Wednesday, January 04, 2012
That's what I do every January first, and that's how it felt yesterday, when I went back to work after days and days of sweet holiday vacation. Several people told me I looked so rested and fresh. I felt fresh too. Often when I come back after a vacation I'm groggy and stupid and wholly unproductive. Yesterday I was none of those - I was even mildly productive!
So. Any plans for the New Year? You betcha.
I have a special New Years Day routine I've followed for ... oh my ... decades! It's as warm and comforting as all the rest of the holiday rituals. It goes like this:
1st Take Down Tree and all other Christmas stuff - including putting away the huge Christmas CD collection we have
2nd Super clean the house including rearranging the pictures on the walls (and sweeping away the dust behind t hem.
3rd Take long soaky bubble bath
4th Get back in bed with last year's journal, this year's fresh empty one and a brand new pen.
5th. Look back over last year, check off my successes, see what I wanted a year ago. Did I get it? See if I still want it this year. What new things do I want? What steps should I take to get them?
The big change this year was that I am not dissatisfied with either my house or my organizational efforts. Often I am mad to get the clutter out of my life ... evidently, over the past few years I got it out of my life - at least to the point where I am not feeling disgusted with myself - and my surroundings. Oh don't get me wrong. There is a whole room upstairs that could use attention - but I believe I can give it that this year without feeling bad about myself for 'letting it get that way'.
My favorite author Martha Beck had a really good article in this month's Opera magazine - about pushing back, playing, picking a preference ...and the very example she used was making a part of your house you're unhappy with better!! I'm gonna do that with that upstairs room this winter. It'll be like a game.
Anyway - after years of trying to bring both organization and timeliness into my life (stop procrastinating) it seems I have at least added some of these skills to my bag of tools - better yet - it seems I am actually USING them.
This is the reason I like to do the look back with old journals part of my ritual. Seeing proof of my success gives me both courage and confidence to attempt New Things in the New Year
As for the looking ahead part - oh boy I have some fun stuff waiting up there for me.
"What?" you ask.
Well. First off - as my WW leader shared with us these wise KITP words from her husband ... "Are you going to pay them $10 a week for the rest of your life?"
And that means it's time I quit pretending that I don't have to write down what I eat. I resented that a little - no - a lot, so I didn't do it. I did keep a daily numerical count using the little calculator WW sells but I know - I really do know - that at this point in my journey I need to write down every bite. And so I am.
I also played around with a pedometer last month and I found I really like it. I'm not quite sure I trust it. I don't think I really walked 3,000 steps per mile - but I will fiddle around with the one I have - or even buy a different one - till I have one I'm confident about. But I know this - if I walk 2 miles a day (something that is actually really easy for me to do) it's easy for me to get 10K steps in every day. And that, in WW terms, means 4 points of exercise.
Of course - I'm also back at the gym, because it's actually much easier to get there after work than it is to drive in to town all the way from home ... where Somebody is always asking me to join him in some activity or another.
I love the WW meetings. I'm very fond of the leader and I really love the people, who are mostly my friends and neighbors. I love doing this with them. But I hate paying WW $40 a month to go to the meetings. It's up to me to play by the rules and get back to goal so I can attend for free.
Experts say - and I will believe them this time - that it takes 21 days or 3 weeks to get a new habit going. I would love to add some great new habits to my life - many of them good health habits. I did some calculating and figured I could add 1 new habit a month in 2012 - a sort of 12 in 12 kind of thing - and just see where I ended up this time next year. So. I promise - my next post will be about my 12 in 12.
Happy New Year to you all.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
I love the New Year with it's opportunity to start afresh. I do it every year both symbolically and physically, spiritually and sometimes even successfully. Making lovely plans are a wonderful way to get to know yourself, to bring out your deepest longings, to understand what is going on in your life. It's not essential to follow through with every plan - these are plans - not commands. I make many many resolutions every New Year's Day - for me, my spirituality, my house, my job, my social life, my wardrobe, my creativity - and the first thing I do, once the holiday decorations are packed away, the house is clean and I have had my ritualistic bubble bath and am sitting in my lovely bed with last year's notebook and a Brand New Notebook on my lap is to read back over the past year and see what I did, what I decided to not do, what I might like to roll over into the new year.
One of the fun things I'll be rejoicing on 1/1/12 will be the fact that not only am I lighter than I was one year ago, I am lighter than I was on 12/1/11. Alas. I did not lose weight every week in December, but I did end up the month with a net loss and that is ALWAYS a gain. And the tiny bit of poundage (less than half a pound) the scale revealed on Tuesday's weigh in was surely as much salty food water retention as it was caloric excess. I was pleased.
Pleased? I was overjoyed. I'm still smiling.
In fact, as a reward, I went right to the store after Tuesday's weigh in and stocked up on all the health and fitness magazines on the rack. Not that I am dreaming of one of those airbrushed flat bellies on the covers - but because now and then, tucked into the folds of those glossy bits of eye candy - you'll find a nugget of useful information, the germ of an idea, or just a really cute pair of running shorts.
As I peruse those magazines the rest of this week I will be shaping my plans for 2012 but I've already made one plan that I'm tinkering with in my brain ... a way to make tiny steps fun this year. When I have my idea completely formulated I'll be back to share it with you. In the mean time - may you have joy filled days as this old year winds down.
Friday, December 16, 2011
I was reading Mike Kramer's article about the 10 strategies for success this morning - for probably the third time, too, when the truth of his points struck me - in a brand new way, relevant for a brand new today.
It's way too easy to think that our lives are so linear that once we know something, like a nice little computer program, we will always do the same, even the 'right' thing. It's logical. You know the extra 3 chocolate kisses have no nutritional value and that you're close to the limit of your daily intake. You know already what they taste like, nice, but not so good they'll shoot you to the moon in extacy. You even know that once you eat 3 of them you are likely to eat more. Knowing doesn't always help.
Because our lives are not really like computer programs - unless it is in how they are
constantly bombarded by viruses that derail our predicted activities and responses.
This is why it's good to hear the truth again and again because we need those truths for each unique individual moment of our day. And today - when I was reading Mike Kramer the truth hit me KaPow!
I want to be successful this holiday season. I want to not just maintain but loose a little weight. I would like to lose 2 pounds between now and January 3 and I'd be happy to lose only 1. Also, I want to have all the fun a long sweet holiday can hold.
Which particular truths were so bright for me? Let's give them a look.
First - Start Small:
1 to 2 pounds. 17 days. I think that's a small goal. It's a little weight and a short time frame. Even if achieving this goal is strenuous, I need make this big effort only for 17 days.
Second - Get It On Paper
Okay - that's the one that made my skin flush when I read it. I need to set this all down on paper and I'm doing that right now. Even though this isn't my regular blogging day I'm posting about this.
Third - Focus on everyday habits
I actually started doing this a few nights ago after my weigh-in on tuesday. A weight loss last week encouraged me to think about some of my every day bad habits - like eating a second ice cream bar after dinner. One fits so neatly into my calorie range and the second one, while it may not always push me over, is always a bit of rebellious dishonesty on my part. It's not that I want the extra taste so much as I don't want to submit to my own regime!! what a goofI am - I wonder, do we ever grow up? Twice since then I've had the maturity to say "nope. Not gonna do that tonight" and gone into another room to do something else.
Fourth - Always See your Goal
Okay - now this is fun for me. Because while this is just a small goal, it's an enormous achievement, because of all the planned and unexpected foodie events that will sprinkle through those 17 days. I see in my mind's eye the utter triumphant stride I'll have when I walk in to my January 3 weigh-in knowing I am slightly lighter rather than slightly (or even grossly) heavier than I was in December. Just seeing that image feels tingly!
Fifth - be consistent
ahh well. Only time will see if I have been - but ... those 3 days a week working out at the gym that I started in November have already begun to feel, not just normal, but necessary.
Sixth - Never Stop Learning
Well - it will be interesting to see what I learn over the next 17 days - best of all - I have Cooks Illustrated's newest cookbook - a Light Cookbook. I have fallen in love with the whole America's Test Kitchen team - and to think that they've turned their eyes towards light cooking is a thrill. I know they won't sacrifice taste for calories and low fat - it will be an adventure.
Seventh - Come Out of Seclusion
Ha! Anyone who knows me knows I will tell you all about myself - so that's a given. But just in case you're reading me for the first time, here's a little story that illustrates just what Miss Loquacity is really like.
When my husband and I were talking about where we wanted to live after he finished college I said I wanted to move to the little rural town he grew up in. He gasped in horror and said, in shocked tones "We can't move there. Everyone will talk about us!!"
"Of course! I'm interesting" was my answer. "If they don't talk about me, I will probably talk about me to them"
so you see - seclusion is not really an issue
Eighth - Allow for Setbacks
Okay - I know this can happen. In fact, I know I am going to have a laced egg nog on Saturday - the calorie count of which is probably forty levendy hundred - but I am going to figure it out ahead of time and by golly - I am going to exercise it off before my next weigh in. And while I won't beat myself up if there is a setback in the next 17 days - I think I will make a plan to ameliorate it.
Ninth - Trust Your Plan
Tenth - Have Fun
Well, my partners on this journey - this post certainly was fun to write. I hope it was fun for you to read.
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