My resolution aha moment

If you read my post at the beginning of the year, you already know that this year my resolution didn’t come in its standard format of “lose weight” or “get in shape”, but instead simply  Reduce, reduce, reduce and have fun!  As I’ve been continuing to reduce the “stuff” in my home and reduce the amount of junk I’m putting into my body, I’ve also migrated back to something I started a few years ago, but since lost sight of, Clean-Eating.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with what Clean-Eating is, I think of it as the Health/Nutrition class we never had.  To summarize the Clean-Eating principles, they are to eat 5 -6 small meals a day (every 2 – 3 hours), drink adequate amounts of water (8 cups per day), cut out over-processed foods and refined sugars and eat “clean” food (food that is as close to its natural source as possible).  In short, it’s eating the food our bodies were meant to eat (long before food came in a box or from the freezer section) and eat it when we need it.

Anyway, back to the aha moment.  The other day I pulled out my Eat-Clean books and cook books and started reading them again.  I was reading a part of The Eat-Clean Diet book written by Tosca Reno when something dawned on me.  In there was mention that Clean-Eating or Eating Clean shouldn’t really be called a diet, but a way of life.  A way of life…  That’s when it dawned on me why my previous resolutions haven’t worked.  In past years I was trying to make my resolutions fit into my existing lifestyle rather than changing my way of life.   Or as my Dad says, I was trying to jam a square peg into a round hole.  It didn’t fit.  I kept trying to find ways to make it fit.  It never worked.  It was never going to work!

I would try to force myself to go to the gym and “work out” even though I hate going to the gym and hate “working out”.  It would be painful and miserable every time I went.  It was like trying to cram my size 9 foot into a size 6 shoe.  Try as I may, not matter how bad I wanted the shoe, the shoe was never going to fit.  At some point I would give into the pain, give up on the shoe and go home.  The same went for the gym.

So what’s different this year?  My perspective changed.  I realized that I’m not just making a resolution, I’m changing my lifestyle. This time I am not trying to do something or be something that isn’t me, but instead be who I already am, but getting rid of the things that don’t work for me anymore, which in turn opens up the time and energy to do things I “didn’t have time for” in the past.  I’m trading in all the “stuff” for a simple, clean, healthy and active lifestyle.  And… no gym.  I realized there are a ton of things I’ve been wanting to try but haven’t done because I “didn’t have time”.

So as I sit here, on January 11th, I still feel good about my resolution.  Why? Because everyday that I do something, anything, toward my goal to “reduce” and “have fun” is an achievement. Everything I get rid of, every bite of junk that I pass up and eat “good stuff” in its place is progress.  Every minute that I spend doing something I enjoy vs. something I “have to” do is success.

This year, I don’t have a goal that I can fall short on or beat myself up for because this time it’s a process.  A change in my lifestyle.  I’m not promising myself I’ll go to the gym every day or lose X pounds by X date or try to squeeze more time into an already jammed schedule to work out or to have fun.  At the end of the day, end of the week, end of the month and end of the year, if I have less than I did December 31st of last year, if I’ve freed up more time in my day or week to do something fun, then I have followed through on my resolution.

So that was it, the moment of the epiphany, the aha moment.  My resolution this year is not a temporary change being forced onto an old way of living, it’s a new way of life.  Clean living.


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