Sunday, January 11, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

No, I'm not going to tell you what mine are. Truth is, I don't have any. I have stopped doing that because it seems like a recipe for disappointment:

1) add expectations 2) create a buzz about it by telling lots of people 3) get too busy/distracted/bored 4) stop doing resolved thing 5) feel disappointed, increase low self-esteem 6) repeat next year.

Not me!

But I am here to talk to you about resolutions that you might have chosen (if you still like doing that). Two of the top resolutions are 1) lose weight and 2) exercise more. Those are great, no question there. But these can be challenging. Here's why:

In the winter, we are less active. That's part of our physiological makeup. We're not lazy or idle or depressed...we're actually just letting our bodies rest. They need it! We work them so hard, honestly. All that time management, parenting, juggling, and studying takes time and energy. When we navigate family interactions over the holidays or pay taxes or drive kids to school, we are using energy. We need to know how we are using and creating that energy so we can get better at creating a good balance. I'm getting off track...
My point is that during the winter we are DESIGNED to put on weight because it's usually colder (for those living in AZ or CA, you get colder too and still need some downtime). We want more fat, nuts, chocolate, and avocados because we need that stuff to get through the minimal activity and slower movement. I'm not saying don't try to lose weight, I'm saying pay attention to what you are eating/needing. I keep thinking I should be eating less nuts because I gained some weight, but then I remember that I am SUPPOSED to gain weight to keep warmer. So I relax and eat my nuts.

Which brings me to my next point: exercise.

Again, we are supposed to slow it down a bit, give our bodies time to rest, and when we ignore this and try to exercise 6 days a week for an hour a day, we are ignoring our seasonal cycles. Some of you might be really athletic and resist this deeper look. Fine by me. But maybe you can work on yogic postures, strength activities, or other slower exercises. Running in the winter may be an ideal thing, but wouldn't you rather run when it's a bit warmer?

If you simply MUST have resolutions to lose weight and exercise more, maybe you can change your new year to the vernal equinox or summer solstice, which seem more aligned with those kinds of changes...just think about it!

I intend to increase my community activity, since I spend a lot of time indoors and I want to share that time with others...

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