Resolutions

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New Years 3

As the New Year approaches, the world begins to think of fresh starts, of new beginnings, of New Year’s Resolutions.

I’ve never been a big believer in New Year’s Resolutions. From what I could see, most New Year’s Resolutions are broken within the first week or month. Legendary jokes are made about it. I certainly broke my resolutions – when I made them – pretty quickly.

But this year is different (do I hear laughter?). I think I better understand what resolutions are really about. It’s not necessarily about the success. It’s not really about being the most organized person on the planet. It’s not really about becoming a hard body. And it’s not really reaching an ideal of becoming whatever your idea of perfect is.

Resolutions are about the intentions. At some point, I realized that my youthful metabolism left me, and Cheetos and Coke were no longer a diet I could stick with…unless I wanted to keep putting weight on and buying new clothes. So I resolved to lose weight and get back to where I was when I was 25 years old. A bit of a stretch, given the fact that I was definitely well beyond that age.

It all started out fine…I tried to take a very sensible approach (again, being well beyond 25 years old). I began to exercise (a little) and started really paying attention to what I was eating. More fruits and vegetables and less (sniff) Cheetos. And it began to work. I lost weight and had to buy new clothes, in a smaller size this time. And then the resolution broke. And I leveled off, five pounds short of my goal, which left me angry and frustrated and sad.

New Years 5

But then I thought more about it…while I didn’t reach the ultimate – and somewhat unattainable – goal, I did lose weight. And more importantly, I felt better…in fact, the best that I had in years…probably since I was 25 years old.

It made me realize that when we think of these resolutions, we often set the bar too high. When I started this blog, I set a goal to post twice a week…forever. Well, clearly that hasn’t worked out. But now my intention is to continue to post as often as I can. And that’s ok. I enjoy writing and so I will continue to do it whenever I can. But I’m to going to hold myself to an unattainable standard that simply adds pressure. There is enough pressure in my life on the things I have to do. I don’t want pressure to ruin the things I want to do.

So for those of you that want to set New Year’s Resolutions, I wish you strength and luck! For me, I am setting intentions to keep my weight, health and energy level as it is now, continue to write as much as I enjoy it and the muse moves me, and to enjoy as much of life as I can. And finish binge watching “Once Upon a Time.” After all, a girl’s got to have a goal.

 

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Dance like No One is Watching

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dance color

So I realized when I hit 40, I needed to move.

All my life, I have been anti-exercise. It’s not that I’m against it, per se, but I could never find a workout that actually worked for me.

I had tried a number of regimes. Aerobics in my 20’s (leg warmers are a good look on NO one). Tae Bo in my 30’s (Billy Blanks was very inspirational, until I started to sweat). After I tried something – and didn’t like it – I was still young enough to convince myself that working a full-time job, chasing little ones and keeping house, not to mention a working metabolism, were more than enough to keep me in relatively good shape.

Then the scale hit a number much too large to share outside the privacy of my boudoir. And I realized that I that I had unknowingly waved good-bye to my 30’s and my metabolism, and gravity decided to betray our long-standing friendship.

So now I had no choice…I had to do something. I started slow…here again I really had no choice…trying various routines to find the one that I could commit to. And then I realized that dancing burns a lot of calories. And I like to dance. I found a cheesy exercise DVD of dance routines and started there. I then moved on to Zumba, which didn’t feel like exercise because it was just fun. Finally, Just Dance, or its exercise cousin Just Sweat, is really a great work out. And don’t let the “video game” moniker fool you…you will sweat if you really throw yourself into it.

And it’s working. I feel better, I have more energy and my attitude is much more positive. As a bonus, my clothes started to fit better and that awful number on the scale started to drop.

I raided our family iTunes account for songs that keep me moving. The kids may not like it when they happen to walk in on my “workout,” but I’m gonna keep dancing like no one’s watchin’.