New Years Not-So-Resolutions

I’m not one to write down a list of resolutions at the beginning of each year. They never seem to get accomplished and the motivation behind the idea of turning over a new leaf fades by February. Instead, this year I decided to focus on my overall personal well-being in order to create a more positive lifestyle, not only for this year but generally moving forward.

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I’m skinny, thanks to a metabolism that won’t let me weigh more than 122 pounds no matter what I eat (cue the orchestra of tiny violins). This doesn’t mean that I am healthy. Yes, I am conscious of what I eat – I’m not one to shove endless cheeseburgers in my mouth just because I can or because people tell me I should – but every time I get sick my body loses strength and weight at an alarming rate. I have no muscle strength and I’m not flexible. I’ve had so many random illnesses in the past few years that on paper I look like a person 3 times my age – kidney stones twice, vertigo once, continuous congestion for the past 2 years, semi-regular aches in my hips/knees…not to mention that because I never exercise, my heart is probably not as fit as it should be. I’ve decided that 2013 is the year to start changing this, despite the fact that I will still look skinny if I don’t change anything at all.

#1. Get active while having fun

A few summers ago I tried running with a friend and it wasn’t for me. Last fall I said I’d start doing yoga, but never tried it because I’m terrible at holding myself accountable, though going on a yoga retreat IS on my 30 before 30 list and I intend to cross it off. I’m trying to come up with a good way to get active, be it a dancing game for our Wii, or home yoga/kickboxing/Pilates videos. I’m not one to go to the gym and pump weights and run on a treadmill – that doesn’t entice me because that doesn’t sound fun. Ideally I’d like to gain some muscle tone and get my heart rate up, without actually feeling like I’m “exercising”. Suggestions?

#2. Gain weight in a healthy way

I need to create a buffer so that getting sick doesn’t end in three months of fighting to put weight back on. I had kidney stones before the wedding and I dropped to 112 pounds. NOT HEALTHY! I’m planning on making an appointment with a naturopathic doctor to make a game plan for changes I can make to my diet because cheeseburgers are obviously not the answer. I love avocados and almonds, both of which I’ve heard are full of healthy fats. I need a list of more delicious and healthy things!

#3. Go dairy-free to decrease nasal congestion

I thought I might have allergies because I haven’t been able to really breathe out of my nose for the past 2 years. I don’t get any other allergy symptoms, but constantly wake up in the middle of the night with a mouth like the Sahara because my nose is plugged. I went to my GP family doctor and without even looking up my nose, she prescribed a nasal spray full of steroids which gave me nosebleeds after a week of use. I’ve tried a humidifier to no avail and the Neti Pot, which helps a bit but not enough. After a conversation with my cousin – who is in her final year of school to be a naturopathic doctor – and a quick check up to rule out the possibility of nasal polyps, she suggested going dairy-free for a month. Dairy apparently increases the production of mucus and phlegm in the body, which she thought could be the cause of my congestion. So starting December 28, I stopped consuming dairy products entirely. Within days I could breath easier! I haven’t been waking up in the middle of the night because of a plugged nose. I’m not 100% sure if it’s because of the dairy-free diet change which is why I’ll stick with the program until the end of January and then try to re-introduce some dairy products and see if my congestion returns.

The only downside – I miss cheese like nobody’s business. Earth Balance vegan butter is great and almond milk is actually pretty tasty, but ooey gooey cheesy pizza or pasta and a good dose of parmesan on anything and everything is irreplaceable.

#4. Just for kicks, let’s try to conquer the road rage

I have a problem in the form of a lead foot and a foul mouth. I’m 100% guilty of being a (slightly) aggressive driver. I’ve come to realize that I shout mean things (in the confines of my own vehicle) without thinking and it has become so familiar for my brain to react in anger on the road that it’s actually a challenge for me to stay positive when I’m driving. I’m going to rely on Husbie for this one – I usually shoot daggers out of my eyes in the general direction of his face if he dares to criticize my driving, but I’m making it easy for him to criticize because I’m CRAZY. Time to change or I’m going to get serious frown lines by the time I’m 30. That or a baseball bat to my car’s headlights by some crazy redneck that I (accidentally) cut off.

So there’s a start with the personal well-being intentions! They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but I’m not an old dog…yet.

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