A Favor To Ask

With the new year comes resolutions. If you’ve read my blog at all this week, or any other blog in the world for that matter, this is quite obvious. Any excuse to come up with some extravagant goals…I’ll take it!

I want to be honest here. I may not have made it known to everyone over that past few years, but losing a little bit of weight has always, in a little-tiny way, been a secret resolution of mine. Since recovery from my eating disorder I have never thought of doing anything drastic…I just maybe wanted to drop a few. Did I need to lose weight? No way…but I just thought what the heck, it wouldn’t hurt.

This is the first year in quite a long time that I’m not even secretly making that goal.

This week as I’ve joined my running gals several times at 5:30am at the local community center where we meet up for runs, the parking lot has been nearly packed full. I think that is great! It may not be the most desirable situation to have to wait for cardio machines or make your way through a crowded gym, but isn’t it great that so many people are there to make a healthy change for themselves? I think so.

With the new year I know that there are a lot of people hitting up the gym with the goal of losing weight, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing…if you need to lose weight to be healthy. However, my concern lies in the motive behind the goal. Are we seeking to shed a few pounds because we think it will make us happier?

Because I will tell you right from my heart…losing weight will not make you happier. It just doesn’t work. (Please note, I’m definitely not a doctor or a psychologist or a nutritionist or any kind of medical professional. I am only sharing my opinions based on personal experience.)

With that being said, I have a favor to ask.

In two thousand and twelve, as we seek to live happier and healthier lies, let’s not focus on the number on the scale, but rather ways in which we can truly make ourselves happy people. Like by …

…finding something you love to do. This can be anything! If you love to run (like me!), run! If you hate running but love to cook (unlike me!), find new healthy recipes to try…or even make up your own. If you love to be around your friends and family, try planning get-togethers, and better yet, plan get-togethers where you all can do something active together. Who doesn’t love a good game of bowling?!

…ditching the scale. That silly thing can be evil. Weight is not the only way to measure healthiness or if you’ve slimmed down, and it’s definitely not the way to measure happiness. It may not be an easy task, so take baby steps. If you are a daily weigher, try every other day or once a week. If you are a random weigher, just ask yourself why you are weighing yourself (a tip I need to listen to more myself). If your goal is to slim down, there are other ways to measure your success. How do your clothes fit? Have you lost inches? A number on the scale can be deceiving, especially if you are getting healthier by fitness or strength training.

…eating breakfast. I know this is my specific goal, but I highly recommend it. Eating a good breakfast makes a great start to the day, and by golly, I feel happier!

…giving yourself positive affirmations. You didn’t think I’d forget to give you your first Friday affirmation of the new year, did you?

…finding a reason to smile every day and take note of it. Did your dog just do the cutest thing (Tia always makes me smile!)? Did you finish a great run at a great pace? Did you laugh at someone’s joke? Did you make a delicious meal? Whatever the reason, remember the little things that can make you happy each and every day.

…eliminating the word “fat” from your vocabulary. You are not fat, you don’t look fat, so please stop saying it (or any other word that has the same negative meaning). It is a mean, mean word, and it should definitely not ever be in the same sentence as the word “happy.”

…being silly. Sing in the shower…or obnoxiously in your care at stoplights without worrying if the car next to you is watching. Dance. Leg-wrestle with someone. Do cartwheels. Have a food fight or throw a pie in someone’s face (as long as you’re sure they will think it’s funny, too!)

…donating clothes that you don’t feel comfortable in. Whether they are too big or too small or just don’t hug you the right way, get rid of them. Donate them. There are not many things more daunting than a pair of “skinny” jeans hiding in the closet. Why not just wear the jeans that make you feel sexy and confident and comfortable right now? Right? So do it!

…reminding yourself that you are beautiful just the way you are. You probably get tired of hearing me say this at least weekly. But it’s true. And if you tell yourself it enough, you will start to believe it. I promise…both that you are beautiful and that you will believe it soon enough.

ang

Running is Hard, but Breakfast is Good

I only have a few days left to sleep in because nursing school starts on Monday. Of course I am beyond thrilled about this, however, a sense of fear and nervousness has started to creep in. What if it’s too hard? What if I won’t be able to work and keep up with school? What if I’m not a morning person anymore? How will I find time to study and to run? What if patients hate me? What if the other students don’t like me? And worst of all…

…what if I’m not good at it?!

So, instead of letting all those crazy feelings consume my every thought, I decided to live it up one more day and sleep in. Is it sad that sleeping in is “living it up” to me? Or acceptable? I’m not sure. After I had enough coziness it was time to start my day…which in accordance with my week one New Year’s goal meant eating breakfast.

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I’ve now started my day with breakfast three days in a row, and it has been magnificent! Before I wasn’t anti-breakfast. In fact, most days in 2011 I did eat breakfast…that is until December hit. Sleeping in and having no particular running goals left me with no motivation to go toast a bagel…or pour a bowl of cereal…or blend up a smoothie. Cookie parties also had a hand in eliminating my desire to eat breakfast. Wake up at eleven, eat a chocolate covered cherry cookie (hey, it has fruit in it), and call it a day…until noon, that is, when it was time for lunch.

But three days in a row with a healthy, well-rounded breakfast has got me feeling energized! Throw in some vitamins and a cup of coffee, and there’s no telling how much I can accomplish!

Yes, breakfast is good.

Next on my agenda of “living it up” until nursing school hits…go for a run. Now, I don’t know about you, but I can say for a fact that when I sleep in I have a much, much harder time convincing myself to lace up my shoes and get out the door.

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But after some moseying around, I finally threw my hair up into a ponytail and set out for a sunny eight mile run…my longest run in quite awhile. And it was hard. The hills. The blisters on my heel from my new shoes. The distance. The hills.

Running is hard.

Once my watch clicked to eight miles I walked back inside and realized that yes, running is hard, but it is so rewarding. I just ran eight miles. Eight. That’s really quite a lot. And actually, I felt even more energized than before I left!

I find it so true that taking the first step is really the hardest…but with a good breakfast, I guess anything is possible.

ang

 

Starting the Year Off Right…

…with breakfast, of course.

I’m in love with setting goals and then achieving them, duh, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading and hearing about everyones’ wishes for two thousand and twelve. I just know this is going to be a ridiculously awesome year!

Each year I make a resolution to “eat healthier” and I can never follow through with it. I’ll start out doing well, and then I just quit. What does eating healthier mean for me anyway? Cutting sweets? Well, that’s not happening. Eating less noodles? Also not happening. Getting more protein? Well, yes…but how? Don’t even get me started about potato chips!

One of my “wishes” is to make one better eating decision each week. That means that I will be making fifty-two choices that will help me be a healthier person in the long run.

I would like to make it known that none of these changes will include cutting any food groups or restricting my diet in any way. Honestly, it will probably involve adding many, many more foods in certain food groups. Hello vegetables…we are about to become best buddies! I’m sure that this wish will entail a lot bravery as I will have to convince myself to try new foods, however, condiments will not be making the list. Absolutely. Not.

For this week my change was easy…it’s just another one of my two-thousand and twelve wishes. I’m going to eat breakfast every single day. No skipping. No sleeping in and then waiting for lunch to come around. It’s going to be breakfast, and it’s going to be delicious!

Which is why I’m glad these precious little grapefruits were on sale yesterday!

ang

2012 Wish List

  • Run two marathons.
  • Run a sub-four hour marathon.
  • Run a race that is not in Missouri or Kansas.
  • Eat breakfast every. single. day. no. matter. what.
  • Change my eating habits for the better…one small change per week.
  • Raise money for a charity.
  • Drink lots and lots and lots of water.
  • Cook a new meal once a month.
  • Pray everyday.
  • Do an unassisted pull-up.
  • Run a sub-twenty-four minute 5K.
  • Keep up my blog.
  • Take a road trip somewhere…hopefully Florida.
  • Try zumba…and hopefully fall in love with it.
  • Take a hot yoga class.
  • Rock at nursing school.
  • Stay in touch with friends and family.
  • Make new friends.
  • Smile, and not worry about these darn laugh lines.

Happy New Year!

ang