by guest blogger, Deanna Cogdon Miller
As the gluttony of the holiday fades and the new year begins, I find myself making the same resolutions I seem to make every year. Lose weight. Exercise. Smaller portion sizes. I seem to be caught in a cycle – the same cycle as so many people who start the year off with good intentions and watch those intentions slowly fade back into bad habits by mid-February.
After a decade of this cycle, something finally feels different for me. It feels like something has clicked over the past few weeks that leads me to believe I can actually make my resolutions a reality in 2012.
It started with the death of my Granny just before Christmas. She was an amazing woman who lived an incredibly healthy life. She valued good food, proper portion sizes and was committed to fitness and attended aerobics classes for as long as she could. In fact, her commitment was so strong that her gym actually gave her a lifetime membership for her 80th birthday. Although her health seemed to fade quickly, the great majority of her 90 years were spent in great physical shape and when she passed, I found myself thinking about how lucky we all were that because she took such great care of herself, we got to have her with us for so many years.
Then, after Christmas, my mom and I took my great aunt to lunch. Similar to Granny, she has been committed to healthy eating for as long as I’ve known her and does a pile of walking. She is now 93, continues to live in her own apartment and although frustrated with vision issues, she’s still doing everything for herself, going out with friends and walking the waterfront as long as its not icy outside. Again, her commitment to herself is allowing us to have this time and giving our kids the opportunity to know their great great aunt.
Just as I started feeling really inspired by these two amazing women, I watched this video on youtube (which I highly recommend) and it was then that something in my mind clicked.
I know that I’m the last person I take care of. I focus my attention on the kids and my husband and my extended family and my friends and my job and my colleagues and the kids’ activities. By the time it’s time to think about me, I’m just too tired for anything active and tend to choose to write, work on family photo albums or get suckered in by reality TV (all of which occur in the same spot on the couch).
With that being said, the last few weeks have taught me that it’s time to move ‘me’ up on the list of daily accomplishments. Rather than thinking about my resolutions as needing to lose weight to fit into nicer clothes or feel better about my body, I am now looking at the gorgeous little faces of my kids and realizing that getting back into shape is the absolute best thing I can do for them. Not only will it model healthy active living as they grow up but prioritizing me means that I’m doing everything I can to make sure we have as much time together as possible.
Like most parents, I spend every single day of my life making sure my kids are happy, loved and well taken care of. Who would have thought that their long term happiness could actually be dependent on how well I take care of myself. If that isn’t inspiration, I don’t know what is.
Deanna lives in Dartmouth with her husband and three children. When she’s not reading stories, dancing to ABBA or burping a baby, she works in communications for Bell Aliant.