It's only January 2nd, and I'm already tired of ad campaigns flashing scales and measuring tapes at me, reminding me that NOW! is the time to join the gym/lose inches/spend a fortune on pre-packaged food diets. I can't hear the words "new year" without some company also trying to convince me that I need to "Lose Weight!" so I can finally "feel better about myself!" Forgive me if I'm skeptical.
The truth is, it's 2008 and it's time for a whole new approach. No more meaningless resolutions, no more unrealistic expectations. No more buying into the notion that "feeling better" is inextricably linked to my weight and nothing else. My life, and my health, is bigger than that.
It's not about losing weight to feel better; it's about feeling better, period.
Which is why I'm very, very happy to be introducing BlogHer's 2008 Good Health-a-thon. It's simple. It's fun. It's personal. And I'll hope you'll join me in making it a success.
(The best part? No scales required!)
There are lots of things that each of us could do to improve our health. But with so many options and opportunities, sometimes I simply feel overwhelmed.Example A: Eating Healthy
"Okay, so...I'm supposed to be lowering my salt and eating only lean proteins, got it. And saturated fat is the enemy. And so is dairy. And so are carbs. And what was that about wheat? Oh, not wheat, just gluten? So no gluten, carbs, dairy, fat or salt. And organic? Organic is better for me? So I should order only free-range, organic, non-gluten, non-salt, non-dairy, fat-free items? But then...huh? How is it possible that fruit can be bad for me, I thought... What? Glycemic index? No, I don't know -- HEY, CAN I HAVE THIS GRAPE OR NOT?"
And then, frustrated and fed up, I order a cheeseburger.
My problem -- and perhaps yours, if the above example sounds familiar -- is that I try and do it all at once, taking an all-or-nothing approach. If I can't do everything right, I feel I may as well not bother at all. Which gets me nowhere.
Help me, Good Health-a-thon!
BlogHer's Good Health-a-thon is all about what we can do, little by little, day by day, week by week and month by month to live healthier. It's not a matter of saying "I'm going to go to the gym more this year" and then reviewing your progress in January of 2009, only to discover you haven't actually used your gym card since mid-February.
Instead, the point of the Good Health-a-thon is to have each of us set simple, attainable, health-related goals for ourselves throughout the year. Our goals can be anything we want, but with the idea of broadening our definition of "health" well beyond calorie counting.
How It Works
Each day, week, month (or whatever time frame works best for you), set a goal for yourself and blog it. You can let others know you're planning to participate by commenting below and linking to your posts. Then, you can help your fellow BlogHers by visiting their blogs to offer support and suggestions.
That's all there is to it!
Well, sort of. Because before we kick-off the 'thon, it would probably make sense to talk about the kind of goal-setting that really works, and then open the floor to suggestions from you about ways we can make healthy choices this year. (Or you can scroll down or click here to go right to some healthy ideas!)
Goal Setting & The Good Health-a-thon
There's a trick I learned a long time ago about setting "SMART" goals; that is, goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. So what does that mean for the Good Health-a-thon?
Well, you can go on to read the rest of the article here, because I do actually find the SMART goal-setting approach useful.
Regardless, the best part of this is that it's a series, and for my first update, I got to re-purpose my BALLS OF DEATH entry. Yay!
It turns out that my own very personal goals actually do involve weight loss, and (more specifically) getting into better physical shape. And so I thought a good first step would be to hire myself a personal trainer.
Or, more accurately, I decided that I wasn't throwing nearly enough money at my weight-loss efforts...
Sure, I thought, I am donating huge sums of money to my gym every month, but what I want to know is: how can I spend even MORE money to get exactly NO results? Surely there must be a way to keep my ass and boobs inflating at a frightening rate!
And then it occurred to me.
I KNOW! I did not exclaim, because I was totally doing this at work and people would have stared at me. I could hire a personal trainer!
And lo, one of the most disastrous work-outs of my life ensued. (And this is really saying something. See historic reference.)
I looked [my trainer] straight in the eye and said, "I notice that 'wine' is not a food group."
He did not seem to think this was funny, although maybe he was laughing on the inside. I certainly was. Instead, he explained to me that while a glass of wine is probably okay sometimes, alcohol is not really a standard part of a healthy living plan.
"You should probably just not drink," I believe he said.
Uh huh. So apparently, if I eat only super healthy foods, stop drinking, and work out regularly, I will probably get healthy.
So let me just end by saying, whatever you may think of BlogHer, you HAVE to give them props for letting me be the poster girl for the 2008 Good Health-a-thon.