Miraculously another year is behind us. It’s amazing really — so much has happened in the blink of an eye. If you are like me, you’re likely taking some time to reflect on 2013. Mentally sifting through the highs and lows while making grandiose plans for this New Year in front of us. After years of making and breaking resolutions, I managed to stick to a couple of key ones in 2013. First and foremost, I cleaned up my diet. Not to perfection, but enough to significantly improve my energy level. As you can imagine, it was difficult at first. Like many busy Americans, I was conditioned to eating fast and on the fly. Unfortunately that did not equal anything remotely healthy. I didn’t switch to anything radical, but rather something that worked well for my body and me. I did, however, jump-start the change by following the 21-day sugar detox under the guidance of my doctor. I lost some weight in those three weeks, but more importantly, I lost the craving (and tolerance) for some of the things that had long been staples in my diet. I also managed to stick to a regular exercise routine. As a former athlete, I spent much of my adult life with an “all or nothing” attitude. Essentially, I was either training for marathons or I was eating bon bons and pizza. There was absolutely no middle ground for me. After a pretty significant injury in early January, I committed to finding some type of exercise that did not leave me with torn muscles, beat up knees or the myriad of injuries I’ve endured throughout the years by sporadically over training. I hired a trainer and got a workout partner, which gave me accountability. I dropped my running back to two to three times a week, while adding weightlifting and other types of cardio. I was just beginning to feel healthy and strong again when a life-changing event happened — I was introduced to Bikram Yoga when the East Lansing studio opened up in June. While doing yoga for 90 minutes in 140 degrees is not for everyone, Bikram works for me and I am at the studio religiously five times a week. As a result of my cumulative efforts, I dropped more than 30 pounds throughout the course of the year. I feel stronger than I’ve felt in more than 15 years and I feel a sense of balance. Despite these successes, this year was not all roses and sunshine for me. I had hoped to get off my high blood pressure medicine, and was actually taken off for a few months by my physician. Unfortunately, genetics trumps the healthiest habits sometimes and I had to go back on them to keep my blood pressure within normal range. While Bikram Yoga has become my saving grace, the years of trashing my body through a mixture of high impact sports coupled with zero stretching has made my practice extremely challenging at times. The regular practice of quieting my mind through yoga has allowed me to connect with my inner self in a way that is raw, frightening and overwhelming at times. I write these words not to scare or impress you, but rather to inspire and impress upon you that this is YOUR YEAR. As you embark on the blank 365 pages before you, close the book on the 365 behind you. Today and those days in front of us are all that really matter. Focus on you and what you want. Stop holding yourself up to ridiculous standards. Realize that what inspires and works for others may not be what inspires and works for you. Most importantly, make this the year that you fall in love with yourself and what makes you uniquely who you are. Happy New Year!
Shelley Davis Mielock
Shelley Davis Mielock is a certified business image coach and the founder of Mieshel Image Consulting, a Lansing-based firm that specializes in image development for individuals and businesses. She is also a co-host of In Her Shoes, a a weekly women’s talk radio show. To ask Shelley an image question, please e-mail her.