New Year, Same Me

6 days into 2012 and I feel completely bombarded by the marketing slogan “New Year, New You.” Anti-wrinkle creams, gym memberships, weight-loss supplements, medspa treatments, etc all promise radical transformations, assuring you that “this is your year.” They profit by perpetuating the beauty myths that beautiful=thin and thin=healthy.

In past Januarys I joined gyms, started diets, went tanning, all in an effort to change something in order to feel better about myself. What I didn’t realize then was that I needed to accept myself as-is, that no external quick-fix was going to make me happy, and if I didn’t love myself to the core I could make a dozen changes and never be satisfied.

As you can tell from The “healthy weight” mind f*ck, my path of self-acceptance is definitely progress, not perfection. This time of year is especially challenging, because even though I know better, it’s really difficult to ignore the media messages. So, I’ve decided to compromise. I did not make any resolutions this year. Not one. I did not vow to deprive my body or place unrealistic expectations on myself. I will quiet that voice that says “you are not good enough.” What I have done is made a commitment to keep on doing what I’m doing – focusing on making healthy life choices (and this is not synonymous with weight loss! I can’t stress that enough). This doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for improvement or that I don’t have goals for the year, but that I should give myself some credit for the awesome things I did in 2011 and bring that positivity into 2012.

So, here are some highlights of my year:

-Wedding planning I spent A LOT of time researching vendors, designing all our stationary, working out our budget, and all the other crazy things that go into a wedding. It is 6 months away, and I feel like all the work I put in last year has us in a really, really good spot. In 2012 I want to continue enjoying this process, not letting stress or anxiety get to me as the date approaches.

-Moving across the country JD and I packed up what we could fit in his Honda Accord coupe, and drove 3000+ miles to a new home. We furnished an empty apartment with as much post-consumer furniture as we could find (we had to buy some things new, but we tried really hard to be eco-friendly and budget-conscious). I learned the public transit system (we sold my car before the move), I found employment I love (I nanny/babysit for a few amazing families near our home), we really created a sense of home in WA. I can be shy in new situations, and so meeting people has been tough. In 2012 I want to go out more, make friends with my neighbors, and get involved in the community where we live.

-Writing MBrenn entered the blogosphere. Although I didn’t write often, I did get a lot of positive feedback on certain posts. I also started following a number of blogs of the same genre to take lessons from the pros. I submitted work to a number of literary magazines. I wasn’t published, but I did get honorable mention in Glimmer Train, which I think is super rad! In 2012 I want to write more consistently. I have already submitted another round of stories to various lit mags and should hear back in 6 weeks or so.

-C25K A few weeks ago I started a couch-to-5k program. And although it seems impossible at times, I’ve already surpassed what I believed my body could do in terms of running. It feels great to be more active and have short term goals I get to meet each time I run. In 2012 I want to move more, finding athletic activities I enjoy that make me stronger both physically and mentally.

-Took control of my health This year I addressed a few health issues I’d been ignoring for years (doctors are expensive!). I started working with a chiropractor to fix an old injury that was causing chronic neck pain. I saw a dentist for the first time since college. I got re-tested for a thyroid disorder that runs in my family and is supposed to be monitored regularly. Basically, I started putting my body first, instead of ignoring things because of fear or finances. In 2012 I will continue listening to my body, acknowledging when something is wrong and taking action to correct it.

  • What 2011 accomplishments are you proud of?

  • What are your thoughts on making resolutions?

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One response to “New Year, Same Me

  1. Hey! Didn’t know you had a blog! Cool. I applaud your idea of health choices vs weight loss as your objective. I think if you do the first, the second will probably follow, and better yet, you’ll stay off of it.

    Interestingly enough, I’m also planning to do a 5K run very soon, just 2 weeks away. I had only 6 weeks to go from being able to run less than a mile to being able to run the entire 3.1 miles, and additionally, due to other future requirements my goal pace is 9 minutes a mile. It is amazing how good I feel as I meet each small goal. 22 minutes of continuous running one day, 24 minutes a few days later. Good luck!

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