New Year, New You : Non-Weight Loss Edition

Today is the final day of 2013. I remember how I rang in the new year last winter. I attended the GNYER 5K, as I’ve done the last several years, then I went home and got into my pajamas and felt sorry for myself. I wasn’t happy with the way I looked, I wasn’t happy with the way I felt, and for the millionth year in a row, I was only kissing Emme at midnight.

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I can’t recall having real New Year’s plans in my 20’s. One year Tom and I hung out and went downtown very briefly and I think there was a year Abby and I went over to Jenny’s house. My best memories were from childhood when we would rush outside and make as much noise as possible with pots and pans. Now I make a list of practical to impossible “goals” and wonder if I’ll ever be the girl at the fabulous party with the fabulous lover and fabulous story.

As 2012 melted into 2013 I kissed Emme and was texting with Jason who was kissing his cat. Now as we make our way into 2014 from 2013 I can happily report I will at least be at a party! My friend Sarah is having a gathering of sorts, and I have been tickled pink to attend since she announced it a few weeks back. There won’t be anyone for kissing…the boy I like already turned me down for the night, but for the first time in a long time I will be surrounded by people I know like me and respect me and I feel the same way about all of them. People I can be myself around and people I will be seeing again in January for the soup party! Yay!

Now let’s talk ch-ch-ch-changes for the new year.

Everyone…OK… A LOT OF PEOPLE…jump on the weight loss resolution train. Now, I’m not going to lie and say I don’t want to lose weight or pretend I’m happy with my current physical status, but I am going to say it doesn’t do me any good to whine. I have maintained a 20 pound weight loss for almost 7 years. Maybe I gained most of my 50 pounds back due to whatever reasons, but dammit if a 20 pound maintenance isn’t awesome.

I’ve been using my FitBit and I am making plans with girls from work to go to different gyms. I plan to be more active in the running community and without the pressure of teams, clubs, or ambassadorships I think my love for fitness will quickly return in 2014.

I spent the last 365 days crying to you all about the way I can’t lose weight or inches, but I barely spoke about my mental health. Sure I touched on it a few times, but even after presenting at FitBloggin about the importance of mental and emotional health I still didn’t open up. I promise to share the post someday, but for now allow me to actually and willing admit 2013 was spent getting my heart and head in the right place. I have struggled with anxiety and depression my whole life and this past year or so it was at an all time high (low?). How do you treat yourself with love and respect, if you don’t believe you deserve it? How do you expect anyone else to love you and cherish you, if you don’t do it personally?

Maybe I spent the last few weeks (months) curled up on a couch by myself…but the truth of the matter is, I have never been able to stand being alone. I always had to be doing “something” to distract myself from my thoughts or feelings. I don’t need to do it as much anymore. Somewhere things changed and I can sit and think and be quiet without it leading to too much over-analyzing and depression and faulty thinking. I learned how to relax and be happy. Now it’s time to bring fitness and social activities back into my life.

So what are some ways to make a new you in the new year without focusing on physical appearance?

1. Being more mindful. I believe it was Julie or Katie who did the mindful experiments this summer. Things such as using your non-dominant hand, or attempting to leave a room the way you found it. I’ve started my own little experiments. Stretching at work and being mindful of my breath. When washing dishes, feeling the warmth of the water, the texture of the cloth, the bubbles popping against my hands. Probably the most interesting thing I’ve done in my own little world, is how I’ve stopped wearing undershirts (tanks). For as long as I can remember I have always worn a string tank under my shirts or sweaters. Always. For the last two weeks, I haven’t. For the first time in YEARS I am feeling fabrics against my back and chest. I am feeling waistbands against my stomach and lower back. It may not seem like much to others, but for me it is such a big and weird step. A step in being more in touch with my world. A step in being more in touch and comfortable with my body.

2. Being more informed. I started by reading “5 Things You Should at Least Pretend to Know”. Now I am willing to scan various websites for new briefs or click when someone posts it on Facebook. I’m far from ready to venture into politics or news blogging, but I suppose a little worldly knowledge isn’t the worst thing ever. I still stand by my belief and practice that I listen to so much bad in the world from my clients, it’s hard to stomach more at home, but I’ve grown tired of not being informed or missing out on current event jokes.

3. Being more timely. I suppose waking up 10 minutes earlier isn’t going to kill me, or not reading that last email before walking out the door. It shows respect for the person and activity to show up on time and it shows responsibility. I’m almost 30 ya know…it’s time to act like it (most days). Also timely around the house. I have nice dishes and I have a nice washer & dryer…let’s not ruin things by being too lazy to clean on time or with enough frequency.

4. Being more adventurous. Sure I’ve always been a little willing to take on adventure. I always cite how I jumped into a kayak for 5 miles without any prior experience. I’m not adventurous at work or in my personal life though. I tend to play it safe and try to climb the traditional ladders. If a guy doesn’t make a move I assume he isn’t interested. Well, a lot of good either of those tactics have gotten me! I’m young an able to recover and now is the time to take risks. I will speak up at work, I will stand up and stand out. I will tell boys I like them and I will make a move. What’s the worst thing to happen? Well, the worst thing is losing my job and not paying my bills, but I don’t plan to get ridiculous!

5. Being more generous. I will donate more of my time, my money, my belongings. I will volunteer and I will pick up trinkets “just because” I will send pictures or flowers or messages to loved ones unprovoked, because, why not?

I’m looking forward to the lessons learned and great experiences to come next year.  What are you resolutions or goals for 2014?

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