Making new plans for 2019

Published 6:49 pm Wednesday, January 2, 2019

I’ve made my New Year’s resolutions.

Sticking by them is going to be a challenge.

The primary plan involves curing my done lap disease (my belly done lapped over my belt), lose weight and get in shape. It’s the same resolution I’ve made every year and begun with good intentions and then fall back into my old habits. This year is going to be different. Why?

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Several reasons.

First, I’ve got to replace some of my pants, which are showing their age and getting a bit on the raggedy side. Second, we inherited a stationary bike from my mother-in-law and I intend to use it. I would much rather have an actual bike that I could ride in the Military Park, but unfortunately, the pressing duties of trying to do my job don’t leave too much recreational time for casual rides or sprints on any road.

And third, it’s the right thing to do. I’m getting older now, and I’ve got to take better care of myself, and like charity, it begins at home. The biggest challenges are overcoming the temptation to snack and the call of my oversized sweet tooth. I love goodies, especially licorice and chocolate — I am a serious, deeply committed chocoholic. I once had a nutritionist ask me if I couldn’t just take a small piece of chocolate and put it between my cheek and gum ala Skoal. I told her “no way,” explaining things didn’t work that way for me.

If I win the snack/sweet tooth battle, I’ll lose my weight.

My second resolution is easier to fulfill — read more. I’m convinced the best thing a writer can do is read, and I enjoy reading books on history. And since I’ve been here in Vicksburg, I’ve developed an interest in Civil War navies. I’ve already read a couple of books about the Civil War on the water, and have one waiting on the Union’s brown water navy, which patrolled the Mississippi and its tributaries.

I’ve tried reading books on Civil War land battles and found them boring. Several years ago, I read several books about Mississippi before the war and about Vicksburg before the siege and after, and found them more interesting. The books on the Confederate and Union navies deal a lot about life on the ships and boats and the strategies to take and protect ports and cities.

I also read a lot about World War II in the European Theater where my father’s unit fought, and about Vietnam. Right now, I’m reading about the battle for Hue during the Tet Offensive by the North Vietnamese.

My reading habit has left me with a pile of books and nowhere to put them, so I may have to make a third resolution and go digital with new books.

Diet, exercise and reading — that’s my plan this year. Beginning next week, it all goes in to action. I’ll lay out an exercise schedule, get psyched and go.

Or I’ll think about it next year.

John Surratt is a staff writer at The Vicksburg Post. You may reach him at

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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