Let’s talk New Year Resolutions. They are usually good intentioned, but in my experience are often short lived self-improvement fails which only make us feel worse than when we started. To anyone who has ever stuck to a New Years resolution, I salute you, but the vast majority of us just don’t have your strength of commitment and will be (within a few weeks, at most) munching on sugary treats whilst swilling prosecco and watching our newly purchased gym passes gather dust. This is why I have always felt that health and fitness should be a full-time lifestyle, not something that needs to be ‘kick-started’ or resolved to do. I don’t believe in all or nothing because all is unachievable and nothing is pointless. And goals should be set throughout the year as we grow and evolve, not saved for a particular day.
But stay with me, steadfast resolution setters, because I am about to admit that I have changed my mind. 2018 was the year that I watched my wonderful dad fight so hard to live but waste away until his body finally succumbed to the murderous disease that took him from us. It is incredible how much grief and watching someone you love decline during a long illness (or any other source of great stress) can affect not only your mental but also physical health. This year my own health and fitness levels sky rocketed to a peak over the summer (to the point where another mum at the gym called me “ripped”. I’m usually a big runner/ cross trainer user, which keeps me slim, but circuits and Pilates had toned my muscles more than I ever thought possible!) and then plummeted to the grieving, exhausted, sedentary mess that I am now. For the last couple of months, my (usually) healthy diet has gone out the window. In December I have more or less subsisted on eggnog lattes, caffeine, wine and chocolate and I can already see the affect on my skin and the way my clothes fit. I haven’t been to the gym or for a run since late September and have watched my hard earned muscles melt away. I haven’t slept well for the last year and can see the circles ever-darkening beneath my eyes.
A little bit of the spark in me will always be missing without my dad. But in 2019, My wish is to regain at least part of my old self – the happy, healthy person I was before my dad got sick. Therefore, I RESOLVE:
- To get back to the gym, start running again and restore my previous levels of fitness (and if I can even improve on those, all the better!);
- To cut right back on caffeine and alcohol (I’m up to 3-4 coffees per day which I have been using to combat the exhaustion grief brings and instead of my usual 1-2 alcoholic drinks once or twice a week, with all the Christmas and New Year celebrations, I’ve had a glass of wine nearly every night for the last two weeks!). I plan to reset by going alcohol free for January and cut down to 1-2 coffees per day;
- To get some sleep. With two small children, I am not certain how (or if!) I am will achieve this, but going to bed earlier would be a good start!
- To try cutting out dairy for at least a month. During a recent facial (my first in a VERY long time!) the aesthetician said she thought my skin was reacting to dairy and might benefit from giving it up. I am not sure whether I believe this but it will be an interesting experiment (I will need to be sure to consume other rich sources of calcium and vitamin D);
- To go back to eating less sugar and more whole grains;
- To make more time for myself. For the last four years my focus has been solely on my family. I am going to schedule in ‘Me time’ for a couple hours each week and use that time to go to the cinema, paint or draw, play the piano, read a book or have a bath. It will be time where I will be completely undisturbed. And I will arrange the same for my husband.
- To make more time for us. Date nights. Lots of them. I’m already scheduling them in!
- To follow through with all my exciting plans for my blog, beginning with restarting What to cook this weekend which will be published every Friday- look out for the first instalment this week!
- By doing the above, to eventually (in my own time) get to a point where I can start to celebrate my dad’s life and look back with a smile rather than only being able to focus on those final moments and mourning his death.
- To share my resolution journey with you – I will publish regular updates to let you know how I’m getting on!
New Year, old me. So to all of you, my lovely readers, who regularly set New Years resolutions, I am sorry for being so hard on you. Please accept my newfound respect and best wishes for the New Year!
P.S. If you have set any resolutions for the new year, I’d love to hear about them. Leave me a comment and let’s chat!
Lots of love,