Archive for January, 2012

January 11, 2012

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.


January 3, 2012

Looking forward to 2012

As many have probably come to realize, I do a lot of reflecting and self-examination.  It’s pretty much my MO, and not just during big events such as birthdays and the end of one year or the beginning of the next (although that does tend to cause me to reflect even further) but I think reflection, trying to figure out how things fit into the bigger picture is just a part of who I am. I once read that is in the nature of those of us who fall under the Sagittarius birth sign and for the most part, I’d have to agree with that.  Needless to say, I’ve done some reflecting on the past year, but honestly, I felt like I reflected so much while everything was taking place that I’d be beating a dead horse to continue, so I’m not going to.  At least not today.

I am, however, looking forward to 2012.  I realize today is technically the end of the 2nd day of 2012 from where I’m sitting, but I’m going to pretend for a moment that it hasn’t quite begun yet.

This year, I’m not doing traditional resolutions.  I decided that I usually end up with something similar to that of which I had the previous year and fell flat on my face about day 2, then beat myself up for about 2 weeks over how I can’t even keep my resolutions for 2 days then spend the rest of the year doing about what I did the year before.  So this year, I’m changing it up.

My goals for 2012 are this.  Reduce, reduce, reduce and have fun!  Sounds simple, right?  I know we all hear “Reduce, reuse, recycle” all the time – or at least that’s been ingrained in my brain for as long as I can remember, but that’s not entirely what I’m referring to.  Well, sort of.  What I mean is this: I have far too much stuff. My whole family does.  And stuff to me equals work.  Work to use it, work to maintain it, work to store it.  I’ll give you and example: clothes.  We have way too many clothes in our household than we really need.  I can’t tell you how many times I go to a closet that appears full with clothes on the hangers, drawers that are full, so full I couldn’t put another thing in them and say “I don’t have anything to wear.”  What?  Yes I do.  What I mean is I don’t have anything to wear that I a.) like b.) feel is even remotely “in style” anymore c.) makes me feel good when I wear it d.) that I’ve worn in the last 2 years.  So what happens?  I put on something that I don’t particularly like, is probably dating me, makes me feel frumpy/chunky/pale (doesn’t take much with my skin tone!) and out of touch.  At the end of the day I throw the clothes in the laundry basket so I can send them back down into the mountainous pile of laundry to be washed then to the mountainous pile of laundry to be folded and to the mountainous pile of laundry to be put away into a full closet and full drawers.  And here comes my vision for 2012… REDUCE the amount of clothes I have to only include clothes that I love, that make me feel good, that aren’t outdated that I will wear.  The rest are getting donated.  Then I’m going to REDUCE the clothes I buy.  They have to pass a test before they enter the house.  If they can’t prove that I love them, that they can make me look good or feel good in them they can’t come in the door.  Because, get this… if I have fewer clothes in general and I feel good about wearing all of them, I’ll feel good. And when I feel good, I’m more fun. Plus, there will be less to wash, dry and fold, less in my closet, less in my drawers, etc. meaning it will be easier to find the things I like because hypothetically I’ll like them all and easier to put things away.  And what does all of this do?  REDUCE wasted time: less time trying on a million things before I find one outfit I feel good in, fewer clothes means less time washing, drying and folding clothes (with the added bonus of REDUCING the amount of water, detergent and other resources used for doing laundry which also means REDUCING expenses and REDUCING consumption), less time spent “dealing” with clothes I never really liked to begin with equals more time for fun!  And that is just by reducing the amount of clothes in my closet.

The same goes for the rest of the house.  REDUCE what is in the house, paring it down to just the things I love means less time spent sifting through the rest of the stuff to find what I like.  And how about food?  REDUCE what I buy (only the good stuff), how much I buy (only what I need, when I need it) and how much I eat (everything in moderation) will REDUCE my spending, my waste and my waist!  Leaving more time, money and energy for fun!

So that’s my plan for 2012… reduce, reduce, reduce and have fun!

Now I’ll fast forward to today, January 2, 2012.  Project #1 of my reduce plan is in progress and nearly complete.  The front hall closet.  This has been a scary place for a LONG time.  If you were brave enough to open the closet door you may have regretted your decision.  Shoes would jump out and attack your feet nearly taking you down before you could get in the front door and as you regained your balance and composure you would realize it was all for not.  There was nary an empty hanger in the closet.  Well, folks that is not the case any more.  The coats and shoes and hats and gloves and scarves and gloves and coats and coats and shoes and… have been pared down and you are welcome to come over any time and I will gladly take your coat and hang it in the front hall closet.  And don’t worry.  The shoes can’t get you.  They’re kenneled now.

So welcome to 2012, I hope you have as much fun as I plan to!


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