Saturday, January 1, 2011


My dad, who died in 1999 after battling colon cancer for over four years, always made the same new year's resolution:  to NOT buy one of those hands one a suction cup (that you might attach to a car window) and cut off the thumb, index, ring, and pinky fingers.  He was remarkably good at keeping that resolution.
But let's be honest - all humor aside, new year's resolutions are notoriously difficult to keep.  Usually it's because people set unrealistic expectations for themselves ("I'm going to work out for an hour every day!" or "I'm going to lose 100 pounds!") and then burn out before Valentines' Day.
Thus, in order for me to have new year's resolutions that I can actually keep, I need to remember that they should be less like hurdles for me to overcome and more like lifestyle shifts.
Additionally, I think that I will be better off to not make several of these shifts all at once but rather select one at a time, giving myself the opportunity to create a habit (21 days plus) before shifting once again.
Therefore, I am setting up some year-long guidelines for myself (I like that word better than resolutions) as well as creating monthly habits to create or goals to meet.  These monthly endeavors will have to come as the months do, depending on where I am with everything else.
All righty, then.

Year-Long Guidelines

  • "If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.  If you want to be happy, practice compassion." (His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama) -- I have already begun working toward this goal in the past year, but I clearly forgot it as I swore at the top of my lungs yesterday at the guy who felt he needed to slow to a stop (no lie) before turning, messing up the entire traffic flow when all I wanted to do was get home.  This means that I need to stop and place myself in another's shoes (or, as Atticus Finch said, to climb into another person's skin and walk around in it for a while) before making a decision about someone or a situation.  
  • I will make every effort possible to use all our wonderful CSA veggies before they are fodder for the compost bin.  While the weekly price of the produce is similar to what we might spend at a grocery store, paying up front for them each season makes the impact a little different on the pocketbook, and it's important to make our money stretch as far as possible.  Plus, in order to continue creating healthy yet decadent meals, it's vital that I find recipes and uses for everything.  Further, I am hoping to continue looking to various preservation methods if I don't think I'll be able to use something fresh before it expires.  That will also expand our resources as well as meal options.
  • I will add yoga to my exercise routine.  While I have gotten pretty darn good at the running business (and I just signed up for a 10K at the end of January - more on that later), I must remember that one-sided fitness isn't true fitness.  Yoga can help calm and relax me, which should, ideally, make obtaining my first goal a little easier. 
  • I must remember to do at least one thing for myself each month.  That can take the form of a pedicure, a massage, buying a new outfit for myself instead of the ever-growing HRH, etc.  I realized this fall that I have become that mom on What Not to Wear whom I hate - the mom who puts everyone and everything before her.  I have found myself more than once at a store looking for a pair of pants that fit (now that I have lost the baby weight and more, few pants in the closet fit without a belt... and some literally fall off me), yet I somehow make my way to the kids' section, where I get HRH a new shirt or pants or whatever instead of something for me.  Then I have a meltdown when we go out to dinner because I have nothing suitable anymore.  That needs to change.  I know my daughter needs clothes as she grows (and grows), but as I shrink, I also need clothes to fit me.  And a relaxed, happy, well-dressed momma is a better momma than the schlump I feel I'm becoming.

Whew... I think that should do it.  Four for the year - not bad.

Monthly Goals

I have only set ones for the first two months.  Near the end of February, I'll evaluate where I am and what my next goal(s) need(s) to be.

January - I will start taking a daily vitamin.  In his book, In Defense of Food, Michael Pollan sets the "rule" that people who eat well (as I'm trying to do) should be the "type of person who takes supplements."  One doesn't have to actually take supplements, he points out, but he goes on to say that people who DO take supplements tend to have a healthier lifestyle.  From a personal approach, I've noted that when I have been diligent about taking my vitamins, my iron count (so vital for blood donation; did you know that January is National Blood Donation Month????  Make sure to get yourself a pint low to save 3 lives!) goes up, and I have a great deal more energy, making exercise and even tackling a new recipe easier.
February - I will start flossing regularly.  I fell off this wagon sometime between the beginning and end of the fall semester, so I need to turn my attention back to this ASAP.  You may have seen commercials suggesting as such, but it's true that proper oral hygiene can make a huge difference in one's overall health.  I do love my electric toothbrush, which does help get stuff out from those "hard to reach" places, but there is no substitute for flossing.  And let's be honest - you can get a roll for less than a dollar, so this isn't going to break the bank.

OK, so it would seem that only one (maybe two) of the aforementioned goals/resolutions/guidelines have anything to do with food.  But while eating well is the overall intent of this blog, having a positive, healthy approach in all areas of my life can only help improve my eating habits.  When I run, I want to eat better.  When I give blood, I am happy with my choice of greens over burgers for dinner the night before.  When my teeth look good, I want to help that by only cramming good things into that cake hole (or should we say chickpea hole?).
Check back to see how I'm doing with all these and more as well as for new culinary discoveries I make!

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