Labor of (Self) Love
Some people are really into the New Year’s resolution thing, but I’m not a huge believer in the once a year promises – I try to make small goals for myself and work at them often. While I try to start each year fresh, Labor Day really inspires me to reevaluate what I want from my year. I’m not going to chat you up with back-to-school rallying. I will not stress you out with talk of changing your wardrobe and breaking out the boots. I really want to speak to your (and my) personal goals on this Labor Day holiday.
I want to ask you to be a partner with me as I lay the foundation for the upcoming academic year. I like to look at the mission of my private practice and make sure that I’m practicing what I preach. I need to keep my work fresh, so sitting down to do this is super important to me.
There are 8 key elements to my philosophy – I call them the “pillars” of Nutritious Life. I’m going to lay them out for you. There is a bullet with MY goal to correspond with each pillar and I have left one bullet for you in each category to add your goals. Remember to keep your goals simple and attainable. You have reached your goal if it has become a habit; at that point, set a new goal for yourself.
Eat empowered — Feel empowered putting the most nutrient rich food in your body. It’s not “I can’t eat the dessert” – it IS – “I can eat the blueberries!” When we focus on how good we feel fueling ourselves with the best foods you will continue to be motivated to eat these foods.
- This year I’m going to do a great job stocking my purse, desk and travel bag with healthful snacks (I’m usually pretty good at this) AND I’m going to make sure that I have a stockpile of ready to eat veggies to grab and go in my refrigerator each week. I’m going to chop my celery, trim my green beans and julienne my jicima on Sunday nights when I’m catching up on my favorite shows.
- Your Eat Empowered goal:
Exercise steady — Aside from burning calories exercise is important because when we exercise our bodies releases endorphins which make us feel good and motivate us to eat well, do our jobs well and simply be happy!
- On days when getting to the gym or a class stresses me out because I have so much to do, I am going to walk up the 7 flights of stairs to my office and I’m going to bang out push-ups, planks and wall sits while I’m on the phone.
- Your Exercise Steady goal:
Drink up — Our bodies are 50-75% water. The most common reason people are sluggish in the afternoon is due to dehydration. If we don’t drink enough water our bodies do not function properly, we become tired and do not metabolize food properly.
- I am really solid in the fluid department and get my water in every day. Still, I’d like to get more lemon in (it is great at detoxifying the liver), so I plan to slice up some lemon (or cucumber or whatever inspires me that week) for my water; I’ll do this the same time I am cutting up my veggies on Sunday nights.
- I have a second goal: I’d like to have a pitcher of homemade unsweetened iced tea in the house at all times and plan to make a pitcher for me and the family in interesting flavors. It is a great alternative to plain water and is full of antioxidants.
- Your Drink up goal:
Pamper thyself — Treating ourselves to something special can have emotional and physical benefits. Simple small indulgences, like a manicure, massage, bubble bath can make us look and feel great.
- I love a little pampering, but it can be a feast or famine thing for me. Sometimes I have a good run of making it to get a manicure, haircut, movie or leisurely cup of coffee over the Sunday paper. Sometimes weeks go by without my stopping for air. My goal is to meet a girlfriend for a walk once a week for an hour, manicure or cup of tea.
- Your Pamper Thyself goal:
Sleep deep — When we are well rested we make better food choices, have more energy to go the gym, walk to work or take time for our favorite activities.
- Honestly, this is the pillar I struggle with the most. I know I function best with 7 hours of sleep per night, so I’m going to schedule my sleep like a doctor’s visit and write into my calendar what time I’ll get to bed and wake each day so that I can stick to it.
- Your Sleep Deep goal:
Sex ed — Oxytocin – a hormone released after orgasm in men and women, through cuddling, and even by simply holding hands – acts as a soothing antioxidant and may make it easier for people to stick to their healthy eating style.
- I’m not letting you into my bedroom goals this time . . . a girl needs a little privacy. But I will share this…My kids are still little. I plan to snuggle them as long as they’ll let me. I’ll get my oxytocin dose while I cuddle them and read chapters of The Little Prince.
- Your Sex Ed goal:
Stress less — Stress increases the level of the hormone cortisol in our bodies, which in turn makes our bodies crave carbohydrates, specifically high sugar carbohydrates, and store fat around the mid-section. So, even if we don’t eat more due to stress we can still gain weight due to stress!
- I’m going to write down the 3 or 4 things that have me most stressed out at the beginning of each day. Having them on paper will help me acknowledge them fully and make them seem less intimidating. I’ll give myself extra points if I write an action plan as to how I am going to manage them before they happen.
- Your Stress Less goal:
Live Consciously — The environment that surrounds us can impact our heath, both our mental and physical health.
- This one is easy. I am going to make a clutter free entry way to my home by setting my family up with labeled hooks, bins and customized areas for their ‘junk.’ I’ve been dying to make that project a reality and will conquer it by the first day of school.
- Your Live Consciously goal:
OK, friends. Get cracking. Of course you can share them with me or a good friend . . . remember to reevaluate often. Happy Labor Day. Enjoy!