[Part of my mission to “live deliberately” involves ruthlessly cutting out anything that saps my time, energy or money to no good end. I’m calling these things my “Quits,” and this is one of the many items that have found themselves on my Quits List.]
Sometimes, it takes a while for a Quit to take. Like, for instance, this little gem that I announced way back in October 2011 and am now dusting off and re-dedicating myself to.
Like most Americans – and most American women in particular – not treating my body like poo is one of those ongoing Quits I keep attacking in fits and starts.
I generally try to make healthier choices food-wise. I’ve cut out things like soda (which I really don’t miss) and have majorly reigned in my love affair with carbs. Now that don’t work in an office, I’m no longer tempted to raid the fundraiser candy bar box for an afternoon pick-me-up, and my go-to meal for dinners out tends toward the salmon-and-salad portion of the menu. I even had a lovely run of Pretending to Be a Gym Member for a whole month last fall, even going so far as to purchase a new workout wardrobe and genuinely think it would be seeing regular use.
But, on the whole, I don’t feel like a “healthy” person. And now that I’ve adopted the freelance (read: sedentary-in-front-of-computer) lifestyle, that feeling has been hitting me more and more lately. While mentally and emotionally, things are better than they’ve ever been, the physical side of my existence feels decidedly blarg. And it’s time to stop saying I should do something about it and actually, you know, do something about it.
The Time Has Come (for Realsies)
I don’t like feeling not-healthy. I feel like my quest to become an ever-evolving, ever-awesomer version of myself has left one side of the equation completely out.
It bugs me that in spite of numerous resolutions to learn, I still don’t know how to cook anything more complex than an omelet, so any attempt to “eat better” can’t go terribly far.
It bugs me that I get winded after a 20-minute Zumba “beginner” routine (on those rare occasions I manage to prod myself to work out).
And it especially bugs me that, at the age of 30-mumble, I can no longer get away with crap the way I used to in my early 20s. When I fail to move around on a regular basis, I can feel it. When I give myself a weekend of junk food free passes, I can really feel it. I feel like my body is registering the effects of my bad choice with a directness it never used to in my carefree younger days. And I don’t much like it.
Getting healthier is no longer one of those “I should probably do that because everyone says so and my pants are tight” things. It’s an “I really need to do this because lately I feel like crap” thing.
More Than Just Exercise
This month is going to have a holistic physical health focus. Yes, I need to start exercising, but I also need to learn how to be better to, and more accepting of, my body in general.
I need to treat it nicer. I need to fight it less. I need to acknowledge that neglecting my physical health directly brings down everything else I try to do and be throughout the day. I live totally in my head and my emotions, and I need to learn to pay a little more attention to my physical existence in the world.
So, here’s the agenda for this month:
- Get into a regular workout routine, no matter how tame. The whole gym scene is clearly out of the picture, a) because I hate working out in front of other people and b) because this polar vortex thing makes it seem really stupid to waste a couple hours getting to and from a gym when my husband’s PS3 will let me Zumba in the easy comfort of my own living room. It won’t be much, to start out, because I am horrifically out of shape – just a 20-minute routine as close to every day as possible. Hopefully, that will increase over time. The big thing is just that I start moving more on a daily basis.
- Eat better. Learning to cook like a real adult will probably be a Quit for another month, because I think it will take a full month dedicated to just that to make it happen. But, whenever possible, I need to start integrating more fresh veggies, whole grains, and all that other good stuff into my regular diet. I’ve been slipping a little when things get hectic or stressful, and that’s no good.
- Make healthier energy choices. Sleeping in way past my alarm, regulating my energy with a scientific combination of caffeine and bourbon, and popping Aleve whenever things get off-kilter are not doing anything to contribute to my feeling better. More balanced and more natural is the new focus. If I just make smarter choices and keep a smarter routine, the other stuff shouldn’t feel so necessary.
- Stop beating myself up for not looking like I did when I was in college. This will be a hard one. I still have this secret hope that I’m only a few Zumba routines away from fitting back into the old pants I stowed away just in case. But it’s entirely possible that even if I got into marathon-running shape, I’d still never be the size and shape I used to be. I may never feel like an adult mentally, but my metabolism has already made the leap, and I need to learn to accept that.
So, that’s the deal-i-o for February. Who’s in?
Are you down for making yourself feel less like poo? How can you focus on boosting your physical health, even in the tiniest of ways?
Image: Bejan / Flickr
Never miss a post! Sign up here and get a free copy of Your Guide to Calling It Quits.