Sunday, January 2, 2011

I resolve to dissolve

As January begins and a fresh new page of life is turned, I wonder what experiences, wonders and lessons will be in store for us in 2011.

It has taken nearly all of my fifty-two years on earth to figure out that new year's resolutions don't work. They immediately put pressure on us, straight out of the chute, to do something significant that we erstwhile weren't able to do in the past 365 days and probably will fail to do forward in perpetuity. So I'm kind of against making them. On the other hand, what better time is there to begin anew challenging ourselves to improve the quality of our lives, our happiness, and our positive influence on others? There's a difference you know.

There's nothing like a clean slate to reinvigorate our intentions and finely tune our focus without the distractions of the past year. Want to lose weight? Great. What's holding you back? When you boil it all down to it's basic elements losing weight is a mathematical formula just like everything else. It's not personal. So to everyone (myself included) who ever lamented that they just can't lose weight, I say rubbish. Employ the formula, and you'll succeed. But don't expect it to happen for you. Put a little effort into it. Make a commitment to wake up every day with the attitude that you can, and you will. Of course, the opposite is also true and it's very easy to sabotage yourself with negative thinking. So instead of convincing yourself of all the reasons losing weight is impossible, go and empower yourself to get the job done. The key is consistency. Remember... Rome wasn't built in a day. Make a few simple changes, stick with it and be prepared to be amazed.

Same with fitness. Want to exercise more? Just start by putting one foot in front of the other and repeat. It doesn't have to be anything grandiose, just move in a way that makes you feel good. Breathe deep. Sweat a little. If you choose exercise that is pleasurable, you'll be more apt to continue with it. Dance while you clean house. Brush the cobwebs off your bike and go for a spin. Traverse a bridge or two. Hike. Play tag with the kids. It all works and it all adds up. Limping along Walking is how I got started and today I usually log six fast miles a day in under 80 minutes. I'm even running a bit which is something that is surprising even to me. Point is, I lost 80 pounds and never stepped foot in a gym. And if I can do it, YOU can do it. Don't blame me though if before you know it, you're visiting Dick's Sporting Goods and gazing longingly at all the overpriced athletic wear and shoes. It happens.

One of the things that I am attempting to overcome myself this year is the fear of change. My life is pretty comfortable and has settled into a rhythm that feels secure and happy. Problem is, we all know that the minute you allow yourself to be lulled into a sense of perfect balance and harmony, something always comes along to upset the apple cart. So it's a good rule of thumb not to be so comfortable that when the inevitable happens you're not completely blindsided and toppled and destroyed. Toward that end I have taken a new job a couple days a week and am venturing out into the world voluntarily. This particular job is a brand new thing for me too... a much more difficult job than I imagined or anticipated and even though my fight-or-flight reflex is urging me to run away as fast as I can, I'm going to stick with it and give it a chance. I may end up loving it - or not - but I have decided that I will not make a hasty or general decision on something without having given it a fair chance.

So you see... we are all in the same boat. Every new year as we ponder our successes and failure of the past and make strategies to improve our lives in the coming year, we must all fix our goals and then give ourselves a fair chance at seeing them through. Not with resolutions, but with resolve. Not with nouns, but with verbs.

In 2011 I resolve to dissolve all my old attitudes that keep me from reaching my full potential. I resolve to stop wasting time thinking about what I want to do, and actually focus on doing it. And most of all, I resolve to never make another resolution again as long as I live. Who's with me?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Hello 2011... Goodbye Wine

My new year began with nary a drop of bubbly. Ironic, isn't it?

I start a new blog, name it Boozy Tooth, and decide to lay off the sauce for awhile. That is so me.

It wasn't a decision I made consciously, though, but rather a whim that will hopefully stick for awhile. You see... even though I am a devotee of the fruit of the vine, I also know that looking the other way as the recycling truck lingers over sorting my wine bottles is probably a sign that I need to change up my routine and tuck my little vice away for awhile.

Kids, I drink wine like a camel drinks water and since my liver hump has remained sufficiently filled since I crossed-over into adulthood, I've decided it's time to kiss my Chianti goodbye like a forbidden lover. At least for a little while. With my genetic pre-disposition to Diabetes and my genetic pre-disposition to being Russian, I can no longer ignore that double-whammy and continue to throw back  like there will never be any negative consequences. Henceforth, I am drying out. I am doing the responsible thing and switching my focus to the benefits of imbibing pure clean water, mineral water, sparkling water, Perrier, Pellegrino, Evian. Even sewer water might be an improvement.

I know a few of you are setting your watches and hedging your bets on whether or not I make it to January 2nd without a glass of wine, but that's okay. This isn't so much a resolution as a choice, and every minute of every day gives us plenty of opportunities to make choices.

My goal is to get back to remembering the difference between desiring a sip of a fine vintage and the knee-jerk reflex of downing a bottle just because it happens to fall within my line of sight.

Some people go to the mountaintop. Some seek Gurus and Seers. Some go to therapy. Some go twelve steps. Me? I'm just taking a break and giving myself permission to refrain. Right now I'm refocusing on good health. Responsible behavior. Positive role modeling. And reminding myself that as in all things in life, I am in charge of my own destiny.