The beginning of a new year is such a wonderful time. A time to start fresh. A time to reflect on life. A time to make resolutions!
While at the Chicago airport on our way home from Sweden, I jotted down some wellness resolutions for the coming year. They’re kind of random, but based on extensive reading, experimenting, and learning from various wellness gurus.
Use what makes sense, ignore the rest!
I am officially never dieting again. There are no successful “fad” diets – at least not in the long term. Dieting (restricting) takes your weight to a level that is not ideal for you, makes you feel starved, and results in overeating. This leads to weight gain – often putting you at a weight that is higher than when you started dieting.
I believe one of the answers to maintaining a healthy weight is mindful eating. This means only eating when you eat (not reading, watching TV, etc). Chewing your food. Putting your fork or spoon down between each bite. Stopping when you are no longer hungry. Listening to your satiety signals.
Mindful eating leads to competent eating, which is the way we’re born to eat.
Mostly Plant Food
If health, wellness, nutrition, and longevity experts agree on one thing, it is this: Eat a plant-based diet.
Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. ~Michael Pollan
I spent one year as a pescatarian – primarily in protest against CAFOs and the grossly inhumane manner in which animals are treated in this country. It definitely sparked some good conversations, but it had a negative impact on our family meals (and I felt like a nuisance when we visited other people).
Since then, I’ve started to eat more meat – more than I need.
It’s time to cut back. Probably reduce meat consumption to a couple of times a week without being obsessive.
Special Occasion Sugar
Processed, refined sugar (including high fructose corn syrup) is poison. It is highly addictive and is probably the main cause of our obesity epidemic (coupled with lack of natural movement).
But it’s so good! And it’s socially difficult to go off it completely. For example, I’m not going to refuse treats lovingly prepared for me by family members or friends. That’s just rude.
Therefore, I like the special occasion sugar approach: eat added sugar on special occasions.
Sounds easy, but it’s not. Because sugar is everywhere. But it’s a good goal. Feels natural and unrestrictive.
NOTE: I don’t count honey and maple syrup in the “added sugar” category.
Walk/Bike to Work
Guess what? I’m starting a new job next week. It will require me to leave the house every weekday. (I’m pretty excited about this change of pace.) It is a 30 minute walk or 10 minute bike ride away. How perfect is that?
But I know that I’ll be tempted to take the car. To save time. To avoid sweating. To be comfortable.
I’m a big fan of moving naturally. This means working movement into your daily life. Like walking to work instead of walking on the treadmill. It makes sense on so many levels. Just think about the benefits of walking/biking instead of taking the car:
- Your body gets exercise.
- Save money on gas.
- Better for the environment.
- Don’t have to find a parking space.
- Get to spend time outside.
- Stress relief.
A little sweat never hurt anyone…
In Kris Carr‘s “Crazy Sexy Manifesto,” she talks about building a support system. By this she means a team of wellness professionals that help you run in top condition.
Taking this time to take care of yourself is a great investment. My support crew includes:
- Brenda Harris (Acupuncture)
- Windemere Institute of Healing Arts (Massage)
- Discover Happy (Pilates)
- Sonja | Wellness & Yoga (Yoga)
I also want to get into a meditation routine. I have my meditation room waiting. I just need to do it.
My foundation for wellness and the reason for this blog, voluntary simplicity is a key component in my wellness strategy for 2013.
It is really very simple… I try hard to buy only things I need (or absolutely love), spend well within our means, live consciously, and keep my physical and virtual space clutter-free.
A Kind, Generous Spirit
I’ve read that you should behave the way you want to feel. There’s a lot of wisdom there.
In 2013, I want to continue to cultivate a kind, generous spirit. I think the best way to do this is to be kind and generous. It doesn’t always come naturally, but practice makes perfect.
Over to You!
What are your wellness resolutions for 2013?