It’s time for resolutions again! If you’re not a knitter, you might not know that “casting on” is the beginning of a project. You cast a certain number of stitches onto one needle, then you knit back and forth and string becomes fabric.
For me, beginning the project – knitting or otherwise – is often the hardest part. Once I start, motivation goes up and anxiety goes down. I procrastinate the beginnings of things more than any other part. And yet, another beginning is here. 2013 begins, and we make resolutions and goals and promises.
So let us keep calm and cast on.
In the middle of December, I used this “workbook” to help me think about 2013. I found it ridiculously helpful. It really clarified where I am going, what I want to continue and what I want to let go of. As a result, I have decided on one resolution and one goal for 2013.
I resolve that I will not step on a bathroom scale in 2013. The purpose of this is probably clear, what with the millions of women in our culture who struggle with the bathroom scale. The number on the scale dictates how I should feel about myself that day. Even though I know it can’t, even though I know I’m stronger than some digital number down by my toes, I let it have so much power.
The deeper issue, of course, is that I want to have control over everything that is not mine, such as what shape my body is and how much I match our culture’s ideal. My body shape is not mine to control…it is a gift from He who made me. If I were looking at the number on the scale to know my health status, it would be fine. It’s like your cholesterol level or your blood pressure or your temperature…it’s a number that can tell you some evidence of your health or sickness, and you have every right to know those numbers. But since this particular number is not treated like my cholesterol level, I have the right to stay far, far away from it for now.
In case you’re curious, I haven’t decided what to do if I need to visit a doctor’s office. I have heard that you can step on the scale facing away from the numbers and ask them not to say it out loud, so that’s one option. I will probably just do the same as I always would, because it’s the day in and day out of the scale that I would like to get away from. Odds are I will visit the doctor once for my annual business and that’s it.
My goal for 2013 is to do a 20K, a 10K, and a 5K race. So is that really three goals? Combined with my resolution, my higher purpose here is to separate exercise from “weight loss” and “body image” and “hotness” and whatever other superficial words you could put there.
If I live the rest of my life in this body I have now, I want to be a person who can run a 5K whenever I want. I want to be a person who exercises regularly. I want to be a person who eats well. I want to be a person who is in extraordinary health, even if I am in this body. The fact of the matter is, I may not have complete control over what I look like or what the number on the scale says. But I have great control over my health.
My higher purpose in running and other exercise has always been to lose weight for the purpose of being more attractive, to look a certain way or conform to a cultural ideal. No more. I will do NOTHING this year for that purpose. I will do a 20K, a 10K, and a 5K just to prove that I CAN.
Please note, I said I will do them, not run them. A 20K is about 12 miles long. If I can walk briskly for 12 miles, I’m in just fine health, don’t you think? I would like to run them, but in order to “keep calm and cast on,” this goal needs to feel attainable. Right now, walking for 12 miles in June feels attainable to me.
My measure of physical fitness is to be able to run a 5K whenever I want, with no preparation whatsoever. Because, of course, I will always be “preparing” because I will always be exercising several times per week.
Happy 2013! Keep calm and cast on!