Oh, it's that time again! The time of year when countless people around the country, and possibly the world, decide that this is the year they're going to lose those 5, 10, 15 pounds, tone up, get in shape, and/or eat healthier. Who can blame 'em? Countless brands are promoting it across all advertising and marketing platforms, bombarding us to the point at which we are forced to make these quintessential healthful resolutions. This should be a good thing. Problem is, most of the time these goals are far too unrealistic and unattainable for the average woman or man to integrate into their lives. Three weeks in, these people usually feel defeated and eventually give up. Or, as an alternative, become completely obsessed.
Those instances in which I decided I was going to be healthier, (whether it was on January 1st or any other day), were when I often fell into the unhealthiest trap- disordered habits. Focusing too much on food led to resisting hunger and cravings until I eventually ate far too much. Focusing too much on exercise was quickly followed by feeling like a failure because I'm simply not meant to be a gym rat. Focusing too much on my weight resulted in both, in addition to not exactly loving myself. It was only when I was distracted by the contentment of pursuing my passions rather than physical perfection that I discovered the healthiest resolution of all: to change the focus from being healthy to being happy.I like most healthy foods, really I do. I could eat oatmeal for breakfast every day for the rest of my life, and die happy. (It's probably only because pancakes really do make the best dinners, but that's besides the point.) I thoroughly enjoy fresh, seasonal salads and hearty legume & winter green soups. I believe whole-grains actually taste better. And, like Leslie, I truly love vegetables. As far as a fitness routine is concerned, I've learned that a workout schedule really isn't my thing, and that's okay. I appreciate walking more than anything else; so much so, that if it were possible, I'd travel everywhere by foot. I find there's a certain excitement and satisfaction to it. And let's not even get me started on yoga. The truth is, in the past: When I chose to listen to my body and my hunger, I made healthier food choices. When I chose to move for pleasure, staying fit hardly took any conscious effort at all. The key, apparently, is not worry about it as much.
Do I consider myself healthy? Of course, and I prefer it that way. Nevertheless, whether I spend the next two months traveling throughout Central America or not, I'm not going to allow myself to be afraid of gaining weight or having too much fun. Is it a coincidence that when I look back on the happiest parts of my life, they're also the times in which I looked and felt my best? I think not. Oh 2011, you and I are going to get along beautifully. Let us cheer our glasses of (your alcoholic/non-alocoholic beverage of choice) to that! Wine for me, please, it is good for us after all. Thoughts? Please share them below.