Every year we make them and every year we break them: New Year's resolutions. Getting in shape and losing weight is one of the most popular New Year's resolutions that people make. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack didn't wait for 2011 to roll around. He got a jump-start on his weight loss resolution months ago. For him, losing weight was more than just a year's resolution -- it was a life decision. "This has been a constant battle my whole life -- I'm like the Dow Jones, I go up and down," Vilsack told Yeas & Nays. Tired of the flab and fluctuating weight, Vilsack is committed to an exercise regime that includes running anywhere between 15 and 20 miles and lifting weights about four days a week. Vilsack told us that after he lost both of his parents, he realized how important it is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. "They missed out on a lot of my life and my children's lives, and I always felt badly about that," he said. "I'd like to see my kids grow up and to see them succeed and have families." Which is why Vilsack has begun to eat less sugary foods, and more fruits and vegetables. "When you get to my age, you're amazed by how little you know about what you eat," he told Yeas & Nays.

First lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign initiative, which encourages more physical activity and better nutrition, aims to teach people about the importance of eating healthy. Vilsack said he always watches how many calories he's consuming. "It's all about moderation, and I think one thing we've forgotten in this country is that we don't need to supersize everything," he said. Another thing Mrs. Obama is insistent on is not having to do without certain foods, but just recognizing that there are foods one should eat daily, and foods one shouldn't, Vilsack said.

Vilsack did concede that cheesecake and pies are his guilty pleasure foods, but even during the holidays, he stays away from them and he suggests those who are trying to lose weight should steer clear of the sweets too.

Vilsack told us some of his weight loss secrets are to have a good, solid breakfast every morning and to exercise regularly, "especially when you're older because it's hard to burn calories." Most importantly, he said, you need to find what motivates you. For him, it's to be there for his kids, and to keep his life going."I'm having such a good time in life, and I'm so fortunate to be living the life I'm living."