Last week I celebrated my 47th birthday, and despite the fact that I am one step closer to the big 5-0, I do not feel old. In fact, I feel better than I have in my entire life, and I only see brighter horizons in my future. Now don't get me wrong, I have been skinner, I have had less wrinkles and bumps, but I have never felt as strong physically and mentally as I do right now in my life. With age has come the realization that I can't worry about what others think of me and I can only focus on being the best me I can be. This is a really freeing place to be!
In order to continue moving in a positive direction, I have decided to articulate my five wishes for the coming year--one for each decade of my life ( I am counting the seven extra years as a decade). I am hoping my wishes will inspire you to set some goals for yourself as well this year:
1) Be realistic and kind: I will never have my 18 year-old body, and I need to be proud of the body that I do have. It is not perfect, but for the first time in years I can actually say that I look good. And while I am still trying to push away some of those firmly planted negative images of myself, in the last month I actually got called the "s" word (skinny) more than once. I am hoping that instead of looking behind me for who they are referring to, that I can eventually just say, "Thank you! I worked really hard to get to this point!"
2) Get faster: I am at a stage where I want to be faster at my biking, swimming, and most importantly, my running. My original goal was to be able to run a 10-minute mile on my shorter runs, and I can now easily do that when I run consistently without stopping for pictures. My new goal is that I would like to be able to run at least one half-marathon in under two hours. I also want to refine my swimming and biking techniques so those times improve as well.
3) Get stronger: Part of getting faster is that I really need to strengthen my core. Everything hinges around a strong foundation, and that is a part of my routine that I honestly have not had time to incorporate. Now that I am on summer break I honestly have no excuses.
In addition, my arms have always been a weakness strength-wise. I power through with my legs, but my arms need some attention now. Not to mention that with a little firmness, my arms will look better in all the new tank tops I have purchased in the last month.
4) Keep control of my eating: I have balance now and I want to keep this healthy relationship with food for the rest of my life. I feel fantastic when I eat cleanly, but I also don't want to freak out if I have a bad meal, day, or even week. As I shared with one of my friends recently, it is all in the perspective. If you feel you can never indulge, then one bad meal will make you feel like a failure. However, if you "allow" yourself to occasionally indulge then that self-deprecating monster inside you is less likely to come out. Soon I will be on my first real family vacation I have been on in years. While I won't go crazy, I really want to experience what Hawaii has to offer in the yummy food department. I will also be balancing that out with lots of running, swimming, and hiking in the lush Hawaiian landscape!
5) Be happy: I know this sounds lame, but I just want to be content. I spent so many years being miserable in my own skin that it spilled over into others areas in my life. I have an incredible family, unbelievable friends, a steady job that I actually love...what more could anyone ask for? It is time for me to let go of all those past negative experience and live in the present. I have an amazing life and I need to let all the little stuff slide off and focus on all the positives that life has to offer.