New Year’s resolutions for other people

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I once had a boss who said all journalists work in “paragraph factories.”

It wasn’t the first time I had run into someone delusional, but it was the first time I’d met anyone so unfamiliar with real work.

The same fellow also told me “grits” is a singular noun and the headline “Grits are good” is grammatically incorrect.

Fearing an uprising of the south Georgia populace, we both moved north after the “Grits is good” headline hit the front page.

I wound up in Atlanta, where the office is so clean it is never mistaken for an assembly line.

Over the years, I figure typing for a living has saved me loads of money on laundry detergent. But it’s not the healthiest routine. I have skinny (some say “athletic”) shift pinkies, but the rest of me, now that I have crept past 50, could be slimmer.

As any sweatpants salesman will tell you, I am not alone. The Centers for Disease Control, based in Atlanta, says 71% of U.S. adults are overweight or obese.

Fortunately, the weight we gain is not our fault. Our pants need to stretch because of the global economy, which has provided cheap, unlimited calories and made life so easy.

“Globalization has been a health disaster, creating a generation of people who expend so little energy each day that they no longer need to eat the same amount of calories as their parents,” reports The Telegraph.

A 30-year study by researchers at the London School of Economics, where the keyboards are so clean you can eat a dropped doughnut off them, concludes the “obesity crisis is largely driven by modern lifestyles, which have allowed people to become so inter-connected that they barely need to leave their desks or sofas to work, socialize or shop.”

Hmmm. Now that they mention it, I did manage to knock out my holiday shopping by clicking on websites while binging on Netflix and eggnog. And I said “Merry Christmas” to most people via text message.

According to this study, the key to losing weight is not more exercise, it’s less food.

“If people were as active as they were 30 years ago then recommended daily allowances of calories would be fine. It’s very hard to change how you eat from how your parents told you to eat, but we should all eat less today,” researchers said.

How much less? The article doesn’t tell us, but does say “recommended calorie counts, which have been about 2,500 for men and 2,000 for women since the First World War, were set at a time when people naturally moved far more in their daily lives and people need to stop eating the way their parents taught them.”

If using “globalization” as a scapegoat seems wrong, feel free to blame your parents.

This time of year, everyone’s thinking about New Year’s resolutions and losing weight and eating healthier is a perennial favorite.

My brother-in-law is a bit of a control freak. He likes to make New Year’s resolutions for other people, which his wife says is as annoying as it sounds.

As a lively prank, consider handing your family a list of 2017 resolutions you’d like them to keep.

Need help with ideas? That’s why I’m here doing the dirty work.

Suggested 2017 resolutions for other people:

  • Quit using a car horn to express displeasure.
  • Only discuss politics and vegetarianism when surrounded by enemies.
  • Keep all guns locked up in a safe spot kids, adults and pets can’t access.
  • Accept that the common denominator to all of life’s problems is you.

Happy New Year!


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