I’m not sure what my New Year’s resolution is, mostly because I’m relying on other people to help me figure it out.
I’m pretty happy with the way 2009 played out—I started grad school, we launched Three Many Cooks, Mom and I ran a marathon, I moved into my very first apartment (and I’m paying the bills and feeding myself!). And I’ve managed to live my life with a degree of balance that, though not perfect, is the closest I’ve ever been to normal…ever.
For those of you who didn’t know me in high school and college, I was one of those chronically sleep-deprived overachiever types who launched into every pursuit—school, working out, new friendships—with the same determined, energetic abandon that ultimately left me burned out within a few weeks, a few months, or a few years. My life resolution has been to find balance. To study some, cook some, go out some, exercise some, spend time with family some, read some, clean some, and so on. So far, so good. I could clean more, eat vegetables more, read for pleasure more, and call my grandparents more, but in the grand scheme of things, I am doing ok.
After the marathon, I took a little hiatus from hardcore workouts. The marathon was great, but I’d had enough of 20-mile runs for a little while. I’ve put on my running shoes a few times in the last month or so, but I could definitely do that more. Running is not the issue for me—I’m lucky enough to like it (I know, for those who don’t, that is so annoying.) However, what I loathe more than anything is lifting weights. I’ve read enough issues of Self and Shape and Cosmo to know the facts. I know that lifting and building lean muscle burns more calories, I know toning is key, I know weight-bearing activities help prevent bone loss (it’s never to early to start worrying about that!). I know all these things, and I’ve spent years going on and off major weight lifting routines—you know the ones with all the bands and balls and awkward acrobatic moves.
No doubt, it works. But I hate it. So, I am trying to figure out how to tone without being annoyed every time I go to the gym (or don’t go to the gym, since I am too irritated by the prospect to even make it there.) I know from experience I have to like it, and it can’t take up too much of my time, or else I’ll never stick to it. And I am not in the business of burning out anymore.
So, can someone help me figure this out? Swimming? Yoga? Yoga-booty-lates? Kickboxing? Good old-fashioned push-ups? Whatever it is, it needs to be cheap (free is even better), since I am a poor grad student. And I have to be able to do it with a little joy, or else it’s never going to last. So, let’s have it.