Cheenee Astilla

New Year’s Resolutions

‘Tis the [end of the] season that we stuff ourselves with queso de bola and round fruits. It was the  season of
visiting our hometowns and being greeted by rows of aunts, uncles and long-lost cousins who  were similarly wearing polka-dotted outfits and whom I dread would go off into a conversation about  how different I was from the last Noche Buena/Media Noche. 

Fortunately, I didn’t hear any “Tumaba ka (You got fatter)” from my relatives, but what would  have I done if I did? The typical person would probably get offended although I’m not even entirely sure  if being called fat was meant to be an insult. 

How did this trait be considered ugly anyway? I personally see it as a mere observation. A  description. A neutral adjective.  

Some may equate it to being unhealthy, but being on the opposite end of the spectrum, being  severely thin, is unhealthy as well, yet why is the latter glamorized or romanticized? Whenever someone  loses weight, however unhealthy the cause may be, they are endlessly complimented! 

I’ve been advised to shed some pounds as well, not for health reasons, but so that boys chase  after me. To that, I respond, “Couldn’t I be beautiful the way I am without a guy (or girl) pining over  me?” 

Additionally, for someone who overeats because of stress, looking good is the least of my  concerns. Comments like these just add to my baggage which ironically just makes me binge-eat more. 

I also don’t get it when people tease me for attempting to lose weight, trying to look “pretty”  when they are the ones who keep suggesting it in the first place. 

This got me thinking about my resolution for this year. Or in fact, the same resolution I’ve been  making for a decade.  

But this time, no more running in circles. Just running. Probably in circular routes that traced the  outlines of my body. I was going to install the perfect fitness app and have perfectly planned meals in a  day. 

It was ideal. Maybe too ideal. 

I allow myself to dream about the future I was plotting. 

I would step down from the scale. Sixty kilos, it would show.  

I would stoop down to double-knot my shoelaces, ready to take the first step of my jog, 20  minutes on the screen. 

Heel. Toe. Heel. Toe.  

Left. Right. Left. right. 

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. 

Before I know it, another year would pass. Now I know what the “re” is for in the word  “resolutions.”

About the Author: Cheenee Astilla is a 19-year-old BA Creative Writing student from the University of the Philippines - Diliman. She draws inspiration from books, K-dramas and other TV shows, films, and music including K-pop. She uploads original songs such as ones about self-confidence on YouTube in hopes that others may draw inspiration from them as well. Aside from that, this is the first time her writing is getting published.