I’m not a huge fan of New Year’s resolutions. I am a fan of reevaluating my goals and setting intentions for the new year. Ironically, I find often that after I set my intentions at the beginning of the year, I look back in December and they have manifested in some degree. One year, I set a goal that I wanted to have more like-minded friends. I was a marathon runner at the time. By the end of the next year, my Facebook page was full of pics of my running friends and the races I was running with them. I didn’t even remember setting the intention, but it came true anyway.
I got an email from one of my favorite women’s travel companies, Women’s Quest, the other day. Colleen, the owner of the company, posted about how she hated New Years resolutions. She especially hated the ones that had to do with losing weight or upping her exercise. Now, she’s already pretty active and eats relatively healthy, but everybody can do better. Her point was that winter is naturally a time for us to “hibernate”, rest, rejuvenate and eat warm and comforting foods. It’s not a natural time for us to take the whip to ourselves to whip ourselves in shape. Click this link for some thoughts on winter and human hibernation.
Many of my friends suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder or at least struggle with some depression or lethargy during the winter. Although exercise is an important part of managing those conditions, 20 minutes per day of moderate exercise is all that it takes. I don’t think they’d be very kind to themselves to set some high expectation that they would eat foods that would not offer lots of comfort or to drive themselves to the gym or outdoors for a vigorous workout. Over the years I’ve become convinced that the best possible thing we can do is to be kind to ourselves.
I’d argue that being kind to ourselves would include some moderate exercise and healthy eating habits. Colleen went on to say that if we were going to give up anything, we should give up sugar. I wholeheartedly agree. Sugar overworks our body with the relentless insulin-producing process that repeats over and over everyday as we consume too much sugar. When I quit eating sugar, I have much more energy, and I feel a lot better emotionally. Colleen’s post resonated so much with me that I decided to get back to my very limited sugar intake that took a hiatus over the holiday. I can already tell that my body has been taxed by my December sugar intake. I’ve been off the sweet stuff for two days now, and I feel much better.
I think my goal this year will be more mindful of what makes me feel good and try to follow my intuition about that. I want to have as much energy as possible, and I’d like to maintain some semblance of emotional stability. When I’m on sugar and not exercising regularly, my anxiety kicks up, and I’m miserable. I don’t want to go back there again.
Today, I have managed to withstand the urge to eat any sugar or white flour. I painstakingly removed the sandwich meat from my conference-provided sandwich and eat a lettuce sandwich. That peanut butter cookie was working on me, and I wasn’t sure I’d avoid it. As soon as I took it out of my lunch box, my boss asked if she could have it. She knew I had committed to a sugarless day. I’m glad she did. The temptation resolved itself. I wanted a treat, though, so we stopped at a local coffee shop, and I got a decadent Caffe Breve. It is quite yummy and sugar-free. I couldn’t be happier. The next few days will be the hardest, so I’ll allow myself leeway in fat and calories because I believe sugar is far worse.
Prompt from The Daily Post.