole ordeal. I've also really come to enjoy the social aspect of the work out. I forgot how much chatter can go on during the walking portions (the running portions, the chatter is pretty much all her and I 'gaa-waa-gaa-waa' beside her).

Clothing is fitting better (again) and that's always a very positive reinforcement. It's nothing huge--no big numbers--but any little thing that helps keep the motivation up there is a good thing. At one point today, I looked down for no particular and noticed that I had to lean forward to see my stomach. Given the size of my boobs that isn't a huge achievement, but the fact that at one point I didn't have to lean forward means something to me. It means all these little changes are adding up.

For all my good intentions, food is still my biggest challenge. I like food, it's part of the reason I am this way. I'm trying to eat healthier and make better choices, but then we have food day at work and a few chips here and a few chips there... My ability to say no to these unhealthy foods that I do love is pretty much non-existent. It's something I know I must work on in the coming weeks/months. I run an inner dialouge pretty much everytime I eat something I know I shouldn't be that doesn't seem to stop me. Perhaps an outer dialouge while other people are around... a few slaps across the face, perhaps some hair pulling... there's potential in there for a great way to motivate myself, I'm sure of it.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Mistake, Mistake, Perfection

The problem with starting a blog post when you don't have time to finish it, is that you find yourself staring at it, hours later, when you realise you've watched an episode more of Startgate SG-1 on DVD than you intended (feel free to judge me for my choice of viewing, but I like it), it's 11:00pm on a work night, you've completely lost any train of thought you had for the post, and you end up erasing half of it because you can't wrap it up how you wanted to. Cut to the next morning and you're re-reading it before you dash out the door, and you're groaning so much at every typo and unfinished sentence that your cats, thinking you're coughing up a hair ball, run for the cover of the other couch. What can I do? I've posted it and I can see from the little counter that people have already read it. I could fix it, but I hate doing that once I've posted something. It's like editing a class paper once you've handed it in. So instead, I will just acknowledge that I shouldn't do that again, and will now proceed to finish this blog post before I head out to (finally) see Invictus.

A few days ago, I found an old 'my healthy lifestyle' book which I had purchased a little over a year ago with the intention of using it. I never did; it sat on my dresser for a while, eventually moved behind the dresser of its (or my cat's) accord, and as if on cue to my pondering how to keep a food journal, managed to peek part of itself out from under said dresser. "Ah," I exclaimed to my empty room (because that sounds better than admitting I talk to my cats). "This is perfect!" I eagerly filling in the front part of the book with weight, body measurements and BMI (okay, I left that part blank, although I did figure it out) and then flipped through the book to start using it and promptly remember when I never used it in the first place. It really has the most useless layout of any food/workout book I've ever looked at. I think it suckered me in in the first place because it said 'my healthy lifestyle' and not 'weightloss' or 'fitness'. Healthy, I liked the sound of that. Studies have shown that you are more likely to eat healthy if you record what you are eating. Not only does this make you aware of every little chip you pop in your mouth, but it makes you aware of the amounts. Along with my six-week learn to run, I was going to record my food intake and track any changes that occured between the start and end of the program. Well, here I sit with the world's most useless food journal. It gives you a place to record total calorie intake, but no place to add it all up and figure it out. It only gives you one line to record breakfast, and only two each for lunch/dinner/snacks. Sure, I can fit 'pasta with vegetables and tuna and side salad' in that space, but I can't say 'whole wheat pasta with peppers and lemon garlic tuna, no sauce necessary, small side salad with tomoto, lettuce and cucumber with homemade oil and oregeno dressing'. If I'm recording what I'm eating, shouldn't I be as specific as possible? Especially if this book expects me to count the calories (which was not part of my plan, balancing and portion control was what I was going for). Alas, there is not getting back the $10 I spent on this journal over a year ago. Its cheery front cover with a fruit and tape measure is once again on my dresser and will surely, once again, find a home behind said dresser.

I briefly debated other ways to record my food. I use my computer a lot, surely I could find a template in word I could modify to fit my requirements, or search online for something. I even read an article (which I should have bookmarked because now I can't find it... d'oh!) about a guy who tweeted everything he ate and lost weight because it was like a public journal. I am on twitter (yes, SG-1, twitter, go ahead, judge away) but that's a little too public for me. Alas, my internet/computer queries usually just came up with things that were close but still not what I wanted. So now I have a simple $1.50 lined notebook, used by grade two students everywhere, that I've drawn some lines on and it seems to be perfect. Too bad I didn't figure this out one year and $10 ago...

It's only two weeks into my African dance classes and I'm still pretty much in love. Sure, it might still be the honeymoon phase where everything is new and shiny, where I overlook the few quibbles I have (like the slightly painful loss of skin from my right big toe both weeks) but something tells me this love is here to stay. It became apparent during the class that my love, not just of African dance but of all dance, is obvious to all. A senior dancer (eg. someone who has done these classes before) took me aside after the cross floor section of the class and told me that she watched me doing a certain move across the floor and it was just beautiful. Seriously, her exact words were "when you did [movement name that I don't know how to spell], it was really beautiful. Watching you do it was just so wonderful." I couldn't see my own face, but I'm sure the words 'high beams' could have been used to describe it. I thanked her at least a half dozen times and every time I did, she would repeat "really, so beautiful". At the end of class, one of the drummers approached me and asked if I had previous dance or movement experience. I explained that I had done ballet in my teens (oh so many years ago now), and she told me that it really showed, I made everything look so natural out there, the drummers were talking about it during their down times. Again, very, very flattering but very happy that I didn't know that during the class or I'm sure my selfconsciousness would have gotten the better of me and I would have ended up on the floor in a heap. My final compliment came from Lynn (the teacher). During class she had mentioned that there's an end of the year recital. "It's not like most dance classes, you don't have to participate, that's your choice. Let us know if you're interested in being apart of it and we will be sure to create a part for you." As I went to leave she stopped me.
"Will you be participating in the year end?"
"I don't know; I'll have to think about it."
"I really hope you do."
Then she turned to another student and asked them if they were enjoying the class. Just like that, I had received to outright compliments and encouragement from the teacher. It made me wish I had taken up African dance classes the day I moved home from Tanzania.

I had more to write but it's time to get moving to Invictus and instead of leaving this blog to fester, I will end with that positive note and start fresh next time.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sore feet means it's working, right?

I have a very eventful but also relaxing weekend in Vancouver. I spent some time with my brothers, met up with some friends, checked out the Canucks, and even managed to get enough walking in to not feel to guilty about the lack of actual exercise. I had brought along my workout gear in the hopes of getting in a good walk on Sunday morning, but a good Saturday night with the brothers pretty much ensure that wouldn't happen... that I forgot my t-shirt. I'm not in good enough shape to go out in only my sports bra and I'm not about to wear my nice shirts so the late sleep/hangover was really a blessing in disguise. At least, that's how I choose to look at it.

I returned to Victoria ready to take on the six week running plan I had roped THR into joining me on. We met at her place on Monday and headed out. Due to my miscalculation on how far our running/walking would actually take us, we ended up a bit further away from her house when we were supposed to be 'finished' and so tacked on an extra run/walk cycle. It has been a long time since I actually ran for anything other than a bus, but I have to say that it was much easier than I expected. The key words there being 'than I expected'. It was still difficult and I was very aware of how out of shape I am for the entire time, but I didn't find myself dying so quickly on the run parts as I had anticipated. When THR suggested an extra run/walk to make up the ground we needed, I was more than willing to agree.

We completed run number two last night (a repeat of Monday's schedule) and I struggled much more with it. In defense of myself, I was coming into this run only an hour after I finished an hour long dance class. The struggle was that by the end of the fourth 'run part', my calves were killing me. I tried to keep running but finally gave up and started speed walking mere seconds before my alarm signalled the end of the run. At first I felt a bit dejected with myself that I left a sore right calf muscle stop me, but then I realised that this time last year I would have stopped the moment I felt a slight ache halfway through the third run. I've reached a point where I am willing to push that little bit further to really make sure I hit muscle fatigue and than let me run much further than 'oldCC' would have. I'd like to think that this shows I am maturing as an athlete or at least maturing as someone who aspires to be somewhat athletic. I had been missing that drive to do what it takes to reach my goal and now I've got it back. It's a great feeling.

The only downside is that by the time I finished walking to and from work, jumping around in bare feet for an hour, walking to and from that dance class and then running/walking for 30 minutes I woke up feeling very sore this morning. I did a lot of stretching but my lower back and the bottom of my feet were a bit tender. With new shoes I'm not surprised about the bottom of my feet, but I really hope the back is because I didn't stretch it out after the run as I concentrated mostly on the legs. I'll make sure to do more back stretches on Friday and hopefully that will rectify the situation. If not, well, shoes would be the next time to look at. As much as I hate to think I spent money on bad shoes, it's better than the alternative of having to see a doctor to figure out what's wrong. One step at a time, I'll get the pain sorted out.

Apologies if there are any 'p' letters missing. That key is having some difficulties as of this morning (wrong time of the month perhaps), I have gone back and tried to catch any missing ones I may have missed while typing but if I haven't, lease accet my aology :)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Love and Hurt

This week has been a week of ups and downs, both literal and emotional. Literal is the ups and downs of St. Charles. I was a little late to the walk on Wednesday night, and boy did my friend make me pay. She booted up that hill like there was a giant, panting monster behind her that she was seeking revenge on. The revenge was justified as, by my own admission, I have no one or thing to blame for my tardiness except my own lazy self.

My love this week was the attendence of my first West African Dance class on the same Wednesday night I was late for the walk (I should never have sat down in between; should have just eaten my dinner over the sink). I had seen Moondance do African dance at a fundraiser I had attended with DoubleL a little less than a year ago when we were still fairly new friends. It was our first completely non-work related outting, and after a fabulous Ghanaian dinner, we sat at our table in the very front and watch this entirely white group of people perform African movements to African beats. It was a lot of fun, if a little odd, and we both agreed that white women with no T and/or A really shouldn't do African dance. Without the curves, we just don't move right. Well, we move right, we just don't look right. Chest movements don't have the same impact when there's no chest. Still, I was interested enough to have a look at their site, and I debated about joining their September classes but in the end it didn't work with my class schedule.

I was aprehensive about attending the class - it's a lot of cardio which I'm lacking - but after a chat with my friend, Maria who had done it in Spain, I decided to jump in with both feet. Worse comes to worst, it's only eight weeks. If I can do something for six weeks, surely I can stick something out for eight! I arrived early partially because I planned it that way, and partially because it took me about 5 minutes less to walk than I anticipated. Everyone else in that room, although largely of the curvy variety, was fairly fit. I panic at the thought that I'm going to be the only fat one in there and I will struggle to keep up. A few minutes pass and a women larger than myself walks in, and given the response from the drummers and the teacher, she has done the class before. Maybe I will get through this.

Class starts and we're all following Lynn, the teacher, through the warm up. I'm enjoying myself; it has been so long since I did any formal dance and the rythym feels almost addictive. We start to learn the beginnings of a celebration dance from Guinea, and I find myself so in love with the movements and rythyms that I'm pushing myself, jumping higher and swinging my arms faster. I did ballet for years as a child and I loved it. Moving my body in time to the music, creating stories with that movement, practicing to get that difficult move, dance was everything I loved in the artistic world rolled into one. My dreams of being a professional ballerina were never to be realised when I stopped growing in height and grew T&A instead, but I still loved dance and it was a heartbreak when I had to give it up. And now I was dancing again, except this time there was no need for a perfect arabesque or an elevated grand jete. My arms could flail in the right direction, no need to keep my fingers poised. I loved the freedom this offers as a dancer, that my body moves as it wants to move and no one is going to come around and tell me to draw up on this leg or extend more through that arm. I had found a new passion. I ended that class exhausted, sweaty and exhilerated. Eight weeks will not be enough.

I finally broke down and bought new shoes. That was another highlight of the week. It's not much but seeing as I can no longer see my socks through the holes in my sneakers, I'm very happy.

My final high for the week is that tomorrow I will spend this weekend in Vancouver with both my older and younger brothers. I will be catching up with some friends as well and just generally hanging out, and I'm really looking forward to it. It's the first time all three of us have been in the same place and legally able to drink (Christmas doesn't count, no one is going to go to a pub on Christmas Day when my mom is cooking turkey!) and as we get older we're learning to be friends in a way that only grown up siblings can. That's not to say we hated each other before, but it's a different bond once you're all living your lives instead of a shared life of childhood. I also hope I can get them to come with me for a walk on Sunday morning, but I'm not holding out much hope on that front.

The emotional low this week came tonight on a friend's blog from someone else's comment in response to a post about infertility issues and what you should and shouldn't say to couples in that position. I may never know the extent of difficulty and frustration infertility must lead to in one's life, I may never fully understand how heartbreaking it would be month after month to look at another negative pregnacy test, but I can definitely sympathize with what they're going through. I understand longing; I understand anger at your own preceived short comings; Ranter knows I support her no matter the outcome. If I could wave a magic wand to make her pregnant tomorrow, I would do that, but I can't. All I can do is offer a supportive ear if she needs it, lame advice if she seeks it, a couple of laughs when she wants them, and my enduring friendship.

In my mind, people in similar situations as Ranter would have more empathy for choices other people have made, but then I read the response from someone dealing with infertility just like Ranter who had a very negative view on adoption and I felt my empathy for her slip away, to be replaced with outright anger and hatred at her words and, by extension, her. Everyone who knows me, knows that I'm adopted. It's one of those facts in my life that makes me who I am. I do not view it as a negative or a positive, it just is what it is. I can not change it any more than I can change that I'm Irish. The part that angered me the most follows:

"The whole adoption thing really makes me angry. "You can always adopt!" is like telling someone they can always wear your dirty clothes. I am already a parent, and I'd go as far as to toot my own horn and say I'm a fantastic parent, to a stepdauthther. Her mother is a terrible parent. Her mother is also pregnant again. How is that fair? When I hear people tell me to adopt, the struggle not to reply with, "I'm already raising one person's mistake, I don't care to raise a stranger's mistake as well," is overwhelming. Adoption, for me, would be more like a punishment than never having my own children."

I read that paragraph and for the first time IN MY LIFE I felt ashamed of being adopted. Did people really feel that way about adoption? Could there possibly be people out there that changed their entire opinion of me upon learning that I was adopted? That I instantly became a mistake with that little piece of knowledge? Then I felt anger that I let someone I don't know make me feel that way. How dare she, so angry at other people's insensitivites to her plight, be so insensitive to others. To liken an adopted child to dirty clothes? Do you have no concept of what it means to love someone other than yourself? To put your heart into another being and know that no matter what happens, you will never get it back? That "someone's mistake" that you are raising is your husband's daughter, does he also view her as a mistake? Are you both so self-centered and insensitive to his own flesh and blood? If he does share the mistake opion with you, what would make his feelings towards a child you two have together any different? It's still only 1/2 his, just like the child her currently has. To my parents, who have never let me doubt their love for a second, I am not a stranger's mistake. I am their daughter, who loves them back just as much. Yes, I was not planned. Yes, my biological parents couldn't keep me. But I have two brothers (biological offsprings of my parents) who would struggle not to reply with a much harsher retaliation than I can offer in my current state if they were to hear your words.
My initial response to the post was to reply with the words "f***youf***youf***you" repeated over and over until I ran out of room, but in the end I replied as politely as I could while trying to get my point across that I thought she was a b!tch. Will she care? Who knows. I'm not holding my breath. Sometimes people just are the way they are and trying to explain a different point of view is like trying to catch water with a quater. My time might have been better spent trying to reason with Pat Robertson that homosexuality isn't wrong, but I don't know her so I honestly can't say whether she'll give a toot.
Ultimately, I am thankful that I was adopted. The opportunities I have been afforded because of it have been boundless. I will never know how my life would have turned out if I had been raised by a single mom, but I don't know if I would have had the family trips to Alberta and Ireland, the piano and dance lessons, skiing trips in the winter and camping trips in the summer. My parents let me backpack in Europe when I was 19, they supported me when I moved to Germany/Switzerland, and they encouraged when I went to Tanzania. I have had an amazing life, and the biggest part of that is because my parents were willing raise a stranger's mistake.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

"A friend accepts us as we are yet helps us to be what we should." ~Anonymous

I had big plans for today. It was supposed to be the start of both my six week learn-to-run plan and a six week eating plan. Then I remembered that I would be heading to Vancouver this coming weekend which would mean I'd miss two of the four walk/runs and starting an eating plan before a weekend of eating out, well, that's just dumb. As a result, today was changed to a 'walk only' and my learning to love running will have to wait a week.

That's right, I'm back on the learn-to-run plan, following a schedule which alternates walk/run days with resistance training days. I'm looking at it like a self-motivated bootcamp: six weeks, regular work outs, regulated eating, and (again) only six weeks. I can do pretty much anything for six weeks (or at least that's what I'm telling myself). Just like bootcamp, I have roped a friend into joining me, at least for the learn-to-run part. It's the same friend, in fact, that I roped into doing bootcamp with me.

"It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them." Ralph Waldo Emerson

For all my willingness to strike up conversations with strangers and to befriend people while I travel, I am a very socially awkward person. After years of being that kid on the outside looking in, I never really know when I've crossed from aquaintance to friend. When I make a new friend, I'm always hesitant to use the term 'friend'. I say coworker, aquaintance, colleague, the list goes on, but never friend until I'm really, really sure that we are just that. I can't put into words how much I treasure the friends I have because goodness knows how I'd replace them (well, other than with my oft mentioned one-cat-per-friend plan).

All my friends have been very supportive in their own ways, but to have one of my bestest friends willing join me in my six weeks is awesome. We met tonight at the top of St. Charles St, walked down to Ross Bay Cemetary, slogged around the block and back up the hill to Fort St. We talked about work, mutual friends, personal issues, the usual girl stuff, and when I slowed down because, well, I'm unfit, she kept going and it spurred me on to keep up, to push on up the hill without stopping for a break. She told me my job was to keep on her over the next six weeks to make sure she didn't miss any walk/runs and I will. Not just to keep her on track but to also keep myself on track.

To everyone who has cheered me on with words and hugs, becoming a fellow hiker, sending inspirational pictures, or what-have-you; from the very bottom of my heart I say thank you. I may not be the most natural at making life-long friends but some how I seemed to have ended up with some of the very best in the whole world.

“If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you.” A.A Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Want anything from the shop?

Thanks to Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg, the answer to the above question is, and always will be, "Cornetto." Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg are the writing team behind 'Shaun of the Dead' and 'Hot Fuzz', both take-offs of the horror and cop/buddy drama genres respectively. These are the first two instalements of the "Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy" (Simon Pegg has claimed on Twitter that writing on the third film will be completed this year). I decided, when I got up this morning, that I was going to put these two movies on while I did various chores around the apartment however, I forgot the awesome product placement which always ends with me wanting a Cornetto (well, actually a Nestle Drumstick as we don't actually have Cornettos here, or at least I can't find them). The one upside is that this did get me out and about on a day when I had no apartment leaving activities planned.

At this point you're probably trying to figure out why I'm telling you about Cornetto's and my need to eat one after I watch the above movies. What, you may be asking yourself, does this have to do with ChilkootChubby? And ultimately, isn't eatting a Cornetto counterproductive to your goal? Well, yes it is, but the reason for my popping in movies this morning is very much in keeping with my goal. I woke up this morning and like so many other mornings that I'm not working, I sat down with my cup of tea and laptop to check my email, but unlike so many other mornings I didn't turn on the tv because, well, I can't. I've cancelled my cable.

I've been toying with the idea for quite some time, debating the pros and cons of doing it, but with the final season of LOST coming up I figured I'd just keep it until that was done and then I'd debate getting ride of it. One evening, however, something inside me just snapped and I immediately phoned and cancelled. I don't know if it was the realisation that I had spent four hours just watching tv and couldn't even tell you what I had watched, or if I realised I was trying to plan my exercise schedule around certain programs, or maybe I had just reached 'that point' in my decision making. If I'm not really sure, then who is? I practically begged them on the phone to come right then and there; I had made up my mind, and like removing a bandaid, I wanted the quick response. Gone, done, finito, before I had a chance to change my mind.

It's not until the cable was actually gone that I realised what a habit it was in my life. Even doing housechores, I'll put the tv on in the background. Today, I chose to fill that background void with movies I hadn't watched in a while (hence the Cornetto intro) but I still found myself wanting to randomly and mindlessly flip to see what was on certain channels. I felt a slight sadness at certain points during the day, but then I went to figure out workout times and suddenly I had hours of free time. Hours! *Poof* and the idea of no cable became very liberating.

As for the shows I like, I've already discovered that the Daily Show is available within 24hrs on the Comedy Network webpage, LOST is big enough that I don't feel guilty about perhaps aquiring it by 'other means', my other current sci-fi favourite is a family affair so I'll just continue to watch it with them, and the rest of them? Well, Mythbusters and Destination Truth I'll miss but I think I'll survive without the rest.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

And So It Begins!

Two thousand and nine is now done and the first day of 2010 has drawn to a close. For no discernable reason, I feel much more optimistic about the year ahead of me than I ever did about last year. Perhaps it is that I have goals I have set and a direction in life which were both sorely lacking at this time last year; perhaps it’s because I like some numbers better than others and ten ranks much higher than nine; perhaps it’s because in hindsight there were some very difficult times in 2009 and I was just glad to see it go. At any rate, the earth has completed another rotation around the sun and for better or worse, we must move with it.

With the end of a month in which I managed to remain healthy and the changing of the year, I find a renewed vigour to attain my goals and so started scouring the web for new sites to bookmark, quotes to save, and ideas to try. Given the time of year, I came across many articles about resolutions—suggestions, ideas, possible resolutions—and I read as many as I could for some trick to help me stick to my plan. I came across a list on Cosmo of Top 10 Resolutions Not to Make This Year. At first glance, there were a few eye rolls but most of the ideas on there seemed like good ones. I walked away from my computer but I kept thinking about this article and I found myself getting angry about certain ideas that were on there. I know that despite Cosmo’s claims of being for the independent, strong, yet fashionable woman, it really does continue to promote a lot of the old clichés and stereotypes of the rolls of men and women. So with that in mind I need to get a few things off my chest about their ‘suggestions’.

1. Quit your job and wait for a dream career opportunity to present itself. Recession shmecession.
Reality check: Suck it up and hang on to your gig for now. Appease yourself by taking a class or picking up a hobby that will make your résumé stand out, like learning a foreign language or starting a blog.
Recession shmecession, quitting your job without a plan of where it will go from there is stupid. Regardless of the current world financial situation, quitting your job to better your life in some way will always be the smart thing to do. Stick to the job you hate and in five years you will hate your life (or at least a huge aspect of it). I know this first hand, and anyone who has properly thought through the pros and cons of quitting their job to pursue other options and comes up with mostly pros should take that plunge.

2. Lose five pounds.
Reality check: Hot chicks like Jessica Biel, Beyoncé, and ScarJo are proof that toned and curvy is the new skinny.
It’s a nice idea that curvy is back in, but there’s a very telling word in the sentence which contradicts the Cosmo stance. The word is ‘toned’. Toned! As in ‘goes to the gym, does cardio, lifts weights’. I agree that five pounds really isn’t something to worry about but if you’re going to tell people not to do it, don’t use examples of people who are actually in very good shape.

3. Finally win back your ex-boyfriend.
Reality check: Move on. We give you permission to engage in some rebound relationship therapy.
Finally, one that I agree with (although maybe not so much the ‘rebound relationship therapy’).

4. Buy into all the latest trends.
Reality check: It's okay to be a slave to fashion...just be a slave to cheap fashion, rather than dropping serious bank on each and every look. Kick yourself later for wearing it, but don't kick yourself for blowing your paycheck on it.
I agree with this one, but the fact that it’s coming from a magazine which makes money off of telling people what to wear... hilarious. Someone in the Cosmo writing staff really should be in stand up.

5. Change your man.
Reality check: While some relationship tweaking is to be expected (hey, few guys are natural-born good kissers), if the words "fixer-upper" and "project" could describe your boyfriend, it's time to get real.
Again, completely agree.

6. Triple the number of friends you have on Facebook.
Reality check: Less time stalking your friends' friends' friends. More time catching up with buddies you actually care about.
Although I am guilty of having people on my facebook I don’t see regularly, don’t have people on there that I wouldn’t gladly chat with if I ran into them on the street. In the same vein, however, I do make an effort to keep in regular contact with the people I care about so if I want to have extra people on facebook, so be it.

7. Don't eat any junk food.
Reality check: Cutting out all unhealthy food from your diet will most likely lead to binge eating, followed by intense guilt, by mid-January.
I agree that cutting out all junk food will eventually lead to binge eating that very item, but why are you not encouraging the readers to be more specific with the resolution. Why not encourage them to resolve to eat no more than one fast food meal a week, or cut a specific type of junk food (or limit it to once a month), or even increase the number of salads they eat? This could have been a great opportunity for a quick lesson on how to make a bad resolution good.

8. Watch less trashy TV.
Reality check: Zoning out and de-stressing for a bit every night with the help of good bad television is harmless.
What if the person making this resolution watches five hours of trashy TV a night? Don’t get me wrong, I love me some trashy TV—have you seen ‘The Jersey Shore’? It’s hilariously sinful times!—but there’s more to life than knowing what’s happening with ‘The Real Housewives of [insert state name here]’. If you don’t like to read, fine, there are plenty of great TV shows which are entertaining and educational, perhaps you could encourage readers to give those a try. Zoning out doesn’t mean it has to be trashy.

9. Save more money.
Reality check: Let's be honest. In this economy, we're just happy to be able to pay our rent, gas, and credit card bill.
In this economy (the same one you are using as an excuse to tell people not to quit a job), shouldn’t trying to save some money be a priority? If money’s tight and you’re struggling to pay the things mentioned above then sit down, figure out your priorities and if part of that is saving money, make it happen. Perhaps stop the daily latte or get rid of those premium cable channels. Even if it wasn’t this economy, encouraging saving money is a good idea. So the fact that this would even be on here is just dumb, dumb, dumb!

10. Keep your number down.
Reality check: Nothin' wrong with notches on your bedpost, as long as you're being safe.
There’s also nothing wrong with making the decision to keep your numbers down. I believe in the sexual revolution and that women have the right to pick who and when, but I also believe that we shouldn’t be encouraging sexual relations just because we can.

In the midst of this list of don’ts are a bunch of additional links, and this one is actually very good. I really enjoyed thinking about the questions and my answers to them. I’ve decided to print them out and write out my answers and then I plan to review them this time next year. As for a list of resolution suggestions that I enjoyed and drew some inspiration from, check out Best Health.