35 has been a HUGE year for me in terms of what I’ve learned has and has not worked for me as well as for my clients. None of us are getting any younger but, damn it, that doesn’t mean we should interpret aging as, “Ho, hum, I guess I’ll just settle into my fate of this crusty, achy existence.” So, in case I fall into the trap of self pity on an “I’m feeling old” day, I thought I’d make this list to look back on to feel better.
Here is my Top 10 list of Stuff I Learned from being 35:
- Sleep matters. So does a good bed. No one should spend the first few hours of their day recovering from crappy sleep due to a bad bed. Yes, good beds are expensive but there are many reasons to invest: No more back pain, sleeping through the night, waking up feeling awake and alive, being a more productive and active human being throughout the day because you actually slept the night before. Trust me. It’s well worth the money. (Need a good mattress? I’ve got a guy.)
- Wanna lose weight? Learn to maintain. Do you know why most people who’ve lost weight gain it back (and then some)? Because the tactics they used to get that weight off were not ones they planned on keeping as habits once they reached their goal weight. Most of us don’t consider what we’re going to do once we get to where we feel good. Then, after all the hard, unsustainable work we did to lose that weight, we go back to the old habits that got us into that unhappy place. Want to keep the weight off? Figure out what habits you can practice now that will not only help you lose weight but that you can keep as habits long term. (Thanks to Georgie Fear and Josh Hillis for this brain explosion. Check them out. They have excellent things to say.)
- Cauliflower is the most amazing vegetable ever. (Chef Jona agrees.) You can roast it. You can make it into “mashed potatoes”. You can rice it. You can microwave it from frozen, sprinkle it truffle salt and enjoy. It’s the little black dress of vegetables.
- Creativity: It does the body good. Do you feel fuzzy-headed? Grumpy? Stressed out? Grab a coloring book (they make them for adults), grab a book book (not a Kindle), grab a notebook and write. Give yourself 10, 15, 20 minutes a day but do something creative. It does the body, mind and soul some good.
- Say no. I’ve gotten in over my head with projects since high school. I’m done with that (she says). When you say “no” to something you’re not 100% passionate about, you’re actually saying YES to spending time with those you love, to traveling, to binge watching the first season of Beverly Hills 90210 on Amazon Prime, to DOWN TIME.
- Choose how YOU want to measure your progress and define success. DO NOT let a trainer or coach, magazine or weight loss show determine that for you. I no longer assume my clients want to be measured or weighed in; I do not take before pictures unless a client wants them (and then I only take them if they promise to never look negatively on that before picture). I ask them how they’d like to measure their own progress. Because guess what? It’s no one’s job to impose the meaning of success onto you. If someone does, it has more to do with them and their ego.
- Set at least one big physical goal every year. I trained for (and PASSED!) one of the most challenging kettlebell certifications out there. Not because my clients yearned for kettlebell training. I did it because, until this past year, I would not have imagined I’d ever pass. I was always a great test-taker in school but I’d never been tested physically. It was life-changing and humbling. And now I want to conquer my fear of the trapeze… Do something that will make you realize you are capable of great things.
- Stop cutting out entire food groups. Food is NOT the enemy. What usually needs to be altered is the way we interact with food. Once I figured that out, a whole new world of habit-based approaches and action-taking developed. (Again, thanks, Georgie and Josh.) So, you know, look out for more on that right here on the blog :)
- It’s OK to take some time off. I trained hard for quite a few months leading up to my kettlebell certification. I took my tests Sunday. I took one day off. I went right back at it on Tuesday because I was PUMPED to swing some bells (which was contraindicated by both the logical side of my brain and my coach). Then I got really tired, didn’t feel like training at all but did anyway and then I broke my foot. Feeling exhausted plus feeling dread (that you otherwise don’t feel) about training is a recipe for disaster. It might mean you’re overtraining. When you overtrain, you run the risk of injury. And then you’re out of commission for far longer than you might have been if you’d just taken a few weeks off to recover. Harrumph.
- Practice kindness and compassion. Toward yourself. Because you will not take care of yourself if you are mean and nasty to you. I promise.
And with that I wish you a happy weekend. Take care of yourselves, y'all!