Today I went running. In Chicago. In February. Did I mention it's pretty cold here? Anyway, I should point out a few things before you're tempted to yank the horn that I am currently tooting on right out of my clenched fists. I give you exhibit a: I have always hated running. And most athletic activities in general. And I have always envisioned myself as "the fat kid". I don't say this in an effort to elicit an "ohhh", but rather to further point out how our perceptions of ourselves and our abilities are not always accurate (and in fact, usually are not accurate at all). Exhibit b: I grew up in Arizona. Well... sort of. I lived in Arizona until I was 8 years old, then I lived the rest of my childhood in upstate New York. But... I have a theory on this one (and feel free to call me crazy, that's totally your God-given right). I have theorized from my own observations and experiences, that a person's ability to tolerate extreme temperatures is entirely dependent on the climate they were exposed to as a small child. Take me, for example. I feel like I am always cold. Always! And actually, further evidence suggests that my "normal" body temperature (ie: the temperature of my body when I am not inflicted with fever) is between 97º and 98º (there's a lot of fascinating info on body temperatures... For example, I had no idea the average body temperature for people living in Russia is 97.9º!) Then there's Ben (who grew up in the Dakotas and northern Wisconsin). He is always overheated. I actually think a lot of this has to do with the circulatory system of the two sexes, but the point is I do not deal with cold weather very well. And finally exhibit c: I am not the most motivated person (frowny face ). But every now and then, I surprise myself.
This year I was extremely adamant to write an official 'New Year's Resolutions' list, because if I've learned anything from previous years, it's that writing something down doesn't make it so. So this year I have a new strategy: I'm going to keep my goals at the front of my mind, stop focusing on numbers, and pay more attention to how I feel. No more weigh-ins or measurements. And no more beating myself up! I'm well aware of what's good for me and what's bad for me, and I know what makes me feel better. Around my high school years, I became increasingly aware of the body image issue. And I always thought there was some secret floating around that I wasn't allowed to know, some unmentionable way of living that all the pretty, thin girls knew about and weren't telling me. And now I know it's more complicated than that. There are genes, body-type determinants, activity-levels, nutrition factors, etc. etc. etc. And I really think there are too many things to do in life than waste time worrying about it. So here's to the new year (only 2 months late), here's to living life, and here's to listening to our bodies. If you pause to listen, I think you'll find they can tell you a lot.