Creative Health: Jan 2

Resolutions? We don’t need no stinking resolutions!

I think New Year’s Resolutions are the worst. Just because it is the start of a new year, that doesn’t mean suddenly you can change your whole life and everything about you.


I do believe in constantly checking out, evaluating, and doing little things to improve your quality of life, health, and happiness as well.

Now believe me – it absolutely KILLS me that the timing of my surgery recovery lined up with the holidays and January, that it looks like I’m doing the resolutions thing. But whatever! I’m letting that timing thing go, and just focusing on getting myself healthier and in better habits now more than ever.


For the last eight years I’ve been working to be a healthier me. I know that I’ve done a lot, and accomplished so very much in that time that has STUCK. Which really, is the important thing. I can tell you that I weigh fifty pounds less today than I did on January 2, 2006. There have been a lot of tiny changes to get me to the place I am today – and they’ll all help me take my health to the next level as well.

What I’m doing right now:

1. Daily exercise, as hard as I can. If you actually want to get in better shape going on long strolls or putting in minimum effort for an hour isn’t going to cut it. You’re MUCH better off running up and down stairs for 10 minutes, or doing some kind of exercise as HARD as you can, until you get tired. Now right now I get to the point of feeling weak and wearing out after about a mile of fast walking, or about 15 minutes of jumping jacks, squats, and other exercises done in a circuit (with NO rest). That is ok, I will get stronger. Because I will do this EVERY day.

What is AMAZING here is that exercise has me feeling better mentally, sleeping better at night, and my energy levels for the day have jumped way up since I started exercising again!!

2. “Studio time” is on the schedule. Maybe it’s just thirty minutes, perhaps I just sit here and stare, but I’m in here ready to create and thinking about things to make.

3. Continuing to eat right, and tracking my food on LoseIt! (an app on my phone) in order to stay honest. This also helps me see where problem areas lay, and is helping me to develop better habits overall.


Hard Truths:

  • You can’t outrun your fork. When people say they’ll exercise extra then eat badly guess what? You can’t lose weight this way. Perhaps someone who is extremely active and in peak physical shape can get away with this – but not most people.
  • To add a bit of fat/round up your horse, cow, or other animal guess what? You feed it grains. I wrote myself this reminder so when I think I need more bread I will pause. While I’m not a believer that 100% of grains should be banned from my diet, I do know that I burn fat more easily, am less hungry, and overall feel better when I’m not eating a ton of grains.
  • There are no excuses for bad food choices. Ever. Know that making a bad choice is your right, but don’t pretend it is out of your control.
  • Water, lots of water, and proper sleep are non-negotiable. Get these two down, and everything else is much more attainable.
  • Time has to be scheduled for creativity. No excuses, no justification. If you want your creative muscles to grow, if you want to be productive, you’ve got to make it a priority.
  • It is all so simple, but not easy.


And so, here I am. Sitting in a fairly clean studio with a huge load of things to do/catch up on and needing to get my morning exercise on. Creating with Fresh Cut from Basic Grey and making myself some notes on what projects I want to do (and what needs to be done) immediately.

I have had some people ask me when I can “get back to normal eating” and the truth is – I can eat anything I want now. I *am* eating what is the new normal for me. Making unhealthy choices is not something I’ll be doing much of. Period. I am taking my recent health issues and calling them a call to action. A chance to REALLY make things stronger, as good as I can, to get myself into a health position that will lead to many decades of active life ahead of me.

I have too many ideas, too many things I want to see and do to let myself decide I’d rather eat badly than have more adventures in life. Forget that!

So I continue on my journey to a healthier me, and I also re-boot my creativity and this blog with fresh ideas, projects, and posts as well. A new year is like the ultimate Monday – a fresh start and full of possibility.

I’m jumping in with a smile.

10 thoughts on “Creative Health: Jan 2”

  1. Thanks for sharing May! I battled with the same resolutions thing; I want my changes to be permanent not a failed resolution. And I too had a health scare in late 2013 (no surgery though!) that sidelined me for awhile. I have lost 80+ pounds since December 2011; I still could stand to lose 80 more but I am focusing on one day at a time, making better choices in the amount I move and eat. I’m going to check out the blog you mentioned, I can use all the help I can get. Oh, and on a separate note, I’m really looking forward to your class.

  2. Congratulations on moving toward a healthy lifestyle! I too am struggling with this since I retired from the military. As much as I hated to exercise in the military I had to do it to keep my job. Now the motivation has to come from inside me. Just a little tougher! Here’s to a fantastic 2014! Happy New Year!

  3. I like how you are looking at this as “creative health” May. I know I face a lot of these same issues, and since I really have been working at imprinting my life with creativity! why not look at my journey to a healthier me in the same way. Wishing all of us facing these decisions the best!

  4. Happy New Year! Good for you! So many people focus on one thing like losing weight for a special event. You are taking it further by choosing a healthy lifestyle. What a great example you are setting!

  5. Good on you May!
    Being strong enough to not make resolutions if you don’t believe in the practise!
    Personally I resolved many years ago to only make resolutions I had a chance of attaining!
    It works for me!!!
    This year I resolved NOT to buy any new papercrafting stuff!
    It is going to be hard BUT I have an office full of stuff and I need to use some up.
    I must admit however that I stocked up on canvasses and glues before the New Year!
    Proper planning and all that

  6. Good for you! I just went to a lecture tonight for the folk in the Kaiser weight loss program. It was a good review of the SMART skills we learned and we made some resolutions that will be mailed back to us on the date we picked. I SET my measurable and specific goals about lbs I’ll lose, steps I’ll take each day and hours of exercise a week. I use to MONITOR my food intake and my exercise and I have a Jawbone UP to monitor my steps and sleep, I ARRANGE my world as I set up an exercise schedule and go to the market by my house often for small amounts of food I’ll eat soon with an emphasis on fresh and healthy stuff. I’m telling you and others to RECRUIT my support (and happily give you my support), and I TREAT myself with my points on my spins at Sparkpeople (funny how that makes me happy) and I judiciously spend money on new or altered clothes as a treat for losing a few more lbs or maintaining a while. I’m getting low on my perfume and think I’ll treat myself to a new bottle when I lose 10 more pounds. I’ve really been happy with what I achieved this past year. Losing 40 lbs and getting more active has been great. Sounds like you’ve found a good method for achieving your goals!

  7. May, those Fresh Cut layouts are like breathing in sweet air! LOVING those papers!!! But really THANK you for your comments about this being the “new normal” way you eat. I have been making better eating choices the last few months to some weird comments from some co-workers and I’ve been feeling better, sleeping better, this way that foods affect people thing is quite amazing, and nothing tastes better than feeling great.
    Hugs and good luck in your endeavors. 🙂

  8. Im so glad you’re feeling so much better May.

    I like your list of habits and will be taking a leaf from your book

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