Thursday, January 5, 2012

Positively, Gloriously, Miraculously, 2012

So I promised I'd be back today, so here I am: between munching on home-made dill pickles, and refueling my muse with Gaga songs...

Let's talk Resolutions. My resolution for the world is that it not end, but be reborn better. More love, more compassion, more passion, more acceptance (including acceptance of those who struggle with accepting others), more honesty, more beauty, more strangeness, more justice, more nature, more reality, more yoga, MORE LIVING OMILY!

Who's with me?

My personal resolutions are:

1. Eat two different vegetables each day (to help ensure I meet my standing order of five servings of fruits and/or veggies a day)

2. Center Floor Handstand! LET'S DO THIS! (On another note, I mentioned this to Ramit, my regular teacher over at Jaya, and she described this resolution as brave. I looked at her blankly. I don't have a normal fear response...I think the world should cultivate that state, too.)

3. Be a better wife. (Not that I think I'm bad one, but the better a wife I am, the better our marriage will be; the more we as a unit can grow, love, and positively change the world.)

4. Finish the first draft of my novel (No fear of climbing thirty feet up, twisting up in silks, and letting go...no fear of standing on my hands center floor...lots of fear that my novel won't be as good as I want it to be...2012 IS THE YEAR TO KICK FEAR IN THE TEETH!)

5. Start drafting chapter summaries of my non-fiction book (I've been at this for a year, and I'm still gleaning research from...this is shameful, the second book I picked up. 2012 IS THE YEAR TO SAY, NO MORE EXCUSES!)

6. Get my Reiki atunement (the world needs more healers)

7. Start marketing myself as a tarot reader (simultaneously kicking fear in the teeth, saying, no more excuses, and offering healing to the world! E-mail, or facebook me now for New Year promo specials!)

8. Grow as a yoga instructor

9. Grow as a person

10. Do more.

12. Get better.

13. Keep asking the Hard Questions, and start looking for Answers

So, in Great Britain at least, and I'm confident here, too, the #1 New Year's Resolution, for Heaven only knows how many years running is, "To Lose Weight."

This is very important. So listen carefully.

Feck. That. Shit.

The research is out there, and to find it just search "body acceptance" or "fat acceptance" and bone up on some other blogs. We are laboring under the pathetic myth that excess fat=bad health and premature death.

The reason why this issue is so important to me is that I labored under that same delusion for years, and I was furious to find out I had been had. All the major studies doctors point to as proof that being overweight is bad for you were funded by weight-loss companies. Sound a little fishy?

The fact is, people are built how they are built, and some of us are built to store more fat than others. Back when regular famines occured, the fat storers lived and the skinny people died. Now that excess calories are available, the fat storers at risk for vast over-consumption. Is there a point where the amount of fat is sufficient that it's not healthy? What about morbidly obese people? There are voices on both sides. I can't help but consider the absurd amount of calories being sold to us on the cheap, and the fact that statistically, we are fatter than before that happened.

Even if you do feel that excess fat is making you less healthy, focusing on the fat is setting yourself up for failure, and a faulty value system. Get some baseline info from your doctor: blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol. Also get some numbers for yourself. How do you feel? Tired? Under the weather? Do you get sick often? Feel shitty when you try to walk around the block? Check out this blog post, which links to the government's current recommendations for healthy eating, and see how well you stack up, regardless of where you are in the BMI. How active are you? If you live in a car culture, being as active as is good for our bodies is tricky, but not impossible. Park far away from your destination, even a few blocks if possible. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, take your bagged lunch for a walk to a park if weather allows. If you're lucky enough to live in a culture that favors mass transit and walking, as long as you're leaving your house each day, you're probably doing pretty ok. If you take your train to your desk job, then home for a lazy evening, try taking the train one stop further away from home and work and walking the rest. Consider the possibility of riding your bike to work, or just take a stroll each night after dinner to savor your neighborhood and the changing seasons. Romantic, no?

Those are the two obvious things that pop up when we talk about health because all too often when we talk about 'health' or 'fitness' we really mean 'being skinny enough to be admired in our crappy narrow-minded culture.' That is NOT what I mean. Other really important aspects of being healthy: drinking enough water. It is worth the trouble to teach yourself to like water, and not hard, either. Keep a pitcher of water in the fridge so it's cold and ready. Use a filtration system if it makes a noticeable difference to you. Do not trash the environment with single-use water bottles, please. The other biggie that gets overlooked in our work-aholic culture is Sleep. We all have different sleep needs. Most of us need between seven and nine hours each night. If you can give yourself four days or so to sleep as much as you need, see how long you sleep on that fourth night, and use that as your baseline. It IS worth taking those extra hours out of your day. Not doing so is taking YEARS off your life.

In terms of physical activity, we often overlook the importance of stretching. Watch this video, and take some time to do basic stretches every day, or at least every couple of days. Short, tight muscles cause pain. Building up those muscles so they're strong and can support you is just as important. If you're naturally super-stretchy, focus on building up those muscles so they can safely support your wide range of motion, preventing injury or strain.

And of course, stress relief. This is a big one. Take advantage of your religious beliefs: meditation? A weekly day of rest? Time in silent prayer daily? Those are all excellent ways to let your body and mind rest and recharge. If you don't have any religious or spiritual beliefs whatsoever, google the benefits of meditation, and sit the hell down.

Whew. So that was a fun diatribe...take away: It is not about how much you weigh, or how much of your body jiggles. Seriously. If you are taking care of your body properly, you can trust that however it looks is fine: big, small, squishy, firm, doesn't matter. Your body may change if you change your health habits. Probably a little, possibly a lot. Your body may equalize and go back to looking more like it's old self after a while. If your habits are the same, that's fine, too. Love yourself. You're awesome.

So, happy 2012. Happy New Year. Let's do this.
"My new years resolution: Never be afraid to be kicked in the teeth. Let the blood and the bruises define your legacy." - Lady Gaga 2012

I'm on the edge of glory. This year I'm going over.

Live Omily,
~em

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