I had a semi-epiphany in the car, on the way to ‘America’. As is the case with most epiphanies, it occurred while reading Oprah magazine. I think the article was written by a woman who had decided to ‘take back her health’ through a series of very small ‘steps’. Beyond that I don’t remember any details, and I left the magazine at my mom’s so I can’t even look it up.
But the point is it made me think about New Year’s resolutions in a new way.
Instead of making a laundry list of everything I should be doing in 2010 (eat better, exercise, bake less, be more patient and kind and more focused with my time etc.) I could pick one relatively easy ‘thing’ that I should be able to do every day.
Like ten push-ups.
I mean I’m 35 and I have bat-wings, and I have an extremely limited amount of ‘free’ time on any given day. But ten push-ups – I can do that. Or, I should be able to do that. Ten push-ups require no equipment, no gym membership, no above-freezing temperatures outside, and seemingly very little motivation. Surely I should be able to talk myself into doing ten measly push-ups every day?!
But since I suffer from a mild case of guilt, I decided that committing to ten daily push-ups wasn’t enough.
I stifled the urge to come up with a series of ‘small things’ that would most certainly turn into an overwhelmingly lengthy time commitment; impossible to accomplish each day.
So I decided to also eat one vegetable a day. Because vegetables are good for you. And I don’t eat them enough. And surely I could convince myself to eat a smidge of a vegetable on a daily basis. Especially if I was still allowed to have cookies.
I shared my aha moment with the professor who was probably getting his enlightenment from the Tony Kornheiser show podcast at that point.
‘I’m going to do ten push ups and eat one vegetable. Every day. What are you going to do?’
He decided to commit to ten sit-ups. And ten push-ups. We’re basically the Canadian equivalents of Denise Austin and Gilad.
Which is why I found myself, at 6.25am on the 1st of January, on the floor of the Fairmont Suites hotel in Bismarck. Doing ten push-ups.
Sadly, the only ‘vegetable’ I could find in the great province of Saskatchewan was the lettuce (and tomato, though technically a fruit) on my turkey sub from Tim Horton’s. I also consumed one of the boys’ orange-pineapple juice boxes because they contain trace amounts of ‘vegetable juice’ (which prompted the Gort to exclaim: ‘this tastes awful’ after his first sip.)
My ‘easy-step’ resolution also forced me to eat cold broccoli at 9pm this evening, when I realized I hadn’t yet consumed the requisite daily vegetable. I’d contemplated gnawing on a raw carrot instead, but decided against it when I realized a portion of the carrots were frozen. And another portion a dark brown/purply color.
At the rate we’re going, we should be in shape by the time the boys go to college. But I feel surprisingly virtuous for my ten daily push-ups. Girl push-ups, I should clarify. Because I do not have the upper body strength necessary for the full-blown variety.