Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The staying power of New Years Non-Resolutions.

It's been several years since I've made a genuine, publicly announced New Years resolution. This year I broke from that and made a resolution to send hand-written cards to people I love, and I'm sad to report that it's now January 17 and I have yet to mail one out. I actually regret making it an "official" resolution, and I'm going to excuse myself from it and downgrade it to my list of Non-Resolutions.

A couple of years after I stopped doing any kinds of New Years Resolutions I started observing something that I very privately and personally called Non-Resolutions. Every New Years feels like a fresh new start, a perfect time to start new traditions, dust off things that have been sitting un-used, get around to projects you've been putting off. This feeling of renewal is the very reason that people make resolutions! I feel especially drawn to the feeling of a fresh start at this time of year because my birthday is December 16, so each new year is literally a new year of my own life, and I observe the Winter Solstice in my spiritual practices - the longest night of the year, when we celebrate that the coming days will each be slightly longer and closer to the sun.

There's just something about a New Years Resolution, spoken aloud in the presence of family or friends, that gives you so much motivation to start and then leads you to fizzle out so hard in the end. When I make a quiet and personal Non-Resolution to myself, for some reason I stick to it. This year I told myself that I would take another few steps in being conscientious of our family's nutrition. We have had some baked treats (mostly homemade) and we did have a boxed birthday cake to celebrate The Man's birthday. I'll also admit to taking the kids out to eat chicken nuggets and apple slices at a well known fast food establishment on a full day of errands and shopping. But I'm proud to say that we haven't been buying convenience snack foods, which we were guilty of until recently. We'd made huge changes to our nutrition in regards to family meals and snacks for the kids, but The Man and I would gleefully sit down with a bag of chips to watch TV at the end of the day. The snack foods we keep in the house now are dried and fresh fruit, vegetables, granola bars, a variety of nuts and seeds, yogurt, cheese, lunch meats, hard boiled eggs, peanut butter, and other such whole or mostly whole foods. It took me a little while to stop craving chips and processed salty snack foods, but I can honestly say now that when I look down the snack food aisle at the grocery store I think to myself "Oh... wow, that food is BRIGHT neon orange, that really can't be healthy," instead of salivating over how deliciously it would melt in my mouth.

The Man and I have made a decision together, something that we hope will bring us closer together as a couple as well as make us healthier as a family. We are going to learn together about nutrition and good, healthy, yummy eating. We're already off to a great start with our homemade from scratch meals, and now we're really going to get into the nuts and bolts of it all - balancing our Omega 3 and Omega 6 oils at a healthy level, adequate B vitamins, antioxidant-rich food built into the menu. I'm really looking forward to it and I hope that he's not just being dragged along for the ride!

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