Christmas decorations are stored away, family is gone to their respective lives and jobs, the house is clean and now as the dust settles into distant memories of exchanged gifts, food, laughter, and teary eyed goodbyes, we look ahead to a fresh new year and all the limitless possibilities of 2009. I, like most of you, had a busy December with church Christmas concerts, extra rehearsal, shopping, wrapping, decorating, baking, etc., while trying to maintain some sense of balance between my writing and reading so that I wouldn’t become some green-eyed monster with two heads.
Nearly every one I know makes at least one resolution for the New Year. The most common one is to loose weight and become more active. Now that’s a good one. All my life I have done some form of exercise and I believe that’s why I’m in fairly decent shape now. I could be better. But as I so often encourage my best friend, Kelly and my daughter Sheri, and daughter-in-law Amy, to make sure they take time for themselves to exercise, and to be sure to include time out of the house without the kids , I've noticed that there is a certain attitude that most women have, but particularly mothers. And it disturbs me. Too many women feel guilty if they take one hour a day for themselves to read or exercise. Not only that, other people infer that they're being selfish if they do! Many women cater to every whim or need of their children then wait hand and foot on their spouse. And it’s our fault if we allow others to make us feel guilty for choosing to have some free time. Our family and children should not feel threatened when we decide to do this.
Now, I’m a writer and not a psychologist, but I can tell you from experience that if you don’t give yourself freedom away from the kids (no matter what age they are), or some time out of the house, it will affect how you feel physically. Men included! Everyone needs a mental break from all the day to day chores of raising children and running a home, not to mention, many women work outside the home, and still have all that work waiting just on the other side of the door like a nagging toddler. It’s hard to juggle everything and keep some form of sanity. But ladies, and any man out there who reads this blog, it’s a necessary thing to exercise. It called your health! There's nothing selfish about that. It energizes you and releases endorphins which can alter your mood making you feel good about yourself. It keeps us flexible as we age and is good for the heart, slows down the aging process, and a boat load of other things. I know you’ve heard them all.
My daughter has been attending “boot camp” for strenuous workouts for a couple of months and I applaud her. Amy walks miles every week (even more than me), and watches everything she eats. I walk and do light weights, and try to watch the calories. Do whatever you feel comfortable with, running, walking, swimming, etc. BUT JUST DO IT! Like the Nike ad reads.
I know it’s hard to start over again, but the benefits you receive will reward you with a happier outlook and a healthier body. Gradually, you’ll loose weight while watching what you eat and feel better. Pick a time that works for you and get started today, so that when you look back this time next year, you can smile and say, "I took some time for me!" and feel good about!! By the way, if you are struggling with just dragging yourself to the gym, outside or the treadmill, post a comment and I'll add you to my personal prayer list. It would be a priviledge to pray for you!