Shortly after the new year, a friend asked me if I had set any resolutions.

I pondered the question a few minutes, then stated I’ve never been much of a resolution type of person.

I typically try to address matters before waiting for a new year.

There are the experts who state the statistics of how many people set New Year’s resolutions and how many of those actually keep them or break them after a month or two.

Yet I told the friend there are indeed a couple of things I wanted to focus on in 2016.

Growing up, I was never an obese child. Yet by eighth grade and marching band counting as a physical education credit by high school, by healthy standards, I was probably 20-30 pounds overweight.

By junior prom, I attempted my first diet, suddenly cutting out any type of carbonated beverages.

To this day, it’s still a habit I stick to.

Accepting a job at a pizza chain that summer, along with low physical activity, attributed to fluctuating weight.

By my first year of college, I put myself of a low-carbohydrate diet and started to exercise, which I hadn’t attempted since seventh-grade.

Throughout college, I lost about 30 pounds and never gained the infamous “freshman 15.”

With racked up private-school college loans, I was the statistic who moved back in with parents after graduation. Old eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle settled back in. I gained the 15 pounds at that point.

In my early to mid-20s, friends invited me to an adult gymnastics class. I then started running for the first time in my life and returned to the “old-faithful” low-carbohydrate diet. The weight came off.

But coupled with yo-yo dieting, former eating habits returned.  

When my running buddy moved, I maintained my running for a while and then stopped. I used to be a night runner, going to high school tracks. Yet when I moved here, with a population more than quadruple the size, I wasn’t sure if night running by myself would be the safest of things.

Again, 30-40 pounds crept back on. When the friend asked about resolutions this year, I continued to give the matter more thought. At age 30, the heaviest weight of my life and a family history of heart problems on one side and kidney problems on the other, I knew my habits had to change.

For the past couple of months, it’s started with eating.

This past week, I spent Valentine’s Day with a former college friend whose husband was out of town because of work in the oil fields. She knows my health struggles.

Having a new baby, she shared a diet she’s starting, which discusses all the different facets of why people overeat or stress-eat.

I’ve never been a stress-eater, emotional eater or seek food for comfort while alone. I told the friend, I’m more of a “social eater.” It’s hard to ignore when someone brings cookies to work, or seeing cupcakes at an event.

Though a subconscious commitment to a lifestyle change, I don’t want to be the statistic of those who fail to stick with something.

To say it’s easy is inaccurate. My metabolism is not like it was during college or my 20s, and at times, it’s frustrating. But just as un-cool are heartburn or back problems.

Phase two to the personal healthy lifestyle plan is about the start, with warmer weather.

I’d be lying if I said vanity wasn’t a factor, but more importantly, I’ve resolved with myself to break old habits and create ones that last a lifetime.

Not wanting the past two months to be in vain, it’s my resolution to not be a statistic.

Rachael Riley covers Harker Heights and Nolanville. Contact her at or 254-501-7553.

Contact Rachael Riley at or 254-501-7553

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