Whew. The year of the pig is finally coming to an end.

According to the Chinese, the wonderful inventors of wontons and sweet-and-sour pork, swine time is making way for the year of the rat.

But "pig" definitely describes my habits in 2007.

Heck, I made a pig out of myself at every trough I came by. Snorted a lot. Barely moved, except while rolling in the muck and mud. Won blue ribbons.

Ah, good times.

Ah, another confessional by the eternal yo-yo dieting columnist.

OK, no more making light of it. I'm actually quite ashamed of myself. I had some lofty goals for 2007 when it came to my weight. I started the year weighing 258 pounds and really believed I could finally get under 200 pounds — where I haven't been since 1988.

The year started out promising. I dropped about 20 pounds and was feeling great. But for whatever reason, I lost my mojo and haven't been able to get it back. The problem is, when I lose my mojo, the blubber starts bulging on my body.

So how bad was the year's damage? I gained what the English would call a stone. Unfortunately, it was a pretty heavy stone. For those who don't speak English, a stone equals 14 pounds. Now you can understand why I feel like wearing a sign that reads: "Yes, I've gained weight" or "Please don't feed this animal."

As I have my entire life, my body and mind are involved in a dilemma.

First off, I love eating — bad food, good food, good bad food, and lots of it. On top of that, I'm also pretty lazy. There's a reason the elliptical machine in my basement is dusty and my couch cushions are worn. On the other hand, I have this desire to not look like I'm training to be a mall Santa Claus.

I'm stuck between having habits that keep me fat and really wanting to be thin and healthy but not being able to commit myself to changing. That's probably why I've lost 100 pounds but haven't been able to drop the next 100. And why one month I'm writing about losing and the next, writing about gaining.

So now, here I am at another new year facing the same auld lang syne, which is English for facing the same old resolution of losing weight.

The strange thing is that I'm quite excited and relieved to be in this situation. I've felt so awful while stuffing my face the past few months and packing on poundage, that I've been looking forward to a fresh, new start. And though I have gained a good chunk of weight, getting under 200 pounds this year is still an attainable goal.

No longer trying to lose weight in the year of the animal that invented bacon, sausage and portions of hot dogs is bound to help.


Jody Genessy's weight-loss/Chinese calendar/English tutorial column runs the first Friday of the month. E-mail: [email protected]