I have a question for the universe: Why are bad habits so hard to break, and good habits so hard to form? Also, why does healthiness cost a fortune?
Like seriously. Is it not enough that all healthy food has to taste like crap and all exercise is pure suffering... can it not be just a little bit easy and/or cheap to do something to improve my long term well-being on a regular basis? Ugh.
We traveled to Colombia last month, and part of our quest was to create some new habits of exercise and better eating in a warm, sunny place with more options than Colville. Sorry Tony's and Mr. Sub, it's nothing personal. While we succeeded in walking a lot and going to the gym (under protest, for some of us with the initials of ME) on a semi-regular basis, doing the work to find not-deep-fried food was a little trickier. Still, with the price tag of about $5-7 on a good, Argentinian Parilla Steak in Colombia, we did ok some days and I actually lost a few pounds and improved my stamina and endurance.
I got all my pounds back with interest and quickly lost my stamina and endurance as soon as we got back to the States, where a good, clean steak costs upwards of $20 and macaroni & cheese whispers seductive sweetness from every menu for a fraction of the price of a salad. Even gym prices in place like Florida and Washington D.C. were outrageous. It cost me $25 for one yoga class in D.C., and while it was (honestly) totally worth in my post-Christmas blobbery, we paid that same amount for four classes in Medellin. Being healthy in the U.S. is hard and expensive.
Which makes me think that the conspiracy theorists actually have it figured out. If we can only afford to eat chemical-laden garbage here, then we will inevitably fall sick with (COMPLETELY AVOIDABLE) illnesses that require medical interventions that we can't afford so we have to have insurance (which we also can't afford, but it's cheaper than health care) and all of the big chemical/pharmaceutical companies and their political/commercial cronies are the ones that are making out like bandits while we're just getting more fat and miserable by the day, voting for all kinds of random band-aid solutions that just line the aforementioned pockets even more. IT'S A TRAP! Which is why conspiracy theorists quit their day jobs, grow enough beans and peaches to live on and stockpile guns. Or move to Colombia and live on good, clean Argentinian steak.
I think I will join the latter camp, because I just spent $35 on eggs and milk and cheese at Safeway here which was consumed completely 36 hours later and now all we have left to eat are saltine crackers and top ramen. And I wonder why I am 35lbs overweight. Real food costs too much, and so does exercise.
OK, there are other solutions, I know. Like I can (and do) do Yoga with Adriene (I just started her 30-day Dedicate Journey if you want in!) on YouTube for free. it's just frustrating because I can't stretch my arms into a Texas T for a supine twist because one hand goes under a chair and the other hand hits the coffee table, and then Dagny puts her slimy ball under my buns when I am in bridge pose and also my floor is cold. I still do it, and I am determined to make a habit of it, but it's hard to really Savasana well when the dog is furiously humping her boyfriend 14 inches from my head. Seriously. No amount of essential oil fixes that.
I say again... UGH. We're doing the gym membership thing here which violates all of my sensibilities because I feel like it's a crime to pay someone to make you suffer, but it's the only answer in this sedentary life we life. So I am finding ways to enjoy the Machines of Torture and the abject humiliation of mismatched leggings and athletic shoes and walls and walls of mirrors reminding me why I am there as I stand frumpily next to that One Girl who looks amazing doing incline sit ups - the move that is more an exercise in trying not to express unintentional flatulence than strengthening my core.
So. Frustrating. HAPPY NEW YEAR. My low-carb, mostly soup diet isn't going so well. The offspring hates soup and that One Guy isn't a fan of most things that are carbless. But I will keep trying. There's a way to do this. I am open to suggestions.
I just read this Mark Manson article about habits vs. goals and it was a good reminder/inspiration, put into the succinct, manageable terms that Manson is so good at enumerating, where he listed of 6 habits to focus on instead of making goals for the new year. Some of them I am already working on dialing in... like the EXERCISE every day thing. Having an Apple Watch makes this fun for me because it is my new Life Aspiration to close All the Circles before this Certain Guy every day. Sometimes I think he has his watch set to cheat because he gets more calorie/exercise credits than I do for the same workout. But whatever.
Manson's other 5 recommended habits include COOKING (which is something I determined a couple months ago was an imperative skill/habit to re-form after my eating out budget was higher than my mortgage payment), MEDITATION (which I SUCK at but am determined to work into my daily yoga practice with lots of discipline), READING (which I used to love but have let go, apparent in the 6-foot shelf of to-read books), and WRITING (which is why I am here today).
These six habits are exactly what I know I need to establish to keep me on track - I have gotten lazy and written off the failure to practice of these things as self-exploration or self-care, blah, blah, blah (insert psychobabble justification here), and I have found myself floating adrift, without a sense of direction or even why I am opening my eyes every morning.
Writing is the biggest one for me. Since I was a kid, journaling has been my saving grace. The thing that kept me from (worse) insanity and maybe even saved my actual life. I have quit writing anything personal lately not from fear of who might read it, but more fear of who might NOT read it, and it's terrifying for me to think that NOBODY CARES. But the reality is, that nobody might care, and THAT'S OK. Because it's about me. It's about getting the words and the thoughts and the feelings out there and if somebody hates it or if nobody reads it or if it's all senseless babble, that's still ok, because it's my thing, and to be who I am and get where I am going, I need to use my words without self-censorship or fear.
So I've got my work cut out for me in the next few months, forming habits and finding creative ways to afford (and enjoy) getting healthy and whole - body, soul, mind, and wardrobe. I'll be looking for workout buddies and healthy recipes, so hit me up! And once I get my six-foot shelf done I will be looking for books too.
My mantra a few years ago was this: It doesn't matter, nobody cares. My new mantra has a lot more power to it: Nobody Cares, Work Harder. My only goal for 2019 is to set aside fear and pain and replace them with love and gratitude. Tony Robbins says that fear and hurt can't co-exist with gratitude, and while I thought I was pretty good at being grateful, judging by the fear I've been living in lately, my gratitude needs some gym time as much as my body. Robbins says to replace expectation with appreciation, so one thought at a time, I will learn the habit of swapping those thoughts. And for me, writing that shit down makes it real, so here's the first step of a journey to a bigger, better, brighter me.
Thanks for listening, if you did, to my ramble. And if you didn't, that's ok too. ❤️