Saturday, January 1, 2011

Thoughts on living well in 2011

I've been thinking for several days what to write about to bring in the new year. This post has nothing to do with the gluten free diet, with recipes, or even really with food. This year I've been more contemplative than excited. My husband and I used to write out resolutions, but we decided several years ago it seemed rather silly since often those resolutions were broken by the end of January or at least by February. It wasn't out of a lack of discipline, or a sudden decision to revise our resolutions... it was often because they were unrealistic. 

Each January for several years I've attempted to follow new plans towards weight loss. Either by cutting out sugar, trying a vegan diet, trying a vegetarian diet, following a fast, going on a "South Beach" diet... you name it... and I've most likely tried it and blogged about it.

This year, this grand year of two thousand and eleven... we're choosing to be kind. Yes, I need to lose weight. I have healthy goals I want to reach, but I've slowly learned that setting unrealistic goals and having unrealistic limitations doesn't work for me.

Here are a few things I'd like to do this year. Not necessarily goals or resolutions... just a few comtemplative ideas to bring wellness & health into our lives:
  • Take more walks. Not even for physical health reasons... just to walk. To relieve stress, instead of baking every time I need to relieve stress... take more walks. Cookies are good and I will still make them, but it would also be nice to enjoy the fresh air a little more than I do now. 
  • Read more books. I love to read and I haven't spent nearly enough time doing so. Real. Physical. Books. (Well okay, if a kindle walks into my life I certainly wouldn't turn it away! lol) But I've got tons of books that have been rather lonely this year on our shelves. It's time to change that. Have you read any good books lately?
  • Have a little more grace towards others. Grace is huge to me. I wouldn't be who I am today without the absolute grace of a loving God... but more often than not I'm judgemental, petty, and have a hard time letting go of anger. It's a pretty lousy example of my faith. And it's not who I really am. It's time to be more willing to share the grace He's given to me.
  • Pen handwritten letters and cards. A real, personal, handwritten letter complete with spelling mistakes, sentences that may need a little work, and yet written out of true thoughtfulness can mean more to people than any gift ever could. When I was about 9 years old, our local postmistress, a dear, kind woman told me that if I wanted to recieve a letter, I needed to write one. She became one of my favorite people. She would ask me about the people I wrote too, she would even call me and let me know I recieved a letter if I didn't make it to the post office for a day or so. 20 years later, thinking back on those days some people might think that postmistress was just a bit odd or nosy... but I think she looked forward to those letters as much as I did. She was a friend. She cared about me. She was a vibrant part of my community and she cared about the people in her mail district. I miss her. So if you'd like a letter, write someone. They will appreciate the thought and time you put into it more than you will ever know!
  • Be a little more kind to yourself. While I'm running the risk of sounding like a self-help guru here... I need to be a little nicer to me. I think even without realizing it, I'm constanting beating myself up. Yes I know I'm overweight, I know I need to exercise more, I know I'm wear plus size jeans and I get really frustrated with the whole double chin thing. I always have a running "to do" list tabulating in my thoughts and I get frustrated with myself on the things I haven't done or haven't accomplished... (Hello? I'm 32... shouldn't I have made it further along in life by now? Shouldn't we have kids now? Be more prosperous? Know what I really want to be when I grow up?) Anybody with me here? But I also need to learn to be okay with that. Yes, there are things about myself and my life that I'd like to change, but I also need to accept myself right now, right here... plus size jeans, double chin and all. Because really, we're blessed just to be here. Right now. We need to remember that.
Do you make resolutions? Do you create new goals? What are you looking forward to in 2011? Welcome to the new year! Let's make it a good one!
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  1. I never do resolutions and I don't exactly want to say that this year I am but I am doing....something! lol
    First is weight loss..I have never tried hard to lose weight after my kids I figured I was married with two kids who cares if I'm fat...well now ita going on 10 years and I realized I wasted 10 years being fat just because I didn't want to work for it! So now I'm working! I'll let you know how it goes @@
    Second I'm doing a 52 books in 52 weeks challenge on myself!
    Third I made a list of 150 things I want to do in the next year. nothing majorly earth shattering just things I want to do for me, for others, for my family, just stuff..I did three today:) I wish you best of luck on all your "thoughts" Happy New Year!
    PS I posted my 52 book in 52 weeks on my FB notes you can check it out if you'd like:)

  2. I can relate in many areas, especially the plus size jeans and for me, it's several chins!

    A book I recommend is 'Radical' by David Platt. It will challenge your faith in a good way.

    I also agree with the hand written letters/notes. On a couple occasions recently, I have even felt a strong urging from God to write a letter to a certain person.

    I read something today on facebook today that really struck me.

    "As this new year begins I hope for the good, but would be the wiser to put my hope in the Lord each and every day."

    Blessings to you for 2011!

  3. Hi Carrie,
    Your thoughts on the New Year are great, I enjoyed your post. Choosing to be kind is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves and others. Thank you for sharing and Happy New Year!

  4. What a wonderful list! I have been working on most of those things myself. I haven't been to visit you in a while- we are no longer gluten free, so I haven't been as concerned about finding new recipes.

    I would encourage you to look up Linda Bacon's book, "Health at Every Size" and see if that doesn't help you with a few of your goals. It has sure revolutionized my view on dieting, and understanding more about my body and why I continue to regain every pound I lose no matter how hard I try!

    I loved your note about hand-written letters. I am revisiting an old habit this year of sending hand made birthday cards and anniversary cards to all my family members. I also make cards for friends (and sell them too, on my website) and have found that whether or not they reply, I feel a very deep sense of satisfaction at offering a note that celebrates the fact that they are in my life.

    I wish you the happiest of New Years!
    PS, would you be willing to share with me how you coded the blog for a printer friendly recipe? I would love to add that to my recipe blog, but don't know how to do it.
    Thanks! orneryswife (at) gmail

  5. Hey Carrie -
    I struggled with weight too for quite some time. I finally actually took the plunge a few years ago and lost 20# on Weight Watchers. It totally works - IF you follow the plan! And it is easy to do on a GF diet diet. You don't have to eat their foods, but it teaches you to make better choices and eat the appropriate amount for you. That's always been one of my issues, overeating! (Still is, but I am getting better at it.) I am up about 3 pounds from my goal but over three years, not bad. I highly recommend it if you really want to lose weight. And you don't have to go to meetings, you can do it online. Although, I did find the meetings helpful and they kept me in the right frame of mind - just don't expect them to know anything about eating gluten free, or whatever else free. You just take the info and use it to fit your way of eating. Let me know if you want any addtl info about it.
    As for books, I love to read. What types of books do you like to read? I loved Girl with The Dragon Tattoo, I love Barbara Kingsolver and Amy Tan. A couple other good ones I have read this year are The Magician's Assistant, The Time Traveler's Wife, Her Fearful Symmetry. I have The School of Essential Ingredients in my pile. I like a lot of historical fiction. I just finished one called the Mistress of Rome. So, it depends on what you like... mysteries, etc. I like books about dogs and dog behavior, etc.
    And as for being more kind to myself, I think we all struggle with that! I was looking up the yoga class schedule today and a meditation CD to try. I need to relax more and stay in tune with my body more because on top of the celiac I was recently dx'ed with a progressive neurological disorder that has got me down. I need to stay active but yet relax a little more. Like you said, take more walks. Luckily I have two pups that love to walk. I won't let it get me down!
    Thanks for sharing. All of the bloggers have a certain side they tend to show, but it is nice to see the other sides of everyone here and there so we can help each other out.
    Take care of you!
    And if you want to know more about WW, let me know.

  6. Carrie ~ I like all of these ideas. Typing an email is quick and easy and it's better than nothing, but I miss sending and receiving handwritten notes. Happy New Year!

  7. I love these "resolutions". I haven't really made hard and fast resolutions, other than I do want to maintain balance in my life. Balance and peace - with food, with health, with work and life. I am in tune with yours as well - I need a few more walks in my life.