So, I’m dying to know how it worked out. Off line, I have had a few sparse comments on my blog about ringing in the new year with a positive spin (i.e. cognitive restructuring, “. . .be the ball, Noonan”). I really want to know if you had a resolution, are you sticking with it, and did this concept of visualizing your new self work for you?
I didn’t really have a resolution this year, per se. Having recently given up caffeine, with much ado and many blogs, I was rather tired of self improvement. As I used to tell my Dad when I was a teenager, my character is as big as it’s going to get. (No need for character growth.) Well, that was my thought just before New Year. I then went to the gym with some friends on New Year’s eve to enjoy a nice workout with a trainer. Seemed like a good idea to better enjoy all of the delectable food, etc. This was my second jaunt to this gym in recent months (C4 Training, Greenwich,CT), and my second trainer induced torture session – I mean work out of this sort in recent months. Let’s just say that my trips to the gym remind me of all of the muscles (and I do mean ALL of the muscles) that my running is NOT using, not building and not maintaining.
This sore muscles have combined with the subtle influences of my husband as he reads a new book, “Younger Next Year” by Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge, MD., Workman Publishing, 2007. See the books page for more details and the link. I am watching my husband find the time and inspired energy for more and consistent workouts and a vision of health I had not seen before. (With my mate, there is little discussion about what is happening unless I instigate the conversation. Allowing him the privacy of his thoughts (unusual for my chatterbox self) I observe the changes he is making in his schedule, shopping and cooking.
Hence, I now have a new path to health, or even a new resolution of sorts. I have already been fairly active with usually a four mile run three times a week, or more often if I can fit it in. I am committing myself to add some strength training to the mix. I’m not planning on extensive trips to the gym, but adding some small, consistent sets of work with light weights for my upper body (2-5 pounds), along with regular sit ups, other ab exercises and push ups. I’ll let you know how it goes. I’m still trying to envision, not so much the stronger me, but how this is going to fit in time wise.
Our girls are swimmers, and spend a fair amount of time in the pool each week. I will encourage them to work with me on these “dry land” work outs (as the swimmers call them) for overall better conditioning and strength maintenance.
What about you? To what are you committing yourself this year. How is it going? Who is around you to inspire you or keep you going? What are your challenges? I hope to hear of your successes as well as what has made it hard. Maybe we can inspire each other!
Here are some comments sent offline by a few friends:
**********#1 Lea Knepley-Lmt
Here is my New Year Resolution… all the things I am NOT…
I am not a number on a scale, a diet, a workout plan, a gym membership, or the age on my driver’s license.
Nor am I the car I drive, the debts I owe, and the faults I have…
Today, I am a glorious, divine creature who will set forth today with love for myself and others, I will be healthy, make positive choices for myself and strive to show others they can do the same.
Today this day, starting with myself I can change who I am by changing my mind and attitude!
Don’t vow to change something you hate about yourself…that change is coming from a place of negativity and will fail. Assess the things in your life that you feel can be improved upon and come from a place of love.
Example: ” I’m fat and need to go on a diet”…. negativity = failure
Example: “I love myself so much that I vow to take the best possible care of myself and make healthy choices.” positive attitute, positive change = success!
“Be the change you wish to see in the world” -Ghandi
“Try, try? there is no try…only do” -Yoda
One thing I’ve learned about myself this year is that if I take time to relax and objectively examine my physical feelings, thoughts and emotions every morning, I can find time to be more active, feel more joyful and short-circuit mind-states that promote the opposite.
I guess my resolution is to remember how good it feels when I take care of myself and keep up my practice.
Excellent food for thought, Ms. Risica. Thanks.
Nice blog. Reminds me of the Black Eyed Peas….
I’m a be, I’m a be I’m a I’m a I’m a be a healthy person???? Naaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh…….
I’m a be up in the club Doin’ whatever I like I’m a be poppin’ that bubbly Cool and livin’ that good life Oh let’s make this last forever Party and we’ll chill together
The New Year has begun, and 2011 is underway. I hope yours began well, and as you planned. Our family celebrated with a group of friends. We enjoyed a bit too much delicious food and drink, but also I have sore muscles after a hefty workout to remind me of what work I have ahead of me. Tomorrow, it’s back to work in many ways.
Many people start the New Year with a resolution for what they want to accomplish. I want to quit smoking, lose weight, start exercising, yada, yada, yada. To be successful this year, your thoughts about the New Year and goals for this year might be framed in a slightly different way. Instead of thinking of what might be accomplished (i.e goals), think about what you want to be, and the goals you are willing to accomplish to get there.
For example, a person who wants to lose weight will be more successful, if he/she focuses not on the weight loss, but on becoming a healthy, active person. I want to BE that active person. Visualize that person in your mind. Visualize yourself eating fresh fruit for breakfast, delicious salads, and happily trying other nutritious foods that are not laden in butter, meat and cheese. Picture yourself in workout clothes (looking good!!), smiling as you head out to work out, or better, grinning as you finish a great run/bike/swim or whatever.
This dramatic departure is called “cognitive restructuring” in psycho speak. It isn’t just helpful, it is ESSENTIAL that you think of your healthy self in positive terms. This is a huge difference from planning to begrudgingly eat the rabbit food, or half heartedly plan for a workout that is drudgery. Many people begin the year thinking that they MUST make themselves do it, whatever “it” is. The thought might be that other people do it, and you will force yourself through. Very few strong minded folks succeed with this plan.
The difference in these ways of thinking of the process is in your view of yourself and your view of the behaviors that are necessary to be that healthy person. It isn’t very possible to be thinner while continuing to love your couch and calorie laden food. And really, focusing on the thinness is part of the issue. The focus should be on being healthy and active (and thin, coincidentally), but not just a focus on being thin. It is also not very likely that a person will quit smoking while wishing for a cigarette every day. A focus on becoming a happy smoke free person is far more productive.
To accomplish this technique, spend some time thinking of what it means to be that person that you want to be, and what you would look like being that person, and being happy. You might know someone who embodies the behaviors that you hope for yourself, and who is very happy living that way. Keep them in mind as you begin your path, but even more importantly, visualize what YOU will look like behaving as you hope and living your life in that way. Focus on the positive effects that you will achieve (e.g. physical feelings of strength, vitality, excellent sleep, compliments from others, etc.). Much of your motivation to make changes in how you live your life will come through finding your way to BE that person, and be happy as that person.
My Best Wishes go you to you for a happy, healthy and productive New Year.
I really like Halloween. I like the weather getting colder, the dark spooky shadows, the colors of the leaves and being outside through much of it. I also like the silliness of creative costumes and faux horror. We live pretty deep in the woods, so we have no trick-or-treaters. Actually, our house would be a great spot for a haunted house destination, starting with walking down the long dark road, but I don’t have that kind of energy any more. So, our family has joined with another family for the past several years to trick-or-treat in their neighborhood. We share dinner (usually pizza or something easy), parents then bring our dinner wine for our walk around the old spooky houses following our trick-or-treat kids.
I even love to indulge a little in the candy. My favorite is a mounds bar, or something else dark chocolate. What I don’t love about Halloween is the volume. Candy is very cheap these days, so most houses pass out hands full. The kids end up with pounds and pounds of candy. There is no way to eat it all in a healthy way.
So here are my tips for getting though Halloween without extra pounds or newly sprouting cavities:
- Talk to your kids about it ahead of time. Make a plan for having fun, eating some of your favorites, but not over doing it.void
- Feed them (everyone in the family) dinner before trick-or-treating. Avoid allowing hunger to dictate what’s for dinner.
- Avoid hording. Don’t allow candy to be squirreled away in the bedroom for really nasty night munching (without brushing) and beginning that bad habit of secret binging. Really discourage the inventorying of candy also. (I’ve seen it.)
- Create a share bowl. Have all kids bring all candy to a common place for everyone to enjoy. OK, I am aware that these last two bullets are REALLY hard for some kids/families. No time like the present to start working toward these goals.
- Start siphoning off some of the candy throughout the week. If you have a high traffic office or other outlet, you might take it there. My office (not surprisingly) really frowns on everyone bringing in candy, that we will then get eaten by you and your co-workers. It IS OK to throw away “perfectly good” candy. The manufacturers make plenty of money selling us more than we need. We are not under any obligation to eat it all. THERE IS NO SHORTAGE OF FOOD!
This is the season of gluttony. We begin with Halloween and enter the slippery slope that runs past Thanksgiving, all of December and right toward Valentine’s Day. We Americans don’t stop eating for most of the winter, starting off with several holiday events that practically beg for excess intake. This little series of blog pieces will focus on this Season of Gluttony. Don’t be mistaken, I am not a stay-away-from-everything-yummy type of person. Not that dietitian. I do have some tips, however, for getting you and your family through this season without some tag-along extra weight that needs to be burned off next spring. The cycle of gain and loss – emphasis mostly on yearly gain – is not healthy. The truth is, you can participate in the culinary fun and come through healthy and happy.
The first recommendation for the entire season is to create an exercise plan and stick to it. Don’t let your winter be the season of couch potato-ing. Being out in the cold, even in the rain or snow, is actually exhilarating if you are dressed for it, and if you work out. Get some gear for being outside – some running pants, a sweat wicking shirt, a water/wind resistant jacket, etc. Plan for continuing through whatever weather, and go for it. (I got a real taste for this when we moved to Alaska. I started by deciding I could not run if it was less than 20 degrees. Since that come in October that year, I knew I needed to thicken my blood, buy some long underwear, and plan to just get out there if I was going to be active all winter. ) If you really hate being out in the cold, make a plan to walk at the mall, walk during your lunch break, go to the gym or SOMETHING! Don’t stop exercising.
The second recommendation for the season is to plan for food excesses by planning lighter meals. I know that the cold weather makes us think of stick-to-your ribs food, but work on lighter options like pasta fagioli (pronounced “fasool” or pasta chi chi) is a vegetarian pasta with beans. Other soups are good options if you don’t overdo the portions, or accompanying bread. Think smaller, simpler meals during this time when you know excess is around the corner.
I’ll post throughout the holidays and the winter with ideas about how to navigate the minefield that is ahead of us. Post your comments, your own suggestions or issues that I might attend to. Above all, consider that with a bit of preparation and forethought, you can relax and enjoy the bounty of the season. Cheers!
Friday – Said good-bye to my last cup of “real” coffee this morning. Today I also decided to try to comply with my doctor’s recommendation that I start taking Glucosamine Chontroitin for my joints and impending arthritis, and fish oil pills for my immovable cholesterol. It’s much easier to avoid that second cup of coffee with a belly full of supplements. [Supplements are definitely fodder for another blog.]
Tomorrow is my first day of no caffeine. I do think I will rely on decaf for a while. I don’t have anything against it, I am just not sure about the processing of making it decaf, and how it will taste to my picky taste buds. Better go get lunch and my tylenol. Let’s see how this weekend goes.
Cutting down day 5
Sunday went well. I ran in the afternoon, then fell asleep, so no afternoon pick-me-up seemed fine.
Monday evening, while writing my blog, my dog took herself for a walk. An hour an a half of looking did not find the dog. Two calls to the police/Animal Control did not find the dog.
Tuesday am after very little sleep, lots of tears and distraught children I was nauseated and did not mind only a small cup at breakfast. Dog was located at the pound by afternoon, but the sleepless night and emotion filled day increased my need for sleep, but not a want for coffee. I did treat myself to a 12 oz decaf latte for to accompany my evening meeting at church. I felt like I cheated.
Wednesday I was back on track – sort of. I had my usual am coffee accompanied by a small to-go for the bus. Nothing in the afternoon, but I REALLY wanted one.
Thursday am – small cup this am. Went for a run after dropping kids, followed by a lot of water. Looking forward to more water and MAYBE decaf this afternoon if I’m desperate. I’m planning something hot but not caffeinated for my quit days. I seem to want that sort of am treat.