Sunday, January 02, 2011
Tai here. I just wanted to sneak some blog time before hitting the hay and wish everyone a happy, healthy, and wonderful new year. Hopefully all those resolutions to get and/or stay fit will fall on fertile ground over the next 12 months.
Me, I'm trying to stay away from resolutions. Not that I don't like them. There's something about fresh starts, the pomp and circumstance of writing a list of hopes and dreams on a fresh sheet of paper or a new word-processing file, that makes me all starry-eyed and dreamy. But resolutions tend to spoil pretty quickly, like fresh fruit from the Farmer's Market. So I figure I'll just do a theme for 2011. less a "to do" list and more a general, overarching idea that will perhaps help me make all the "lifestyle" changes that I know are good for me. A mantra if you will. A catchphrase.
And that word is: Moderation.
I wish there was a better word for the concept, but I dug through the thesaurus to try and find something that neatly tied up all the nuances and meanings I'm trying to convey and "moderation" is pretty much it. I suppose that's why it's so very overused.
But really "Moderation", as I'm coming to learn in my old age, is the only game in town. To me, it's not necessarily a demand to become all withered and abstemious. Rather, it's a call for consistency, for rationality and mindfulness, for making slow changes at a stately pace that will, over time, garner big, juicy results. All ideas that can also be summed up by the old, "slow and steady wins the race" attitude, and granted it's nothing new, but for an all-or-nothing girl like me, "Moderation" is new. It's exciting. I'm living on the bleeding-edge here people.
A perfect example is my approach to working out. I'm a go-ho-gal, especialy after I've taken stock of my holiday excesses and have begun to formulate a new year's fitness plan of attack. Old, boring, all-or-nothing me would have decided that the quickest way to loosening the pants would be and hour and a half of working out daily: 45 hour on the elliptical in the morning and another 45 minutes doing some sort of elliptical/workout tape/strength training combo after work. Sure it sounds good, but it would be a plan doomed from the start. I'd keep it up for a week, feel great, and then promptly stop and not work out again until March. Guaranteed.
So today, with moderation fresh in my mind, I went downstairs, turned on the Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred (a program I just started today which I'll talk more about tomorrow), and did a balls-out 20 minute workout. That's it. I was tempted to add some more elliptical time, but forced myself upstairs before I could get on the contraption.
How did I feel? Great. A few skeptics out there might say that a 20 minute workout would leave anybody feeling great., if you could even call it a workout. But it was a good, blood-pumping, sweat-inducing 20 minutes (again, more tomorrow) and, given the fact that I haven't really done much in the way of exercise for the past month, 20 minutes with Ms. Michaels & Co. really hit the spot. Better still, I'm finishing out the day knowing I did some exercise, and have had a nice, floaty, post-workout feeling all evening. Really if this is moderation, I'm all for it.
I'm also trying the same with cleaning my house. 20 minutes every day (seriously, timed) and it saves me the angst of killing a whole Saturday scrubbing everything down. I had the idea, and then promptly found a great article on the Apartment Therapy (http://bit.ly/bUYUo2) that gave method to my madness. Not that I couldn't have done it myself, but sometimes I'm just a lazy girl and I'll look to cut a corner here and there when I can. And why reinvent the wheel, right? Anyway, I've only just started, but so far, so good. I can see myself sticking with it.
We'll see what happens with this new approach. It feels right, and logic dictates that it's a better approach than living life going zero-to-sixty and then back to zero again. I don't imagine that it'll be an immediate change. That goes against the whole concept of moderation and gradual change, no? But I'm excited to be making a change all the same. Whats' a new year without something new and different to look forward to?
So Happy 2011! Here's to balance, control, deliberation, discernment, restraint, and tranquility. And may all your New Year's challenges meet with measured, constant success!