Along with the approximately fifteen billion other New Year’s resolutions I’ve made (Why can’t I just stick with one? Perhaps because I see so much room for improvement every year.), I’ve decided to set a goal of 30,000 words in my blog this month. That means that each day I need to crank out something deep. It’s kind of daunting, really. I looked back on most of my other posts, and they average about 500 words. That means I really have to up the ante. And that’s a double-edged sword. I like to keep things short and pithy. On the other hand, juicing it up to 1,000 words per day means that I’m going to be forced to either really dive into my subject matter or write about a lot of trivial stuff. Hmmmm… yeah, I think I’ll try to avoid the catalog of days and go for the fun stuff.
It’s funny, though. Nearly every year at some point I try to keep a journal. It never lasts even half-way into January. I go strong for a couple of days, and then I realize that what I’m writing is just a schedule of the day – or I forget and get bogged down in guilt. Or I can’t think of what to write. Or I’m too tired, have too much to do, have to do something with my kids, or generate some other excuse. Maybe this time around with a concrete goal in mind and all two of the people actually reading this, I’ll have some incentive to keep going. That is something, you know. Journals are for yourself. I mean I never intend for anyone to read my journals. I have no audience for them. This blog? Well, it’s published. People can see it. People can read it. And that’s its purpose. Maybe I just lost the point of writing without an audience, even a quiet one.
My resolutions are very focused this year. I am much more goal-oriented – like the 30,000 word count above – and I want to be able to have a sense of accomplishment. Also, they’re primarily about my health. I had been on the protein/vegetable regimen until Christmas break. Then I tossed it completely out the window. At first, I tried to hang on to it with only minor deviations. That worked okay, right up until I made these ridiculously delightful chocolate chocolate chip cookies for Santa and a chocolate cake for my husband’s birthday. Yeah. Well, I believe I’ve already mentioned my weak spot for cake. I thought the cookies were safe – and they would have been had I simply not tried them fresh out of the oven with their gooey melting chocolatey goodness. And I ate a lot of cake, too.
Then I decided that I would start to get back on track the day after Christmas. It was a brilliant plan. I had things pretty well set. And then I binged on candy. And then I had everything in the known universe that has an evil caloric count, saturated fat, salt, and sugar. That’s when I realized why I needed to do that then. I needed to get the desire to have those foods out of my system. Seriously. None of the stuff I ate sat well in my stomach. They made me sick, bloated, gaseous, and just about everything you could think of as a nasty reaction to food. So I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the foods I crave when I’m on my meal plan don’t actually satisfy me. Now I can sit back and think, Hey, that funnel cake is just greasy sugar, and you know what that’ll do to you! I even coached my girls to warn me not to eat some of the foods I tend to crave. Very much along the lines of having a little conscience chirping in your ears.
So, I trashed the whole meal plan idea until yesterday. It was the day before New Year’s, so it was a step up and it wasn’t going along with the crowd. Then, shebam! I started back on the meal plan yesterday and decided that it was worth it to stick to a regimen if I could continue to wear all the size 12 pants I’d just gotten handed over to me. Besides, between you and me, I’d just passed along all my 14’s, 16’s, and 18’s to another friend. So it was stay on track or go nekkid. Fortunately for the eyesight of thousands, when I tried on my 12’s today, they fit just fine. I had secretly harbored this fear last week that I had over-indulged so badly that the only reason the pants I was wearing fit at all was because they had stretched to accommodate me and that I would rip the seams out of another pair if I tried them on. So much so that I wore the same pair of jeans all week without washing them. Such are my irrational fears.
As added incentive to not having larger clothes and having really cute 12’s, I also bought myself a new swimsuit so that I would take the girls swimming at the gym more. Yeah, I got a 12. My old swimsuit was not only literally falling apart, but was so baggy and saggy that small tribes of aborigines could have comfortably moved in to occupy the extra space as tent shelters.
So, here’s the breakdown of my major health resolutions:
- Stick to my menu for two weeks before serious deviations. (I know I’m going to go off plan for some fun night, but I want that to be after I’ve reestablished my body’s downward trend. Date night this weekend is going to have to be creative around the food issue, let me tell you.)
- Get down to a size 10. (I’m a 12 right now, so that’s feasible. Realistically, I should say my goal is an 8, but I have never been that small before, and the number intimidates me. I want to attain these goals, not set myself up for failure. Though, to be honest, I didn’t think I’d really be in a 12 weeks before Christmas. I thought that was just a pipe dream.)
- Go to yoga 3 times per week. (They offer the classes nearly every day. I would like to go very frequently, but I also want to give myself room to be human here and have some other obligation. With two kids, it’s only a matter of time.)
- Lower my blood pressure. (Reduced salt, reduced weight, increased physical activity, and a determination to not think about the stress with my family. I’ve been reading a Buddhist book called Start Where You Are, and it has really helped me see things differently. I was ready to let go of the anger and pain, and the book’s teachings spoke on a level comfortable and approachable to me.)
- Take a daily vitamin. (I bought Women’s One-A-Day because I was fairly sure that the foods to which I am restricting myself are not all-inclusive on the vitamin front. Also, the meal plan calls for a daily vitamin anyway. I’m also sneaky, and I bought Gummy Vitamins for the kids. I grab a couple of those when I desperately crave a hit of something sweet.)
- Drink 80 ounces of water per day. (This is so hard for me to do at home. For some reason, at work it’s easier. So I looked at the bottled water they sold at the store and figured that each bottle of 16.9 ounces costs me roughly 10 cents. I can drink 5 of those and get my 80 ounces. That’s 50 cents per day. That’s pretty cheap for a weight loss plan or supplement. Now, sometimes I’m a good girl and refill one bottle all day long, but I have a hard time doing that at home. I don’t know what the hang-up is, but it’s very real. If I’m out of bottled water, I don’t drink water. Sure, I’ll pour myself a glass of filtered water. Sure, I’ll tell myself it’s important to drink it, but I don’t get near the volume with that approach as I do when I can just suck down a bottle. It’s a bizarre non-green, environmentally-unfriendly habit. I compromise. I recycle the used bottles.)
- Start meditating before bed. (I’ve not actually done this before. I’m worried that I will tap into the “monkey brain” instead of finding peace and that I’ll wind up thinking about 15 billion things I didn’t get done during the day that will then haunt me and plague my dreams until I wake up, take care of them, and then spend the next three hours trying desperately to grab some shut-eye. I’m going to try the Buddhist approach coupled with prayer to attempt to still my mind before bed. That’s the meditation I want to achieve. Stillness.)
Okay, so I managed to have verbal diarrhea to the point that I have 15oo words in this post. That kind of worries the internal editor in me, making me think I should really go back and pare down the excess verbiage, but the goal-setter is kind of tickled – and kind of glad that I’ve got a 500 word cushion for that day when I just can’t think of anything else to say.