Over the past year or so, I have put on 20 pounds. Granted, I probably needed some of them, as gaining weight never really happened easily for me. Then came the 30s. Ladies, let me tell ya: what you hear about metabolism slowing down is true! Of course, the weight of this (hah!) struck me around my wedding last year, when I realized I had gone from curvy stick to full-blown hourglass. That's a different story for a different post, but let me just say that I didn't worry about it too much with everything else on my plate at the time. But by the end of 2012, I realized that I had put on 20 pounds, and that my heart rate had gone through the roof (90% at an easy jog), and that's when the "Uh-oh" alarm went off in my brain. I've always been fit. Muscle takes shape fast on me. My cardio has never been great, but it had gotten way better with all the running I'd been doing. And now all of that was gone, and it scared me.
So that was my wake up call to start working out regularly again. I decided to lose 10 pounds because that keeps me in my "ideal" weight for my body type, and will allow for the sculpted muscles to show up again. I will be working out at least 3 hours a week, mixing cardio, weights, and resistance, and will be sharing progress here with you as a way to keep accountable. Come May 1, I'll have my results, and then it will be maintenance and probably a new fitness goal for myself. I've always said that by the time I'm 50, I'll be in the best shape of my life. I guess now I've just realized that it will take a little more work than I originally thought. I still can't believe that I've put down losing weight as a goal for the year.
The second goal has nothing whatsoever to do with my appearance on the outside, and everything to do with the inside. The past year has gone by so fast, with very little down-time. Even my vacations were packed with activity, and my brain has been on so much overload that I've gotten into the mindset of "Just get through, just get through," which has not made for the nicest of lives. There's always something to be done (Making Christmas cards? Fail. Taking those extra boxes of stuff to the thrift shop? Fail. Cleaning out the pantry? Fail.) and yet my brain checks out by the time I get home because I've been so busy just trying to keep up. Let's be real: no life is perfect. The real stuff is often hidden. The shameful stuff tucked just out of the edges of the photos, eliminated from the dialogue.
I admire people who take a more contemplative approach to life. I've been reading more about that. And by contemplative I don't mean sitting in lotus all day meditating (although how nice would that be!). I mean living each moment, easy or hard, with the intention to do my best, to not over-react, to be thoughtful, to be grateful. I mean the kind of life where I don't just "get through," but the kind of life where I can taste the world around me, savor the moments, then carefully mull over and formulate what I want to say and show in my life and on this blog.
This contemplative journey - or attentiveness - will hopefully have a healthy impact on my 2013. I will slow down and notice the world around me. I will quiet my mind in meditation. I will spend time taking in encouragement that feeds my soul, not just my eyes. I will not be so reactive. I will be more grateful. I will live with purpose, not just with the prayer that I make it through the day. I will live.
I'm not sure how I will measure this goal, other than noting how flustered I am at any given moment and remembering to breathe, but there it is. And if you've kept up with my thoughts so far, I'd love ideas on how to figure this out. Because I'm pretty sure I'm not alone on this one. People just don't like to talk about it much.
So here's to 2013! A New Year. A new outlook on life. Here we go!