Thursday, January 3, 2013

No Resolutions, Only Aspirations

I had very definitely decided that I was NOT making any resolutions or really even setting any goals for 2013.  But as the new year approached I realized I have several things that I would like to see accomplished or at the very least get better.  I'm calling them aspirations rather than resolutions, which to me means I will do my best rather than I have to meet a goal. In no particular order, here they are.

I've had something nagging at me and irritating me for quite a while now.  Mr. Helen and I had reached the point where nearly every dinner meal was being eaten on a tray in front of the television.  The more this happened, the more I've disliked it until by the end of this year I actually was resentful of it.  When Little Helen was growing up we always ate our dinner meal at the table together.  It started falling apart once she left home - 12 years ago!  It got particularly bad over the last 4 years as I got involved in martial arts and we were eating later and later.

So as I prepared our New Year's Eve meal, I decided right then and there that my aspiration would be that the few times a week we actually are home together for our dinner meal, we will sit at the table.  The end.  I truly believe this is one of those things that we just have to do.  When Mr. Helen got home from work on New Year's Eve and walked through the dining room, this is what he saw:

I heard him say, "Oh wow," but he never said anything to me directly.  I made us a lovely seafood dinner and we spent an hour eating and talking.  It was wonderful.  On New Year's Day, he grilled some steaks and while he was outside, I set the table again.  He came in and said, "Oooooookay..." but you know what?  He sat down and we had another lovely dinner.   Honestly, we are only together at dinner time maybe half the days of the week.  It won't kill us to sit down and eat together and talk to each other - and it may do a world of good.

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I've been doing a lot of pondering about my running.  Truth be told my foot isn't 100% yet - if I push during a run, it hurts afterwards.  In fact, I'm not sure that the cuboid fracture is completely healed just based on how it feels.  As I've been running a long time, it's quite easy for me to get into the mindset that each and every run has to be harder, stronger, faster than the last - and that's including when I'm not even in a race.  That's a bit ridiculous.  Last Saturday I went out to get a run in prior to our big snowstorm as I knew it would probably be the last outside one I'd have for a while since people don't clear the sidewalks, therefore making it too dangerous for me to run outside in the early mornings.  As I ran along I felt myself getting frustrated with my pace and time.  All of a sudden, I thought, 'WHY?  Why not forget about pace and time and distance for a while and just get back to enjoying your running?"  Because running is what I truly love to do.  So that's what I'm working on and if it means I leave the Garmin at home, so be it.

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I saw something written about a person who was trying to describe why they were not interested in being Vegan, though they're basically Vegetarian due to moral convictions.  I'm only roughly summarizing here and I can't find the original source to credit them (sorry!).  They said they were not interested in soaking nuts to make milk and using 14 different kinds of flour to get a pancake, or using substitutes for so many things.  That really struck a chord with me.  While I've had success at weight loss using various diets and eating styles - and I've retained good things from many of them - the truth about me is that I like many kinds of foods and don't want to restrict anything.  One evening as Mr. Helen and I were heading home from an event, I told him that I had enjoyed the last couple of months where I tried to just eat healthfully and had the occasional indulgence.  I admitted to him that going on 8 years of fighting my thyroid and trying to get back to pre-thyroid weight, I am very tired of dieting and restricting and counting and weighing and measuring, So I made the bold statement that even though I want to weigh less, I'm going to exercise and eat healthy and be  good and kind to myself, even if it means my weight and/or size never changes.  His response?  "I've been waiting 8 years to hear you say that.  I'm happy for you and I think you'll be happier too."

While some people are addicted to their scale and weigh themselves every day - or multiple times a day, I am a bit addicted to counting, weighing and measuring food.  It will definitely be a brain shift for me to look for moderation rather than calorie counts; to be kind and self encouraging rather than looking to see if the day's numbers jive and beating myself when they don't - which is absolutely one of the things I want to give up. And moderation/health/kindness does not mean shoveling anything and everything in my mouth in unlimited amounts.  This could be the hardest of my aspirations, but as it's similar to what I've been working on already, I'm going to continue it.


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If you missed it, my last post of 2012 was the recap and photos of my White House visit.  You can see it here.


P.S. Did anyone else notice today's date is 1-3-13 - maybe I should play the 4 number lottery tonight!

24 comments:

  1. These are awesome aspirations for the year. Accepting ourselves where we are, even if we want to change is really, really hard. I hope you find the happiness you deserve.

    Sometimes I think I should give up the counting, but the weird thing is that I actually enjoy seeing the numbers. It's not a chore for me so it doesn't really occur to me to *not* do it.

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    1. It's definitely going to take my brain a while to shut this off, even if I'm not writing it down. I just want to eat and not worry which is why I want to shut it down.

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  2. I just stumbled onto your blog...and I love it! One of the resolutions that my 11 y/o and 18 y/o made was a family resolution....to eat at least ONE meal a week at the table as a family! I felt SOOO bad that my kids had to bring this up! We are so very busy that we usually use dinner time as a time to sit in front of the TV together and eat off of trays....My goal is to eat at the table at least 3 times a week! Shouldn't be too much to ask? BTW, your table looks beautiful!

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    1. Welcome to Doing A 180 Pamela! I think you'll find that you love eating at the table with your kids. I found, especially with teenagers, that they will just open up and talk during during. It's a good thing.

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  3. Between your running aspiration and your healthy living aspiration, it sounds like you are giving up numbers, which as a non-number/math person, you know I wholeheartedly endorse! I agree that getting back to running for enjoyment will be great for you, and may help your foot to heal if you're not pushing so hard. And being good to your body with nutrition and exercise is going to reward you in so many ways - I'm very excited for you to see what develops as a result of this attitude!

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    1. Well I like the number thing but seriously just need to let it go. 1500 calories - or more or less - does not make me a good or bad person, you know?

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  4. What a GREAT post Helen! I love the idea of aspirations vs. resolutions. I agree with you about the table. It's my husband who suggests we sit there and most of the time I think it's weird but apparently where you eat is important so I'm willing to try it! I'm so happy to hear you have found some balance in all this. I'm excited to see what becomes of 2013!

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  5. Great idea to have dinner at the table together at least a couple of days a week. R. and I have been doing this ever since we started living together (19 years ago this year) and we still do this. For us it’s the only moment in the day (especially on week days) that we sit together and can talk about our day.

    I love Mr. Helen’s comment when you told him about your plans for healthy living and exercise without dieting. I usually hate counting food but I did go back to WW, I needed something to get me back on track till I can do it on my own again. I don’t think about the points however during the day, if I eat one or more on a day: so be it. It’s mainly to help me make more healthy choices and they have great recipes.

    Hope you have better luck at the lottery if you play tonight :) R. promised me he would win that 30 million on New Year’s Eve and guess what: we have to wait till next year before I can visit you . He probably will be convince he will win it again next year LOL.

    Happy New Year Helen.

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  6. Yes, good luck with the lotto - if you win, you'll have to make Texas a stop on your world tour :-)

    Great aspirations, Helen. I love every one of them. Living with compassion for ourselves is one of the greatest gifts.

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  7. Happy New Year Helen! Those are really great aspirations. I work nights and only get to eat dinner with my family 3 or 4 nights a week so I try to make sure those nights are at the dining room table with no other distractions.

    The picture and quote at the end says it all. I wish you a healthy and happy 2013.

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  8. What a fabulous post Helen! I have to say that eating at the table without TV is a wonderfully healthy aspiration to have. Tim and I used to eat dinner in front of the TV (mostly watching the news) many years ago and then for some reason we stopped and were finding that we felt better overall. We eat more slowly, we digest better, and we have some great conversations. TV can cause a lot of stress and who needs that while eating?

    Loving our bodies as they are really and truly is something that evolves over time. It can't be forced. And it's funny because I see how it has evolved for me and turned into much better eating habits that come easily and naturally. I don't have to white-knuckle it. And it occurred to me yesterday (I have no idea why) that if I never eat another French fry that will be fine with me LOL!

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    1. Funny. French Fries are a food that I can take or leave. Sometimes I really want them, other times they do not appeal. But I am definitely with you on not eating things that I just don't want to. I don't even care if they're "good" for me!

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  9. This all sounds great! You know I'm with you on the 'no food restrictions.' I can have whatever I want to eat. Making good choices just makes sense so I will feel good/full for a while. There's no 'afters' or 'falling off the wagon' just because I have something sweet or salty or whatever once in a while. Its all just part of the plan. I do kinda like to count the calories still.

    And enjoying exercise? That's a very good thing!

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  10. I wish I could get my husband to eat at our dining room table. While every piece of furniture in my house is a hand me down, or thrift store buy, our dining table cost $1000! It's gorgeous, has comfortable chairs.

    Our couch is too low to even have t.v. trays, so I am either relegated to eating my dinner on the side arm of our couch (which makes cutting anything nearly impossible) or sitting on the floor and eating off our coffee table - it pisses me off and I think "why am I at 44 eating off the floor??!!""

    I may just sit at the table by myself and see if he'll join me.

    And I am slowly making the change to moderation too - which again doesn't mean I can eat anything I want, when I want it. It's making a conscious decision every day.

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    1. I say Just Do It, Biz. You're right, you shouldn't be sitting on the floor eating when you have a perfectly good dining table!

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  11. I just stumbled across your blog and I have to say, I like the vibe you have! :-) I love the paragraph about saying that you are going to exercise, eat healthy and be good to yourself and be happy with yourself no matter what size or shape. I think this is SO utterly important! I think we all need to love ourselves for what we are on the inside.....I'm working on this one myself!

    Yay to eating at the table. We eat at a table, but my husband refuses to turn the tv off. I've tried........grrrr

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    1. Glad you stumbled in! Our previous home had an open floor plan and I had the same issue - he'd sit at the table but the dumb TV was on constantly. I do usually play music while we eat, have you tried that?

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  12. I think these are GREAT aspirations. (I love your words "aspirations rather than resolutions!!!") Happy 2013 to you and Mr. Helen!!!

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  13. Lately we have also been eating in front of the tv. It is just the two of us most of the time. I am trying not to get in the habit of doing this. It does seem to lead to a little mindless eating.

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    1. For me it's not only mindless eating but I don't even really enjoy my food. Not to mention that at my house you have to lug everything you want downstairs. Annoying. No more!!

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  14. Fantastic...I am capping my calories and weighing and measuring but I am not WEIGHING ME. I have decided that I am going to work out..eat well and when I like what I see..I stop and I weigh myself...I expect it will be around 135 lbs...but I don't really know. lol.
    I love that mr. helen is so supportive. And I like the idea of eating at the table. With all the exercise, I completely understand how hard it is to sit down and find the time. Great aspirations.

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  15. Fabulous aspirations Helen. Since I have been laid up with my foot we have had many a meal in front of the tv lately. We have noticed that we enjoy our meals much more when we dine at the table. The plus is you get to chat with each other. Nice romantic setting with the candles too - goof for you.

    It's not easy to accept the changes in what our body will allow us to do after an injury or surgery. I am so proud of you for deciding to enjoy your runs without having to beat a certain time or goal.

    I loved Mr Helens comment to you about your approach to food and weight. Bless his heart! What more could you ask for?

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  16. First off, I LOVE the idea of sitting at the table for dinner. I think I am going to make an addendum to my 2013 resolutions just so I can add that. We have a lovely kitchen table, and I work my ass off cooking. I want to appreciate it without it falling over the couch.

    Second, GOOD FOR YOU for backing away from the counting. I know it will be a struggle to shut that off, but I am looking forward to seeing how you do on this journey. That is most definitely a 180 in your thinking in all the years (!!) I have been following your blog. Like Mr. Helen, I am really happy for you.

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