01/23/2014 02:43 pm ET Updated Mar 25, 2014

Jan. 1: The Day Advertisement Goes From 'You Must Eat' to 'You Must Diet'

Prior to each Christmas, the television and digital visuals are flooded with images of food. There are countless recipes given to us, coupons and photographs of the perfect "holiday meal." The cookies are everywhere, and everyone I know is baking. Most of us succumb to the temptations regularly resulting in weight gain, guilt and the promise of a new year.

On Jan. 1, the visuals immediately change to those of thin, fit men and women we all wish we looked like. What happened? This all takes place over the course of a day. The guarantees of huge amounts of weight loss in just three weeks are everywhere. Gym memberships are discounted, and we don't see the perfect holiday meal anymore. Where did the cookies go? We now see meal shakes and diets galore. The ads for plastic surgery (suck out the fat) increase as well. Have you ever noticed this advertising phenomenon? Most of us resolute to do better each year in regards to our health, and we often last the first two to three weeks in January.

Are we just stupid? Why in a society where big is not beautiful but the over-sized meal is do we allow this to happen? Most of us know how to eat healthy. We know that we're supposed to exercise daily. But why don't we? Why do we give ourselves a pass from October through the end of December?

The advertisements must work. If they didn't they wouldn't air.

I do the same thing myself... every year. What's different between me and the skinny, fit women I see on TV? On a personal level, I lack discipline. Those skinny, fit women don't look that way by doing nothing. They take care of their bodies. They eat right all the way through the holidays. They don't give themselves a pass and they exercise every day. I'm not lazy. OK... I do lack a bit of self-esteem, but I'm not alone and I'm weak. All that beautiful food looks and tastes so good. It's really hard to make a salad look as good as prime rib and green bean casserole.

So, how do I become like them? How do I stick with a plan? I follow them on Twitter. I have the app and I follow the healthy pages on Facebook. I know what I'm supposed to do. I just don't do it -- all the time. I don't need a nutritionist. I need a psychotherapist.

We all know that our society is eating too much and exercising too little. According to the CDC's numbers from 2010:

•Percent of adults age 20 years and over who are obese: 35.9 percent (2009-2010)

•Percent of adults age 20 years and over who are overweight, including obesity: 69.2 percent (2009-2010)

This is pretty scary. We are now in 2014 and I don't think we are getting any smaller.

Then there is the correlation between obesity and health issues. The cost of our obesity is what will eventually bankrupt us. We like to talk about the Affordable Care Act and criticize President Obama for trying to do something to change our health care system. You know what I'm talking about. Heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc.

What we really need (including me) is something to change our personal health care habits in addition to our health care system. Perhaps those in government should consider a tax benefit for those companies playing the holiday food game to alter what the perfect "holiday meal" should look like. Maybe they should subsidize gym memberships all year long. I know it goes way beyond that, but it is something to consider next year when the turkey and mashed potatoes show up on the screen.

Add to that online dating. As a woman over 50, the pressure is overwhelming. Almost everyone wants the slender, athletic and tone, younger woman they didn't have the first time or who got lost somewhere along the way. I'm not sure I'll ever live up to that. I'd like to, but... if you don't believe me and say that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder," try online dating. The average woman wears a size 14. That's not slender.

This year is slightly different for me because I was confined to a walker post recurrence of breast cancer to my pelvic bone. Sounds like an excuse to me. I didn't eat as much, but I did put on weight again. I emphasis again because it's something I do all the time: lack of exercise and maybe a little too much food. Calories in and calories out. If I were to call myself a professional at anything, it would be that I'm a professional weight gainer and loser. But, one thing I'm not is a quitter. I keep trying and I will continue to do so.

Don't get me started about alcohol... (wine being my favorite).

I'm just now getting back to the gym but I'm not there every day... yet. But, it is January, and I promise I'm going to try again to eat healthy, exercise and take care of my body. I will make it past January. Will you?

Maybe next year, between October and Dec. 31 though, I'll keep my television and my computer off and create my own healthy holiday meal. Wish me luck!

For more about Lisa Masters visit:
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