I want to convince myself that I don’t have any New Year’s Resolutions related to my weight…though I imagine I join a huge influx of bloggers who are writing about weight this morning, so perhaps the fresh start of a new year has given me a jumping off point again. I’m here, aren’t I?
In fact, I do have one New Year’s Resolution. It’s more a mandate for myself, but I am resolved, it IS the new year – so…
Find my gratitude.
That’s it. I feel that my gratitude for the world and my place in it is buried beneath resentment and frustration. I feel that giving thanks is a simple act, and what flows from that act is perhaps more kindness, more forgiveness, more understanding, and more actions to promote further gratitude. It is potentially a catalyst for my weight loss insofar as my gratitude for my current health will lead me to maintain my health.
This “resolution” feels right to me. After a year of what felt like intense suffering and stress, I realize that I can look back and see moments of light here and there. There were times when everything was wonderful and good and I was strong. Most of those times were when I was moving or outdoors. When I was covered in sweat and breathing heavy and smiling.
In 2009, I should have been and am NOW grateful for:
1. The abandoned stone gazebo at the top of the trail in Ethan Allen Park. The view was extraordinary and the place itself was sheltered and quiet. There was immense light. I had my husband photograph me sitting and smiling. My face was red, but I had moved my body up a long trail to get there. I was tired, and thirsty, and happy. Profoundly.
2. The multiple moments when we reached the top of Ethan Allen Tower and looked out at the 360 degree view of the Green Mountains and Lake Champlain. We watched the storms roll in and the sun settle down behind the Adirondacks in a ravishing display of pinks, golds, and oranges.
3. The wedding day of C. and D., who had a very modest wedding on the waterfront, but who created a wonderful and peaceful day. I wore a black summer dress and put a flower in my hair. I felt beautiful. I encountered my ex-best friend for the first time since our falling out, and maintained my dignity and resolve around her. I danced a little. I sang Lady GaGa songs. I ate modestly and drank not-so-modestly. I smiled a lot. I was friendly and happy. It was a wonderful day.
4. Whale watching on my birthday. Seals in front of the New England Aquarium. The whale move in 3D at the IMAX theatre.
5. Rescuing six guinea pigs from an abandoned apartment and finally finding a humane society to take them in.
6. Swimming in the lake with my sister and husband (despite him cutting his toe open later that day.) It was beautiful and perfect until we had to go to the ER! :(
7. XC skiing in Battery park early in January – just prior to the whole ending-of-best-friendship thing. The snow was beautiful, and I fell down and it didn’t hurt…
8. Eating Vermont’s Best Burger under a tree with my husband this summer.
9. The calm, huffing, sleepiness of a room full of greyhounds sleeping in their cages after I’d turned them all out for running/peeing when I volunteered at the rescue shelter. There is nothing like fifty sleepy, warm greyhounds to make the world feel just right.
I’m sure there are more, and I’m sure I will find them the more I look back and dig for those moments I hopped over. It seems I just had stress-colored glasses on this whole year. There were beautiful moments. There were moments that changed me as a person and I have largely ignored or forgotten them.
I think I’m going to add to this blog not only my daily struggles or triumphs with eating and exercising, but also a list of things/moments I am grateful for. My gratitude, like my resolve for a healthier lifestyle, is not always in plentiful supply. It’s important to keep a record of my life – the ugly, the bad, and the good. Maybe having a log of it will enable me to feel more balanced in my life and not under so much pressure.
And of course, there is the health/weight issue to address. I have successfully ignored both diet and exercise for the last few months. I felt I had to put it all on the back burner to get my family moved and to get through the holidays. At this point, I have the following support mechanisms in place for my diet/exercise:
1. I have a new gym membership to a club that has an indoor walking track, an indoor heated pool, access to trainers, is closer to home than the old gym, and includes a ton of group fitness classes at no charge. I received this as a work “bonus.”
2. My husband is resolved to eat healthier, cook more meals at home, and spend less money. By design, I’m going to probably benefit from those changes as well.
3. I have a “motivation token.” When I earn 100 “points/stars/hearts” through eating healthy and exercising, I can finally wear the $50 acorn necklace I purchased for myself. I have been coveting this necklace forever and “earning” it is good motivation.
4. I bought a size 28 pair of jeans this weekend. This is up four sizes from what I was currently wearing. It means I’ve gained about 50 pounds since the beginning of the year, maybe less. Maybe the jeans are cut differently, but I know all of my clothing is tight and ill-fitting. Since I can’t afford a new wardrobe, I need to at least return to the size I was when I bought the close (roughly 22/24 instead of 26/28). It’s become a matter of necessity.
5. I have a great system for recording my food intake/calories.
6. I have a great system for recording my exercise/daily activity.
7. I have access to a monthly weight-control follow up group with my behavioral therapist that I can attend at no charge. This is a great weigh-in and check-in place with people who are on the same path and with a therapist who knows my history.
I’m sort of out of reasons to continue an unhealthy and unconscious lifestyle. The perpetuation of that lifestyle can now only be for two reasons: avoidance and bingeing. Both of these tremendous roadblocks can be overcome with therapy, journaling, and easing myself into uncomfortable new situations. The onus is on me now to take control.
I have not yet attended the new gym. I don’t know why, but I’m afraid. I’m even more afraid now that it’s the new year and it will be packed with Resolvers for a few months. I hate exercising around people, but I’m sort of “excited” to go. I really just need to go. It’s a no-brainer.
Tonight I’m taking on a new venture – Forza! This is a muscle-centered sword-fighting warrior-woman type of activity. I’m scared and may not attend because I’m scared, but it’s something I really want to try. We’ll see how it goes or if I go. I get a “heart” if I go…one step closer to my acorn necklace.
I’m hoping to post here more often. It feels good to be “back.”