Monday, January 4, 2010
New Year's Resolutions
I don't usually make New Year's Resolutions; they just kind of occur to me some time in the new year and I am off and running. (Oftentimes literally.) Last year, on a whim early in January I decided to start doing Weight Watchers. Little Ladybug was just four months old and I had started Pilates and begun to get back in shape but knew that for me, the accountability in recording my points worked. With Weight Watchers, Pilates, and a dedication to healthy living and eating, I far surpassed the "goal" that I set for myself. In a year, I have lost 35 pounds, gone from a size 12 to a size 2, and am in by far the best shape of my life. I have been on the maintenance plan for 6 months and still use WW as a tool for holding myself accountable. I run faster than I ever thought that I could and feel great doing so. My heart and my body are strong, and I am so much more flexible and than I ever imagined that I could be. I am even more coordinated and graceful than before (but that isn't saying much!) In 2009, I dedicated myself to this goal of total fitness and I have accomplished it.
However, somewhere along the line, I became so focused on myself and what I needed to do to attain my goals that I stopped focusing on those two little people who are my heart's joy. I have always subscribed to the "put your own mask on first" theory of mothering, but lately I haven't been ensuring that theirs are on right at all. Over the past few months I have found myself being increasingly short tempered and exasperated with the two of them, and they do not deserve that. They are great kids, magical even, and it is my job to nurture them at every stage and help them to grow into incredible people. Christmas week really made it clear that my patience for my two amazing children has been in short supply and that it was making us all miserable. Yet, I didn't know that I was going to make a change until I just up and did it.
At some point on January 1, I had a lightbulb moment! I realized that if I could transform my body, my eating habits, my health and my fitness just by focusing really hard, I could certainly put that much effort into having patience for my kids. So, all of a sudden, I slowed down. I have been feeling for months like I am a bouncy ball going in every direction and not able to control my energy or focus my attention. Well, I am now making a conscious effort to be more still, more present in everything, but especially in my parenting. I keep taking a deep breath before reacting instead of flying off the handle. I am trying to not sweat the small stuff. When my kids need my attention, I am giving it to them instead of saying, "one minute." When they spill something, I am saying, "no big deal, let's get a towel" instead of flying off the handle. I am trying to put the computer down when they are up. More than anything, I am trying to be more present.
Some of this, I believe, comes from expanding my yoga practice lately and concentrating on meditating and breathing. And, some of this, I truly think, comes from the chia. I have always gotten bitchy when my blood sugar got low, and the chia is helping me to avoid those blood sugar dips. Mean Mommy does not come out as often when her tank is not on empty.
Another resolution actually came to me a few months ago when I went to an amazing U2 concert. For that concert, I ate some "special brownies" and had a fantastic night. During the concert, I sent myself an email that said, "I don't need Lexapro; I just need music". With little kids around, I am so used to having the TV tuned to Noggin in the background or to talking on the phone in the car. However, rock and roll has always been a huge part of my life and makes me truly happy! So, I am trying to play music, introduce my kids to the songs that I love, and feel the joy that it brings.
Now I am trying to figure out my BHAG. I have been toying with the idea of doing Pilates teacher certification. Lately, I have considered doing yoga teacher certification as well. Also, I am in the lottery for the 2010 NYC marathon and there is a part of me that wants to do some great runs and has the dream of qualifying for Boston. Some friends have suggested that I do some tris, but they scare the shit out of me. . . which makes me think that I should do them.
And then, and then . . . I was thinking the other day that I should find a way to combine my passion for cooking and eating with my dedication to health and fitness. I have learned to cook healthy, fresh and truly delicious food with ingredients that I had never used before this year. Things like beets, fennel, quinoa, chia are brand new to me and so exciting. I want to share my enthusiasm with others. I have done so much baking in the past few months, but then I have given it away. Great, so I didn't eat it, but I was contributing to making others unhealthy, (especially my husband who eats at least two portions of everything I make.) I want people to be more healthy and help them feel good; baked goods will have to be for special occasions, not a weekly occurance. So, I am trying to figure out a way to bring my passion for healthy living to others. Stay tuned for that.
In the meantime, I will be putting more healthy recipes and fewer baked goods on my blog. Everyone needs a treat sometime, so while I am not swearing off baking by any means, sweets will no longer be the be all and end all of this blog.
Breathe . . .