I know. Maybe I haven’t been publicly whining and feeling sorry for myself with wild abandon, but between you and me, it’s been going about a million miles an hour in the space between my ears for months now. But it needs to stop and guess who is responsible for that?
I’m doing some things to take better care of myself. Again. The fact that I have to add the word ‘again’ is not a sign of defeat or an indicator of some deep character flaw. I say ‘again’ because I’m a human who is trying to make some connections and trying to actually learn through experience. My experience tells me this: you can’t drink red wine and eat crackers every day and expect different results.
So a few weeks back, I started to make some deals with myself. The deals look like this:
1. You will get some exercise every day. Right now, I’m walking. But not just walking, no… I’m getting out there for long stints and trying to work up a sweat. Sometimes it’s outside. Sometimes it’s inside. But wherever it is the goal is simple: move my body with purpose. I also bought this book and am working in some strength training. This week, my entire body is feeling that sweet, familiar muscle soreness that comes from doing three push-ups or a 30-second plank after months of inertia. The book was recommended by a friend and if you’re like me and a personal trainer is not in your financial budget, this might be a great place to start. I mean, it’s a DK book! The author explains everything in great detail. I do not love strength training. Mostly it is because I have the upper body strength of a hatchling an it always reminds me of my overall weakness. But I’m ’bout to change all that.
Or at least work up to ten push-ups by month’s end.
2. You will eat in a balanced, nutritionally appropriate way. I have a friend who HATES it when I say this, but I’m gonna say it all the same: I’m going to focus on eating REAL FOOD. Notice, I didn’t say reduce the amount I eat to ridiculous, unsustainable levels. I just said real, nutritious food. People who’ve taken my Move More, Eat Well class (there have been many iterations of it) have heard me talk about Nutritional Weight and Wellness a lot. They are a nutrition services and counseling group based in Minnesota. They are not a diet company. They specialize in life-changing nutritional counseling and when I follow their advice, I feel better, I appear moderately trimmer and I lose the cravings for junk food. They also have one of the best nutrition podcasts out there, Dishing Up Nutrition. Aside from their distinctly Midwestern accents, they present sound nutrition research and advice on many topics ranging from the science of cravings, to nutrition for menopause, to better foods for better moods. I load these up on my iPhone and listen when I walk. Every time I get back into the groove of taking care of myself, they remind me that there are some folks out there who are much more sensitive to the junk and sugar than others. I’m the president of that club and if I want to see changes in my health, I need to take this shit seriously.
3. You will review Numbers 1 and 2 on a daily basis and be clear on why you are doing these things. For me, it’s just a choice. If I want to drink red wine and eat crackers every night, that’s my choice and I will have consequences. If I choose to exercise and eat delicious, home-made meals that are good for me, that’s my choice and there will be consequences. Consequence doesn’t mean bad, it just means choices have outcomes. That’s it. If I feel shitty about my body, then I need to work on changing what’s inside as well as what’s outside. I’m looking to solve this problem so I can spend my time making other improvements in my life.
That’s where I’m at. I play little games with myself, too. For example, every morning, before I can sit down to check my email I need to log 1,000 steps on my FitBit. That, and I have to ingest at least 14 ounces of water before I have my first cup of black coffee. That, and I have this super annoying app that tells me to get up every 30 minutes when I’m working at the computer. That, and I am just showing up and doing my best.
Just wanted to share this today. I know, based on a few random e-mails I get from time to time, that some of you have got all this stuff figured out. Good for you. This post is for the rest of us who are trying our very best to take care of business.