Sunday, January 6, 2013

Do it for YOU

So we meet again, January. You try to hide yourself in the guise of new beginnings, but I know your true self. You're just the month-long hangover from the holidays. People get wrapped up in your game of renewal and self-improvement, but I won't be a contender. No New Year's resolutions here, no siree.

I don't like to make promises that I'll knowingly break. That's why I don't make New Year's resolutions. People get wrapped up in planning to make these positive life changes, but how many of these changes actually come? Like it or not, you're the same person on January 1st as you were on December 31st. If you want to change, great. Do it. But change is a gradual process, my friends. You don't wake up, decide to exercise and eat healthy, and poof! lose 10 pounds. Sorry. That doesn't happen. I'm not saying you can't change, I'm just saying that you can't change quickly (at least if you want that change to stick).

Do I sound cynical? Maybe. But I'm just being realistic. Don't plan to make any life transformations just because everybody else is planning to right now. Make changes only if you want change. If everything in your life is right on track, great. Keep living that way. If there are some issues that you'd like to address and improve, go ahead and address them. Decide how you are realistically going to execute making those issues better. Don't set yourself up for failure, because then you'll just feel worse in the future than you do now.

Like I said, I didn't make a resolution this year. Life is going pretty well. I set some goals for myself to attain about a month ago, but I did those for myself and not because a societal timeline expected me to. Do you want to know what I did on New Year's Day this year? I spent 90% of it on the couch, sleeping and watching movies next to my husband. We split a half-dozen bagels and bucket of cream cheese between us. I didn't feel an ounce of guilt; it was what we needed. The holidays and traveling were exhausting and we needed rest. We haven't laid around like that in ages. It was well-deserved.

Garrett and I spent all week eating with abandon and lazing about the house after work. We were nursing our post-holiday cheer hangovers. I don't think we gained any weight over the holidays; instead, we gained weight this week. We're not feeling so good about ourselves--fatty foods and lack of exercise will do that to you--so we gave ourselves until tomorrow (Monday) to indulge. Come tomorrow, we'll pick up exercise and healthier eating. Garrett is better at that stuff than I am, so for me, it'll be a gradual process. I'm not promising myself any weight loss; I just want to feel better.

This is my plan for feeling better: start working more lean proteins, veggies, and fruits into my diet. Am I going to nix all of my favorite foods? Hell, no! At least not right away. Depriving myself of Goldfish crackers and replacing them with carrots is not going encourage a happy relationship with healthy eating. I'll still order a cheeseburger at my favorite restaurant, but maybe I'll get a side salad instead of fries. Then the next time I get that cheeseburger, I'll ask for it without the bun. The next time after that, maybe I'll get a bun-less turkey burger without cheese. Do you see where I'm going here?

In addition to gradually transforming my diet of carbs-carbs-fat-carbs-fat-fat-fat-carbs-protein-carbs-carbs into a healthier one, I am also going to pick up exercise. It's been a while, so I'm not expecting to be able to run long distances or stretch down to my toes immediately (yes, it's been that long). Am I going to work out every day, and measure calories burned? Nope. Am I going to set a goal of running, doing yoga/bar method, and riding each at least once weekly? Yes. Because those goals are attainable for me.

Please don't get me wrong here--I will not judge you if you make a New Year's resolution. If you follow through with it, I'll be your biggest cheerleader. "May the odds be ever in your favor" (hehe).

Just remember, slow and steady wins the race.

(Want an example of slow and steady? Today I woke up and ran two miles (small victory for most of you out there, but great for me), and then made a wonderfully delicious, fat-and-calorie-packed brunch--a last meal, so to speak. An early morning run followed by a meal of whole-wheat raspberry ricotta scones, peach and sour cream pancakes, and sausage links was the perfect start to my day. And I don't feel an ounce of remorse. I gave some, I took some. It's what I have to do if I plan on any follow-through. It's what I had to do for me.)

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