Recently I was at a party and a person mentioned how much she hated the winter. There was simply nothing to look forward to. I can totally understand this. As someone who celebrates Christmas with a passion, I have to steel myself for the letdown that inevitably follows. I am sad when Christmas is over and the lovely long break comes to an end. It reminds me of time passing and all the spaces in my life where I am not where I want to be. This year is harder with my son going back to college, my weight at an all time high and feeling as though I am ineffectual in my own life.
But I don’t hate winter. I am at the point in the holiday season that I am looking forward to taking down the decorations and reclaiming my space. Winter gives me the permission to stay inside and move more slowly. I find winter to be the best time for reflection, self revelation and connection to my own spirit. This year in particular that feels very necessary as I wonder if I am struggling with clinical depression. Winter gives me permission to grieve and cleanse in a way that seems obnoxious in the spring and summer. And, I do set myself up with things to look forward to such as Valentine’s, the Philadelphia Flower Show, planning a new garden and the eventual reality of spring.
I actually love winter. I love creating new plans towards health for myself, setting new goals and seeing where I can actually follow them. I am always going to try something new and then probably become deeply enmeshed and passionate about it only to either grow bored with it, or find that it isn’t what I had hoped. I am a perpetual teenager in that respect. But I am tired of apologizing for it. I really like that about myself. I love that at fifty one I can still become enthusiastic to the point of exuberance around something. And everything that I become super passionate about leaves its mark in some way permanently in my world. I like that as well. Things that don’t grow die.
So, I am ready and excited to try a new plan for myself. This fall I have spent a ridiculous amount of time trying and failing to bring myself back to running form. The reality is I don’t love it the way I use to so it is time I readjust. Not that I am giving up on running entirely, I just can’t and won’t continue to use that as my barometer for success. It has become a negative spiral. I have also become a terrible eater. Trying to maintain a calorie restrictive eating plan has made me both tired and mean. But I like to have a plan, something to follow. I feel a little lost in this since I can’t afford either a nutritionist or a personal trainer. As with everything I have taken to scouring the Internet for myself.
As far as eating, I know that anything that eliminates any type of whole food is not really a plan for life, unless a person has an allergy or sensitivity to that food. I am leery of taking oats completely out of my diet, or lentils or anything like that, even though they are high in carbs. However, I am willing to try any plan to kick start myself. So, it is with a little trepidation that I am trying paleo. Mostly because it is a plan that my husband wants to try and food harmony in a house is a good thing. But also because at it’s core any diet that removes processed foods, flour and sugar is going to help. I can also modify it so that it isn’t a meat fest. Because that is just gross. I don’t believe in the wonky science behind most diets, but I do believe that sugar, processed foods and flour are bad for the body, and the mind. I have recently starting taking SAM-e for my feelings of deep sadness and anger and it has helped a lot. But I am hoping to control this more through diet.
I also found an exercise plan on line that I can live with. I like this plan because it spirals up from beginner to advanced. Three months at each stage gives me both long and short time goals. I am starting an Instagram account to track my progress in pictures and challenging myself to a full year of fitness which will start January 2. That gives me the first week to practice the workouts at home before I try them out at the gym. I can also do most of the workouts at home which means I don’t have to wake every day at four. Woo Hoo!!