Resolutions Redux

Here we are again. That time of year when we think all things are possible. We’re once again making our annual New Year’s resolutions list. Has there ever been a prank played so successfully that we actually think we can improve our lot in life by focusing on a date, noting down our hopes for the year, and waiting for the miraculous to happen? Well, yes. It gets me every year.

But I’ve decided this year to make only one entry on this perpetual list. I’m going to fly in the face of accepted wisdom and beat the odds that my MS will worsen over time. Instead of a New Year’s resolution to read a biography a month (I actually did this two years ago), I’m going to develop a plan to stop the progression in its tracks.

Besides trying to eat healthier, (this has been ongoing over the past several years but I’m only about 75% of the way there: I cannot control my urge for candy and Starbuck’s Mocha Frappuccinos), I’ve developed (with the help of a physical therapist) a modest exercise routine.

In the past, I’ve unsuccessfully tried on my own to get my body moving. I’ve failed because I’m basically a slug at heart. This time I’ve developed a chart to visually track my progress. For every extra chair sit-up, arm resistance exercise, or leg strengthening that I do, my chart acknowledges the victory and spurs me on to try harder.

Even though technically I started seriously to get into better shape a few weeks ago, I’ve locked onto New Year’s as the official start date for my efforts. I’ve figured there are five levels of body toning: Slug, Sedentary, Moderately Active, Feisty, Tip Top. Now, none of these categories are FDA approved, this is my list only. Currently I’m at the Slug stage but I’m hopeful of reaching Tip Top one day.

However, I’m not confusing Tip Top shape with what Navy Seals do in their strenuous training. Tip Top is relevant only to me and personalized accordingly. Although…if I can trick my mind and body into thinking I could have arms with muscles, a sleek mid-section, and legs like a marathon runner, I might be able to think I can fool MS into taking a backseat in my life.

Hey, it’s New Year’s. Anything’s possible.

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