The flip of a calendar page has a different feel for me these days. As I've said before (and before , and before ), the change of one year to another and the inescapable pressure of resolutions really gets to me. I'm beguiled by the idea that I can remake myself in a few short months and exit a year as a better, stronger version of myself. But I'm frustrated by that nagging implication that a resolution says, "You're not good enough."
When I saw this TED Talk on 30-day challenges , I knew I had an out to my dilemma. I had a complete do-over on the striving each and every month!
Now the start of a new month means yes to new adventures! Yes to crazy ideas! Thirty days? No problem. Away with the long, slow grind toward year's end, filled with guilt and self-loathing over not being enough in the oh-so-sexy categories of willpower and discipline.
My slacker heart has still found its loopholes with this concept, so April and May were pretty much, well, challenge-less. My Michelle Obama arms idea fizzled. After a week, Spanish lessons flopped. There were bright spots, but oy, what a grind.
Now I'm back in action, juiced up from a week spent laughing with my sistahs, getting off the schedule treadmill, spending time in the sun and generally looking at my life from the outside for a few days. The only downer was not having my therapy couch along.
Before trip? Couch-sitting. Lotsa blahs. Comfort food cravings. After trip? It's like I got a metabolism transplant. I racked up three bike rides, a run, and a little brain yoga in less than a week. Booyah!
Yes, I'm back to the formula that works best for me: run, bike, yoga.
Running is so simple. A pair of shoes, a road and 20 minutes, and I can get in a decent workout. Love that. What I love even more is the silence of my inner critics as I am in the midst of doing exactly what they insisted was impossible, or at least extremely inconvenient.
Biking is my bliss. I don't understand it, but I am happiest on a bike. I never grow tired of the feeling of flying along, free and graceful.
Yoga expands my awareness and balance. It replaces "slouch" with "strong." I lean into the permission to be powerful without the pressure to be an ultra-marathoner.
I'm amazed at how many times I have to repeat the forget-relearn cycle, but I try to look at it with a sense of wonder. "Oh, look! I get to be reminded of what's best for me. That's so kind." I love that compassionate part of my typically snarky self.
The trip also reminded me that eating low-carb is completely right for me. Three of my immediate family members have lost about 30 pounds each by trading grains for veggies and meat. I don't have that much to lose, but I haven't been trending in a postitive direction.
I decided to take the hint and go Primal ! On June 1, I gave my usual carb-heavy comfort foods the boot, and it's going really well. Of course, it's no magic bullet, but I'm more alert, more eager to exercise, and some weight is disappearing.
Am I telling you to run, bike and yoga?
Am I promising that a low-carb, paleo diet is your fitness salvation?
Nononono. I have no idea what's perfect for you. I'm just getting a good handle on what's best for me! This is simply a big, fat permission slip from me to you to experiment. Remember. Fail. Try again. Go another direction.
Do whatever it takes to listen to your body and find your own bliss.
No one shrunk the kids. It's an 8-foot folding chair!