Resolute: January’s Five

If you’re a regular reader (or have the ability to scroll back a post), you’ll know that this year I turn thirty. You’ll also know that I’ve set myself thirty resolutions for the year, in the aim of making this a year of change and growth. I promised to set myself a few to complete each month, and blog before and after they are achieved.  Seeing as January is almost over, I figure it’s probably time to talk about my Resolutions focus for this month.

This month and the next are a bit different to most other’s because there’s a collection of goals that are really long-term adjustments, rather than quickie challenges. This means, that while I’ll start them this month, I’m not really going to complete them until later in the year, probably not even for a couple years, but this will be the first step.  These one’s will updated regularly, along with the monthly ones, so you can keep me on track. And I mean that—feel free to give me some encouragement, or admonish me when I don’t quite achieve the month’s goals!

So, without further ado, the first five:

DROP THOSE KILOS

For many reasons—because of the PCOS and ME/CFS, because I’m lazy, because I like chocolate—I am the heaviest I’ve ever been. Unfortunately this creates a pretty vicious cycle, because the extra weight flares up my ME/CFS, making it hard to exercise, and then I eat bad because I feel bad…and gain more weight. In the past four years I’ve gone from a size 12-14 to a size 18-20, which has really dented the shaky self-confidence I’d worked hard to build.

I say I’m lazy and that I have eaten badly, but in truth a lot of that was due to frustration over not knowing what was wrong, or how to fix it. Now I know that PCOS girls tend to have to work harder to lose weight, and are much more prone to gaining it, I have a reason. After doing some research, and watching my reaction to different foods I know my triggers. I know what foods make me feel bloated and sluggish, what I eat that tends to make me gain quickly, and what foods make me feel really good. No surprise: the stuff that makes me feel best is fruit and vegetables!

So, this year, all that nasty weight is going to go away, and be replaced with the building blocks of confidence. Sugar, wheat, and gluten are gone, dairy is a sometimes food, and exercise is the new daily staple. Hoepfully, with all this in place, I will be wearing a bikini again at Christmas, and not hiding under shape-wear and baggy tees.

BECOME FINANCIALLY STABLE

When I was younger I was flush with cash, despite receiving pocket money. I got my first job at 12, and have worked ever since, even supporting my family by buying the weekly groceries through a tight patch when I was sixteen. I was strict on myself, allowing myself to blow the first pay-check at a new job, before squirrelling away sixty percent of each pay for a rainy day.

The past two years as I’ve been working to sort out my health I’ve been living predominantly on benefits. The meagre amount received from these benefits was usually barely enough to cover bills, food, and daily living expenses. I’ve had a run of giant medical bills, but I’ve also been stupid with my money at times, spending it willy-nilly, without considering the future.

While I don’t ever want to be one of those people that place great emphasis on money, I do want to go back to the sensible=spending ways of my youth. I want to pay off the debts I owe my parents, lighten the load on my credit card, and develop a positive credit rating, so I can eventually get a loan to buy a house. All those things, however, are secondary to the number one goal: finding a job. To be able to do anything, I have to start making enough money to do more than just scrape by, which means a full-time, nine-to-five, J.O.B. To tell you the truth, I’m secretly really excited about the concept of none-to-five! It’s crazy, I know, but it feels good to have enough energy to get through a week without needing to sleep half of it away—I want to use that energy for something worthwhile.

BE REAL/LET THINGS GO/BE MORE APPRECIATIVE

These next three I’ve grouped together, because they are pretty well connected. You see, I used to be one of those people that was always doing something. Throughout university, I worked an average of thirty-five hours a week and attended full-time classes. When I wasn’t at uni or at work, I was at a gig, or out for coffee, or taking a road trip to the beach. I wasn’t good at sitting still for too long, and I loved being really busy.

Because I’ve been so used to living life at double-pace, having ME/CFS has really been a struggle. My body no longer copes at high speed for very long, and my ability to push past the exhaustion and find a second wind isn’t so great. Not only does this frustrate me, but I’m sure it frustrates others. I’m always late getting to places, it takes me much longer to complete tasks, and I often have to say no to fun outings, so I’m fit to meet my obligations. Then I get angry at myself, and I rant about what I ‘used to’ be able to do and how fast I used to be able to get it done.

This year I’m going to focus on recalibrating—slowing down. I’m going to start doing things earlier, or simply allowing extra time to get them done. I’m going to be realistic, and acknowledge that it now takes me twenty minutes just to get out of bed because I need to wake up my muscles. I’m going to factor into tasks extra half-hour it takes me to get them done. I’m not going to get angry at myself, I’m not going to be frustrated at my body, I’m not going to focus on what was, because that only makes me feel worse.

I am going to appreciate the fact that I’m still fully able bodied. I’m going to revel in the fact that I can get out of bed, instead of sleeping all day like I was doing only months ago. I’m going to be grateful for the things that these changes have given me, and work with the positives instead of against the negatives. Which is what The Thirty is all about—working towards a better me. And hopefully a happy and successful one as well.

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