For the last 10 years or so I’ve been surprised every day by how truly and very un-thin I am. Which always produced those little, familiar daily resolutions: I’m definitely going to eat less at the tasting in the Test Kitchen, I’m definitely going to skip the predinner cocktail, I’m definitely going to … yada yada yada. These resolutions were, of course, a ritual—mental talismans, totems, just like New Year’s resolutions. I rarely stopped to interrogate the monotony of all this: “Who are you kidding, you bore? You say this every morning …” Morning resolutions were prayers to that part of myself that is policed by a noninterventionary god. I don’t know my Freud well enough to know what part of the self it is that doesn’t bother to intervene, but there you go.

During most days, though I strove to eat healthy—and really did succeed at that, mostly plants, not much fat, etc.—I managed to avoid the central problem of adjusting portion sizes by, say, about 10%. The resolutions were, basically, deferred. Until, of course, the very end of the day, when I realized that I had not really followed through on the morning’s reminder-to-self. At which point, chagrin.

But at bedtime one is philosophical. Tomorrow will be better, right?