It’s January 2nd. It’s past time for resolve.
Since one of the themes of this blog is healthy living through good choices, it would seem self-evident that I would resolve to eat better, rest more and exercise smarter. Given my slow-twitch make-up, smarter exercise means more strength and flexibility work.
These would be the easy resolutions. They would, however, be completely devoid of nuance. I aim for more nuance. Like cowbells.
A slightly more subtle resolution would be to live more in the moment. The present is where it’s at. Be the moment. The burn terminates the arrhythmia; the middle-aged cyclist makes the log-crossing; the watt meter says 350 watts for ten-minutes; the grand-daughter looks into your face. These are all moments to cherish more. The coolest thing about being in the moment is the lack of worry about the future.
Every day in the office I see worried faces, worried spouses and worried kids. Worry is everywhere. It’s heavy. An admission: I, too, succumb to worry. I’m human. I worry too much.
So all these things would be worthy topics for resolve.
But that’s not where I’m going.
I want to point you to my favorite New Year’s resolution post:
From Runner’s World: Resolved: Eat the Damn Cookie.
You might think this is crazy. How could a health blogger suggest such?
In 2013, I aim to set a lighter tone. I don’t have all the answers. Writing about health topics is a challenge. Today, I read this Columbia Journalism critique of health reporting. The gist of the long post was that well-meaning, well-read and well-cited science writers can find support of opposite viewpoints. That it’s normal for reporters to lean towards what makes sense to them. But when you look hard at the science, the real answer is not known. And since people care about health, they may act on specific advice. In other words, it matters what we write.
The thing about health reporting these days is the huge number of stories. The specifics get confusing. But for me, the big picture of health is still clear.
Here’s a short quote from the Columbia review that captures the essence of how I feel about health: (emphasis mine)
… most experts have insisted for some time now that successful, long-term weight loss requires permanent, sustainable, satisfying lifestyle changes…
Eating one cookie, once in a while, is not inconsistent with this theme. A cookie isn’t the problem. Eating the whole bag is. Same with pizza, coke and ice cream.
Permanent, sustainable and satisfying.
I have learned from patients that have lost weight and kept it off over the long-term. None did with a diet or a scheme or a pill. They did it with normal life.
Savor the damn cookie.
Eat just one.
Go for a run or ride or walk or swim.
Then don’t worry about it.
Happy New Year Friends.