For me, the end of the year is always a time to reflect on how things are going and what I would like to do differently. In addition to the New Year, my birthday is January 4, so it is a new age for me as well. In 2016, I will be 38.
It makes me a little sad that there is so much derision toward the idea of New Years Resolutions. Why? What is wrong with reflecting on our state and imagining ways to better it? I have made several New Years Resolutions that I followed through on, most notably quitting smoking (6 years a quitter, go me!). I have also made resolutions like reading more books or drawing more or yes, health resolutions too. Sometimes these pan out, sometimes they don’t.
One thing I have realized over the years is that things are much more likely to happen if I decide to make them happen. It’s all well and good to sit around and think of the things I would like to do more or less of, but the impetus for actual change for me seems to be coming to a decisive moment where I commit. I can commit to myself, or for an added bonus, I can tell other people about my commitments. Writing it down, or telling someone is an incentive to me because I am prideful and do not like being proven wrong. Perhaps this is a weakness, but I can use it to my advantage.
Since being diagnosed with celiac disease and following a gluten free diet, I feel really different. I have more energy and motivation. I feel a clarity I haven’t felt for awhile. I remember people always used to ask me where to get motivation when I did this blog regularly and I have to tell you, I have no freaking clue! It seems like something that I either have or don’t, and when I don’t there’s really nothing I can do but wait it out. Or maybe it’s just that the object of my motivation changes and I become very motivated to sit still reading and drawing (as I have been for the last year.) I certainly don’t consider that a waste of time by any means.
So, I’ve been thinking about this new age coming up and there are some changes I want to make. I miss being in really good shape and able to hike for long distances and large elevation changes. But wishing won’t make me fitter, so I am resolving to get back in hiking shape. I’ve downloaded another GPS walking app to my phone and will use it to keep myself on track and challenge myself to go further and faster.
Alright, so I guess I have to talk about my weight now. Sometimes I wish this would just disappear from the radar and I could never think about it again, but it seems that’s not in the cards for me. Being heavier means I have to do more work to do the same things I was doing when I was thinner. That kind of sucks. On the other hand, it means that less exercise counts for more!
I have really considered embarking on yet another weight loss track. Yes, it’s true. What stops me is knowing how much work it is and that it is work that never ends. It seems to me that the only people who manage to keep off the weight we lose do so because we work at it really really really hard. I’m not sure the benefit is worth the cost. Having done the whole deal multiple times, I am really on the fence about that. If it was just calorie counting and exercise, that would be one thing but it means persevering through pain and fatigue and injury and mehhhhh. I have never gotten thinner without also getting dizzier and more back pain. A part of me does wonder though, if now that I know I have celiac disease would it be different?
Anyway, I thought about it and have decided against purposefully losing weight, which means I probably won’t lose it. One thing I have learned is that I have never lost weight just by hoping maybe I’ll lose some by doing healthier things. My body does not want to be smaller and won’t be smaller without great effort on my part. I know this. So while I think, maybe I will lose weight magically because I am exercising more, I know this is very likely not going to happen. It has never happened. I’m almost 40 so I should know by now how this works for me.
I have never embarked on a project focusing solely on getting fitter. Every time I have gotten fitter it has been a byproduct of a weight loss goal. And can I just say, I’m really pretty good at weight loss compared to my observations of most people. That probably has something to do with my stubborn nature. When I decide to do something, I generally do it. So it’s not that I don’t think I could lose weight, it’s that I’m thinking about what would happen after. I am done believing there will come a time in my life when I am motivated enough to continue monitoring my food intake and exercising like a maniac forever. I might have months or even years where I can do that, but I know it will not last forever. Now, if I win the lottery and never have to work again, then maybe. But I already have a job and I don’t need or want another one. In my cost/benefit analysis, weight loss projects lose.
So, I’m curious to see how it goes, this trying to get fitter for the sake of getting fitter. If I did happen to get smaller too, I’d be happy about that, but I don’t expect it. I have come to feel that I alone know myself enough to decide these things.
Cheers to 2016/38 years old! Make those resolutions if you want to, and don’t if you don’t. Maybe 2016 is the year YOU will quit smoking for good. Or whatever it is that you truly wish for yourself. Just remember, wishing won’t make things happen. You have to make them happen.