Friday, January 15, 2016

A List of Anti-Resolutions

How are the New Year’s Resolutions holding up? I’m a goal and list maker so I always enjoy the process of making resolutions at the beginning of a year, even if I don’t always stick to them.

I also like the trend of choosing one word as a focus for the year. Some of my friends have done this, choosing words like "joy" or "courage". The idea is to use that word as a guide for actions or projects you take on during the course of the year and make each effort more meaningful.

So I’ve been pondering.  What should MY word be?

I actually came up with a phrase for 2016. I borrowed it from Gretchin Rubin, the author of The Happiness Project and Better Than Before, (two books I’m obsessed with and highly recommend, by the way.) Gretchen has a list of personal commandments and one of those is, “Be Gretchen”.

So instead of a word of the year, I’m adopting a mantra of the year.

Be Me.

What that means is that I have to know myself, what works, what doesn’t, what makes me happy.

And sometimes, that means I’m giving up.

Here are a few health and fitness things I’m NOT going to do in 2016.

·      Run. Anywhere. I keep thinking it’s something I should do. It’s a great way to keep in shape, it can be done anywhere and anytime. And the organized race events REALLY look fun. Sometimes I even sign up for them and imagine myself training hard and pushing through to the finish line.  But when training time arrives, I can’t get myself out the door and the idea of a treadmill sounds so deadly. This year, I’m facing up to the fact that I’m never going to be someone who runs for exercise. And this is where I apply the “Be Me” mantra. Just because someone else enjoys it and finds it an effective way to stay healthy, doesn’t mean it’s right for me.

·      Get up early and exercise. Nope. Not gonna happen. I’ve tried and tried because I know it’s a good time to work out for many people. That said, unless there are zombies chasing me, I’m not going to get out of bed at 5 AM.

·      Meditate. OH, how I wish I could do this. Meditation is a proven stress reducer and an effective way to practice being in the moment. Again, this is something I’ve tried repeatedly. I even downloaded the app Headspace and did the 10 day starter program. For about three days. I just can’t stick to it. I have managed to develop a love of yoga, however, and that has a certain meditative quality. Does that count?

·      Follow a “diet plan”. Not paleo, vegan or raw. No South Beach, Atkins or Zone. Forget about grapefruit and cabbage soup. Not going to cleanse or count carbs. Likewise for meal replacement shakes. These strategies are helpful for others but don’t work for me.

·      Eat my way through the weekend. When did “cheat meal” become a cheat weekend? I've GOT to practice a tad more self-control in that area!

·      Compare. Sometimes I look at #fitinspo pictures of women with rock hard abs and no cellulite and it makes me want to throw in the towel. The thing is, I know nothing about that fitness model with the six-pack. Maybe she’s airbrushed and photo-shopped. Maybe she never eats and works out 3 hours a day. Or just has great genes. The point is, comparison is the thief of joy. Not going there.

What are you NOT doing this year?

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A Letter to the Newbies

Dear New Person,

It’s a new year and I know you made that resolution to get fit. Welcome to my world. I won’t gloat and be smug about the fact that I kept up with my exercise over the holidays. Okay, I might have skipped a few workouts here and there. And yes, if I had a blood test right now, doctors would marvel at my high levels of eggnog, sugar and wine. But other than that, I’m in great shape.

And a little annoyed that I have to put up with all these newbies in my exercise classes.

I drove into the parking lot at Jazzercise on Saturday and guess what?! All the places closest to the building were full. So were the spots in the second row. In fact, I had to park clear in the back and WALK all the way up to the door.

What? You mean, I should do that anyway because every extra step counts? Soon you’ll be suggesting I take the stairs at work instead of the elevator.  

Not only did you take my parking spot, you took my spot in class. I literally can’t even.  

That spot is mine and I HAVE to stand there or I just don’t feel right. If you accidently stand in my spot, I won’t push you aside. Instead, I will glare at you, roll my eyes a lot and sigh heavily.

But don’t let that scare you. If you keep coming to class, I’ll get to know you, which is what happens when we sweat together. Like the TV theme song from Cheers, I like to exercise where everybody knows your name. It gives me a sense of accountability and obligation. I HAVE to show up because they’ll recognize I’m not there! And what will they do without me?! They’ll miss my whining and groaning! And my flawless dance moves!

Just don’t stand in my spot.

And if you are consistent, you’ll see great results.

Remember, we are stronger than our excuses. Unless there’s a BOGO shoe sale. (After all, we are not Superwomen.)

The One Who Stands Near the Left Wall