Surely the most asked question of January. We’ve flipped the page over into 2017 whether that’s mentally or physically. Magazines and blogs are full of diet, lifestyle, exercise and health tips to give us all the push we need, as we stumble out of our carbs stupor. And it’s not just about diet and exercise. The new year resolutions to get a new job, start something we’ve been meaning to, stop procrastinating and just do it. The lists are endless.
Last year I promised myself a realistic goal or two. And given my propensity to procrastinate, obviously I failed to even tick those off the list. So this year I’m being even less hard on myself (!). Whilst I’m determined to lose the weight I’ve been promising myself to, I’m going to do it quietly with no big fanfare. No unproven detoxes. No quick fixes. No drumroll.
Just before Christmas, I joined Slimming World. I’d been putting it off, I’d not been 100% on board with the method, as I know healthy fats help metabolise fat, and sugar is the real villain of the piece, so I’d been unsure whether to join. But having seen the results of a close friend, I took the plunge. An odd time to start. So many people at work and at home questioned me starting 4 weeks before the big event, but I just knew that I couldn’t go in to the festive season and get even bigger. I promised to only allow myself Christmas day to be a real pig, and obviously that turned into a week. BUT, I’m back on it today and at least I know I’m not as big as I would have been had I not started the plan yet. The plan makes a lot of sense, and doesn’t exclude any food groups, you just have to account for the stuff that if not kept in check, will pile on the pounds. I’m especially looking at you, alcohol.
I’ve also promised myself to surround myself only with radiators and limit the drains. Even writing this blog became a friendship double-edged sword when I began in April. I’ve had so much support from some brilliant friends and family. But I’ve also had total radio silence from people I thought were on my side. Friends. No words of encouragement, just “You? Why are YOU writing a blog?” and then (when I know they’ve read it) choosing to not pass comment. Which is like a silent disapproval. I’m not saying I should be showered with praise, I get that it won’t be for everyone, but if any friend of mine put themselves out there, then I’d encourage and cheerlead, regardless of whether the content itself was up my street. And It’s the same with Instagram – it seems to be the most passive aggressive place on earth, “likes” withheld, like they’re the most precious thing to give away. And always the same people. I genuinely don’t understand why they don’t just unfollow.
I’m also going to get myself more organised. I’ve always been pretty on it when it comes to the military operation that’s needed to keep our family wheels turning. Iphone calendars synched, on the whole not many balls are dropped. But I do miss pen and paper, and with multiple clients, things can easily slip, which becomes a huge source of stress, so I’m treating myself to a bullet journal.
2016 was my year of “live for the now” – following the untimely death of my close school friend’s husband, robbed by cancer at a ridiculously early age, as well as several other near misses. I’m continuing that theme into this year, with a promise to myself to keep things in perspective and not sweat the small stuff. House a tip? Meh. Stuff lost? So what – so long as the people in my life are all ok.
Which brings me neatly to my final promise. To be more present to those that I love and care for. Iphone down, charging out of sight when I’m at home. Keep social and email for when I’m on my lengthy commute. Being omni-present on email for my clients got me absolutely nowhere last year, other than they expected it and took it for granted. I’ve become pretty good at leaving my phone in my bag when visiting family or having dinner with friends, so now I need to practice what I preach at home.
So, 2017. Over to you. Do your worst but I’m ready for you, with a wee personal manifesto, to try and keep myself on track. It mostly goes something like this;
Lose and then maintain a half decent weight for a middle aged, stressed, self employed mum
Take note from the radiators and shrug off the drains
Be more present: less phone, more true listening and truly engaging
Don’t sweat the small stuff
In the meantime, I hope that those of you who are following along, will continue on my journey with me.