First, I want to say that I’m no hopeful Pollyanna all optimistic just because we turn a page on the calendar and it’s a new year. It’s merely another day, likely to be a lot like yesterday and the day before. So, I scoff at headlines like “Hope Reigns as Americans Ring in 2012” – seriously? Do people really think that the world will be a gentler, kinder and more just place in 2012? That dictators will bow to the will of the people and resign? That both sides of congress will stop grandstanding and work together for the betterment of the American people? But I don’t want to get started on a rant.
I don’t generally make New Year’s Resolutions and haven’t been notably successful in the ones I have made. But I am not immune to the appeal of fresh starts. I ended the year feeling a bit bruised and battered by the vagaries of fortune – finally getting a job and raising our hopes of getting out of this situation only to finish up worse off than we’d been at the beginning of the year. A week ago I took photographs of my girls so that they could upload them into a virtual hairstyle program to try out new dos. At their urging I allowed them to take a picture of me for the same purpose. Oy! Even the facial recognition program in my photo editing software didn’t recognize me! It accurately named my daughters when I uploaded the photographs but put the photos of me into the “Unknown Persons” category! I’ve aged dramatically in the past few years, adding lines to my face, grey hairs, and unwanted pounds to my slight frame. I believe the outward appearance mirrors inward health changes as well. Who wouldn’t want a fresh start!
And there’s something to be said about making a fresh start on New Year’s. For one thing there are a lot of support programs geared towards people who have resolved to be more fit, eat better, quit smoking, etc. that start in the month of January. And I, personally, plan to take advantage of two of them to lose weight and improve my fitness level, health, and general outlook on life.
Thanks to a generous friend we are able to continue our YMCA membership past the month of December so I am attending the Fit Start class this evening. It is designed to help you jumpstart your fitness program if you’ve been out of training for a while and to provide support and coaching until you get into the groove. I’m sure to benefit from this because I tend to start strong but give up quickly! In tandem I’ve joined the SparkPeople January Jumpstart Workout Challenge for added support and encouragement. The kids are signed up for classes in dance (my son) and karate (youngest daughter) at the YMCA and are looking forward to their own fitness routines.
An article I read has encouraged me to make some changes in our diet as well. According to a recent study eating a low carbohydrate diet (limiting carbs to 50g a day) even as infrequently as twice a week, can have a notable positive impact on losing weight and lowering insulin levels, which are both associated with lower risks of breast and other cancers. So Tuesdays and Thursdays will be low carb diet days in our household. This will be a challenge as we eat a lot of rice and pasta, both low cost and filling foods, and potatoes and breads are a mainstay in our diet. It’s trickier than I thought at first – not as simple as just doing away with bread and pasta and eating more fruits and veggies. Who knew carrots are high in carbohydrates?
In both fitness and diet we are making it a family affair and I’m enlisting the kids’ input on meals and activities. I’m hoping this will help make the changes stick! They say it takes 30 days to break a bad habit or get into a new good habit (actually some say 21 days, some say a lifetime so I’m arbitrarily picking 30 J) so roundabout February 1st I’ll let you know how we are doing! What are your resolutions?