Why Do People Pick the New Year to Lose Weight?
Year after year, losing weight and getting in shape seem to be atop the list of New Year's resolutions. But, why then and what is so special about this particular time of the year?
If you look to history for the answer, you'll discover that the roots of New Year's celebrations have evolved quite differently in different regions of the world. The Chinese, who are known for keeping traditions intact and observing the historical significance of events, celebrate the conquering of a mythical lion-like monster named Nian (the Chinese word for "Year"). As legend has it, this evil creature would show up at the same time of the year to terrorize frightened villagers. Then, a wise old man concocted a plot where the people would work together to scare the evil horned-monster with loud noises, fireworks and burning symbolic figures made from bamboo and red paper.
As the story goes, the co-operative effort of the villagers caused the frightened creature to run into the night. When Nian became exhausted and fell to the ground, the monster was killed but the end of his reign of terror continues to be celebrated today. During this annual celebration, people often greet each other by saying "Xin Nian Hao", which interpreted is Happy New Year, in honor of the fact that once you commit to something it can be accomplished. However, unlike the celebration of the New Year in Western cultures, the Chinese year is based on the lunar calendar so the date coincides with the second new moon after the winter solstice.
The celebration of the New Year in the Western world may be linked to height of the Roman Empire, when Julius Cesar declared that on the first day following the end of the solar year that his troops should ask for forgiveness from their slain enemies. This was accomplished by honoring the mythical Roman God of "beginnings and transitions" as well as "endings and time" named Janus. He was depicted as having two faces and possessed the power to look from the past and into the future.
In today's world, we continue to celebrate the New Year based on the first day of the solar year. It has been reserved as a time when people evaluate themselves at the end of one year and commit to the changes they want to make during the next year. Since our New Year always follows a period of over-indulgence that begins with Thanksgiving and usually doesn't end until the first of January, our resolution to lose weight may have evolved as a logical conclusion to consuming festive foods such as cakes, cookies and candy.
If your New Year's Resolution is to Lose Weight and restore your health and wellness, don't ignore the Eastern belief that anything can be accomplished through a cooperative effort with a common commitment. Then, forgive yourself for being your own worst enemy and call or stop by the Metabolic Research Center. Our experienced weight loss consultants can help you slay your demons and we are always here to help you celebrate your victories every step of the way.
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