This Year, Vow to Take it Easy on Yourself
Welcome to 2013 ladies! I’m not sure I was quite ready for the New Year, but alas, it’s upon us.
I usually spend each January getting my game face on, thinking “This is it! This is going to be the year I stay on track, keep a workout schedule, eat right and get in shape. This will be the year I conquer that half marathon and get that flat stomach that’s been staring back at me from the vision board I created almost 11 months ago.” Then by March I find myself sitting on the couch watching re-runs of the Biggest Loser having a carb load thinking, “Jillian Michaels is hot!”
I admit it. I fall off the wagon, every year like clockwork, and every year I beat myself up about it. “I’m lazy, I’m a slacker, I can start again tomorrow.” My schedule gets too busy on the road or there’s a week of bad weather. By bad weather I mean it’s below 70 degrees and raining. I’ve gotten a bit spoiled living in Southern California. So this year, I’m going to think differently. I’m calling it a New Year’s Restolution – I vow to give myself a break from working out. There, I said it.
We are strong women (and gentlemen, for the five of you reading this) who expect a lot, and perhaps, too much from ourselves. Sometimes we set New Year’s resolutions that are almost impossible to keep. We hold ourselves to unachievable goals like working out every day, always eating the right foods, and getting eight hours of sleep each night. But all we’re doing is setting ourselves up for disappointment, because these expectations just aren’t realistic. Life gets in the way. Maybe you had a little too much to drink at the holiday party. Do you really think you’re going to wake up at 7 am for your morning workout? Sure you might want to, but that’s a different story. Sometimes we are just too busy. That work meeting got moved up an hour, the kids need you to drop them off at school, your best friend is having a nervous breakdown and desperately needs a “Sex In The City” shopping day.
I know this feeling all too well. As a touring comedian, I’m on the road a lot. There isn’t always a gym in the hotels where I stay, and lord knows airport food isn’t always the healthy choice, but sometimes it’s the easiest. I used to panic during trips if I wasn’t exercising, feeling like my pants were suddenly too tight. But my Restolution is this: It’s OK. I know I’m not lazy. I’m not unmotivated. I’m just human. We all are. And did you know giving yourself a day off of exercise is actually beneficial? Our bodies need a day of rest to rejuvenate and to allow our muscles to heal and recover. However, what we need to be honest with ourselves about is whether it is recovery or just a lack of motivation.
So, maybe sometimes that day to “recover” turns into a week or even (gasp!) a month. It can be really hard to get motivated and back into a routine. So my Restolution is this: I’m not going to get angry with myself for taking the time off, but I am going to put steps in place this year so that I keep myself accountable and off the couch. Everyone has a different recipe for success when it comes to working out and staying on track. The key is to find what works for you. For me, I have designated workout buddies to make sure I’m out of house biking or hiking. Sometimes I need someone else to hold me accountable. I sign up for races and charity rides. Knowing that I’m raising money for a cause I believe in is often motivation enough to get me to follow through with my training. In 2010 I participated in the AIDS LifeCycle Ride. This is a 545 miles ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles. I raised over $11,000 to fight HIV and AIDS through donations so I KNEW I had to follow through with my training because other people were counting on me. It was one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done even though about 425 miles in I was pretty sure I broke my Vagina. Tying the fulfillment of giving back to a physical challenge often helps us kill two birds with one stone.
I hope you all make your New Year’s Resolutions with either my Restolutions or your own in mind. It’s a new year, and it’s time to recharge, reinvent and rejuvenate! Just don’t forget to be kind to yourself, too. Oh, it’s also time to finally throw away the plate of holiday cookies you’ve been dipping into which have been sitting on the counter for two weeks. Baby steps.