I don’t know about you but there’s always something about the new year that makes me want to hit the ‘refresh + revive’ button on my life; and no it’s not that ‘New Year, New Me‘ BS. I have no plans on becoming this whole new person. I am who I have been for the past 36 years and that’s not going to change; but there is always room for improvement.
I’m not a resolution maker; never have been. I believe that to be a good human that I must constantly be evolving into an improved version of myself.
I always accept constructive criticism from my friends + family, even though it might be hard to swallow, because it’s valuable in helping me find ways to better myself. I’m also very introspective and usually have a pretty good handle on what’s going on with myself.
That being said, sometimes things go awry; especially after a busy year. As I get older, it seems the years are getting busier and time is passing faster and I find feeling frazzled and exhausted by the time November hits.
That’s why I think the new year leaves me feeling revived. The holidays are a chance to take a step back; I take time off of work, spend time with my family and get sucked into that feel-good holiday cheer kind of mood.
After all that goodness, I feel refreshed and ready to start working on myself again. I’ve had a chance to relax and take a look at things that were and weren’t working for me in the past year and come up with some goals. I never make goals to lose weight or anything like that because I already have body-dysmorphic issues (try growing up curvy in the midst of the heroine-chic 90s and you would too) so one of my goals is to not hate on my body. I want to nourish and cherish it because as a nurse, I know from first hand experience, it doesn’t last. We don’t get to stay young and spry forever but I want to do everything I can to maximize the time I have.
My challenges …
One of the biggest things I’ve changed (and I actually started this before the new year hit) was cutting alcohol out of my diet. Ever since my trip to Europe in 2014, I continued the habit of drinking almost every day, not to get sloshed, just a glass or two of wine with or after dinner. This is something I never used to do – I only drank socially and never at home. I got used to it there but forgot to realize our daily routine is so different here. I don’t walk everywhere like I did there and the standard of food quality is much lower here. So I started packing on pounds.
Now no one would ever call me fat but thick? Ya that’s me. I’m blessed in the fact that, one, I’m tall and, two, when I gain weight I gain it fairly evenly throughout my body. I don’t get a double-chin or a big belly; I maintain my shape. Which is both good and bad: good because I don’t have to worry about it and bad because it creeps up me like a motherfu**er. Nobody believes me when I tell them how much I weigh but its true. And its because I’ve been treating my body like a dump.
I haven’t worked out since September 2016, was drinking very frequently and my diet consisted of a lot of carbs. I was feeling tired and achy all the time. When December started, I had had enough. Oscar (my husband for those of you that don’t know us personally) and I had been dabbling in ‘no sugar|no grain’ eating habits since July and he quickly lost weight and gained energy but I didn’t. I noticed a small spike in energy but no real weight loss and was still waking up extremely puffy (hello inflammation!).
So alcohol had to go. Ever since I stopped drinking I wake up without being swollen and achy. I hadn’t had a drink in like a month and then decided to have one at a friend’s birthday party and I felt like shit for a week straight. Not like the 30+ hangovers; more like my body screaming at me to Please STOP! So that was it.
Now I’m not saying this has been easy. Habits are hard things to break. Especially ones that involve carbs/sugar. They are addictive substances that mess with our brains and bodies. For weeks, I would feel intense cravings but I persisted. I didn’t buy any alcohol because if it’s there I have to drink it.
So Now What?
It’s been 6 weeks since I started and, minus that one incident at the end of December, I haven’t drank. I’ve been feeling better little by little. That’s another thing; as you get older it take forever to get back to feeling normal. Case in point: I worked out for the first time in a year and a half on Saturday and it took me almost a week to be able to sit down on the toilet without my jello-legs feeling like they were going to collapse underneath me. Seriously, WTF? I couldn’t walk down OR up stairs. I was hobbling around work like an old lady. Forget if I dropped something – it just stayed there. Oscar even needed to help me get off of our couch one time. It was pathetic. But you know what? Fuck that. I knew going in that this was going to be hard. I knew I’d be hurting and I know that’s not the last time it’s going to hurt.
But you know the most interesting part? Even while I was struggling to get on and off the toilet, I felt proud. Proud that I was doing something for me. Proud that I was improving myself slowly but surely. So after all this blabbering you’re probably wondering what my plan is?
I plan on continuing on the ‘no sugar|no grain’ food plan, not drinking (for a long while and then only socially), continuing to work out and get my metabolism in working order and, finally, doing things that make me happy + decrease stress. What are those? Well, working on this blog is a huge thing. I feel a great sense of accomplishment with every new thing I learn; not only about the things I post but also about managing and building a website. Creating content that is not only interesting and what people want to know about but also appealing to the eye and easy to read (because, as you can tell, I ramble).
I’m going to keep reminding myself how good it feels after a workout and not cheat myself by being too lazy to get my ass in the care and to the gym or yoga studio (I finally found a new one I vibe with that’s close to our new house – check out my review here!) This is huge because that’s 100% of the reason why I don’t work out. I’m literally too lazy to get ready and drive myself anywhere. Once I’m there it isn’t a problem. Oscar is 100% motivating me right now and helping relight that desire to work out again. It’s really amazing having a partner who not only supports me but gives me a kick in the ass (not literally!) when I need one so I can keep on evolving to that better me.
Okay, so now that I’ve rambled for quite sometime … I hope I’ve given you a different perspective on the new year and maybe given you a little motivation to evaluate what you need (or don’t need) in your life and that you go out and find your happy and best you! Please share any of your current evolution goals or ways that you’re hitting the ‘refresh + revive’ button in your own life! Thanks for reading!