I know this is a weird word to choose for someone with a history of obesity and disordered eating, but bear with me. I put off setting intentions for 2017 until I finished 2016’s big goal: my first marathon. The marathon was amazing experience and it really did require every ounce of the physical and mental effort I put into it, but it consumed A LOT of my personal bandwidth. This year, what I’d really like to get back to some of the things I let slide while I focused on the marathon.
- Feed my family: I LOVE to cook, but over the last year I’ve found myself defaulting to the quick and easy or eating out far too often. There’s nothing wrong with quick and easy, but I used to balance that with joyful cooking, where I tried new things, cooked with Oliver, spent time dwelling in the smells and senses of cooking and learned new things. I want to get back to that. What does that mean? New recipes, reading the cookbooks I’ve been ignoring since I received them as gifts, involving Oliver in cooking, going to cooking classes and anything else that brings back joy to our kitchen. I’m already back in the saddle. Check out this gorgeous sushi salad:
- Feed my body: I definitely let my attention to those good nutritional habits I established when I lost weight slide during marathon training. This was partly due to mental fatigue and partly due to a “reward” mentality, although really mostly the former. Once we got back from our cruise, I started tracking diligently in Weight Watchers again. I haven’t weighed in yet (battery is out on the scale), but I’m focusing on fruits and veggies, reasonable amounts and how much BETTER I feel now that I’m eating this way. I forgot about that feeling as my diet slid over the last 6 months.
- Feed my brain: Along with stepping away from cooking, I stopped reading last year between the marathon and being consumed with the chaos of reading about politics and world events. I’m already doing well in my goal of reading more this year, like we discussed earlier this month, and really loving the time spent with books again.
- Feed my spirit: I’ve always had this intention to meditate because it is supposed to be good for stress (which I have!), lupus (ditto!) and mental clarity (desperately needed!). I’ve finally managed to get that started! Almost every morning, I’ve settled on my cushion in the living room before everyone else was awake to use the Breathe app and take a few minutes to center. Something has finally clicked and I’m really noticing a difference in how I “let go” of the stress in my days.
- Feed my relationship: Darrell and I had such a great time on vacation together, even just doing “nothing.” I am so grateful to have a partner who is supportive and fun and trusting and grounded. Seriously amazing and I should honor him and us more with time and focus. I want to be sure we have date nights every month and happy hours every couple of weeks and also, that he has time to himself for things he enjoys to make up for all of the time he makes adjustments for my schedule and my job.
- Feed my self-esteem: I’m proactively shutting off negative thoughts in a way I’ve never been able to before, especially impressive given the undeniable fact that I’ve regained a lot of weight. Every time I start a negative thought about myself, I’m finally able to interrupt it and counter it. I’m not sure if it is the meditation helping with that or the fact that I hate the act of that positive countering (awkward!) that helps me nip those thoughts in the bud, but I’ve definitely noticed a difference!
While I got this particular “You stop that!” finger for daring to say Green Lantern was one of my least favorite super heroes (true), I can envision it every time I find myself getting too negative in my thoughts about myself.
Notice what’s missing? Yeah – big running goals for the year. I’ll set smaller goals along the way potentially, but I’m still a little mentally worn out from the marathon. I want to get back to speed work and get back to yoga, but I just don’t have the mental energy for a big running goal. I have a big running weekend coming up in May, but that is more about supporting a friend than it is my own personal running. Who knows – maybe when fall rolls around, I’ll be itching for a good half marathon run, but for now, focusing on these other intentions feels right.
I hope you guys all have a great weekend! Do you have a word for 2017?