Welcome, 2012!

Happy New Year!

The start of a new year is an exciting time, but for some of us, it’s the time of year when we roll out the welcome mat for our inner critic. “I hate my thighs…I need to lose 10 lbs…my hair is a mess…”.  This is the mantra that plays in our heads for many of us. And who can blame us? Every commercial seems to be for a gym membership, diet plan, or energy drink. It may not be the intention, but the message many of us hear is this: “You don’t exercise enough. You are overweight. You don’t have enough energy and are lazy.” Put that way, it’s no wonder we are critiquing our every flaw and setting out to make massive changes every January.

Here’s the thing: it’s great to want to make positive changes in your life at any time of year. And by all means, if you are smoking you should make plans to quit. If you feel you are consuming too much alcohol on a regular basis, now is the time to get some help. But if you had one too many slices of fruit cake and a few extra helpings of egg nog, don’t rake yourself over the coals. If those jeans don’t fit as splendidly as they did last year, just know that our bodies change throughout our lifetime. OK, so you don’t have the body you did when you were 19. (And if you happen to be 19 and reading this, please shut off the computer, put on a bikini, and take lots of pictures. You look fabulous, and you probably don’t even know it).

The point is this: be kind to yourself. Take inventory of what you might like to improve overall in your life and set reasonable goals. Incorporate more veggies and less cake (need some help? Here are some Veggie Tips. Take a dance class that focuses on embracing all body types (my girlfriend takes S Factor with women of all ages and sizes and raves about it). Take the stairs instead of the elevator. And when your inner critic starts taking out her clipboard, send her packing.  ‘Cause you’re better than that, and she knows it.

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