Wednesday, January 09, 2013
I've been absent from SparkPeople for a VERY long time. I had to leave because there was just too much going on in my life, and I was getting overwhelmed by all of the demands. But now that Christmas is over and I feel a bit more organized in general, I thought I would come back and give this a try again.
I'm starting small. I had joined the new January challenge group, but realized quickly that my life is just not set up in such a way that I can really commit to something so stringent. So I've left the group, and that's really okay.
Right now I'm focusing on tracking my nutrition and my exercise, and I'm trying to get some cardio in every day. Some days that's easier than others, of course, but my hope is that I can at least get out for a walk every day and that will help get/keep me in shape so that when the roads are no longer dangerous I can get back to running. My fitness goal for this year is to finally get to the point where I can run for a full 30 minutes without stopping. I don't care how far I go in that 30 minutes, just that I can do it. When I get there, I'll figure out a new goal, either in terms of distance or time.
I'm only weighing myself once a week, on a Tuesday or a Wednesday. I recently read that it makes little sense to weigh yourself on a Monday, since if you have a "cheat day" it's probably on the weekend and we do tend to spend the weekends being less on top of things than during the week anyway. But by Tuesday or Wednesday, you've lost any water weight you gained and you're back in the swing of things. I used to weigh every day, because if you take the average of your weights for a full week, you have a more clear idea of what you weigh, but I think I like this idea better. It's less time-intensive and requires less thought, which is important to me, especially since my goal isn't actually to lose weight or dress sizes. I just want to run that 30 minutes without stopping.
Something else I'm trying to do this year is stop considering "productivity" to be the most important thing about my life. How many items I cross off my to-do list each day is not important. (Which is good, because my to-do list is really long most days.) What matters is that I'm working towards my goals and having fun at the same time. So if I take a morning off from housework and read a book instead, that's okay. Housework can wait if I'm enjoying a book that much. (Yes, we do still need clean dishes to eat off of, but they can be done after I eat lunch; I don't HAVE to do all of my housework in the morning, after all.)
So far, so good. I need to make sure I meet my work deadlines, of course, and I still have really long to-do lists. But most of the things on my list aren't things that absolutely HAVE to be done that day. I can put them off until tomorrow or next week if I want to. What matters is that I am having fun and achieving the things that are important to me.
This change in thinking is weird, and hard. We live in a world where goals are supposed to be measurable and time-sensitive. Everything I learned when I was working with autistic children is basically the opposite of what I'm doing with my life right now. But that's okay. I still have goals, after all, and I've got them broken down into little things, smaller things that I can focus on a little bit every day. It's much more relaxed, more enjoyable, and far less anxiety-inducing.
Okay, that last one isn't totally true. I've had a few days so far where I've felt an amorphous anxiety that I couldn't really place. I couldn't think of why I would feel anxious. But I've realized that it's because I'm changing things, and that makes me uncomfortable. I'm not used to so much freedom, being allowed to "fail" at achieving things I've decided I must do in a day. I'm not used to being able to just decide, on a whim, that I'm not gonna do that thing today because I don't feel like it, and that being absolutely okay. It's going to take some doing. But I have been working toward this for YEARS, and I think it's time to really do it.
So my life isn't about productivity anymore, it's about living.
Sounds good to me.