I celebrate the me yet to come
November 2, 2013 4:45 PM   Subscribe

Every year my boyfriend and I make up a theme for our resolution for the year. 2014 is going to be "I Sing The Body Electric." We then do things along this theme. The idea for 2014 is that we make our bodies feel awesome, inside and out. What fun and transformative things should we do?

So far, ideas we have come up with are: join a gym, do a cleanse (but which one?) wear fake eyelashes (that one is just for me), have hot sex, make a baby (I should note that this one is a plan because we want to have a kid, not because we want to fit it into our resolution. But look how great it fits!)
What else should we try? These can be short-term or longer-term ideas. Also if you have cleanse (or diet) or fitness ideas or, or, or, that we TOTALLY have to try, we would love to know.
Thank you!
posted by andreapandrea to Health & Fitness (25 answers total) 43 users marked this as a favorite
get massages! (or if you're into it, take a class so you can learn to give each other massages.) if budget allows, I hear it's awesome to go regularly.
posted by goodbyewaffles at 4:58 PM on November 2, 2013 [3 favorites]

Run a 5K? Or do some kind of charity walk?

Maybe try one new healthy recipe or food item a week?
posted by radioamy at 5:09 PM on November 2, 2013

Rather than do a cleanse I'd work on improving your diets for the long haul. Get a juicer and use it regularly too. The best case for a cleanse is that you're improving your diet for the length of time you're on it. The food in the diet is not removing toxins (metabolic waste and other nasties), however, with a better diet your body will be better able to perform that function. All other aspects of your health will contribute to its function as well.
posted by MillMan at 5:11 PM on November 2, 2013 [2 favorites]

do a cleanse (but which one?)

You do not need to worry about which cleanse to do because there is no such thing as a "cleanse" beyond what your respiration, kidneys, intestines, sweat glands et cetera do.

It is very hard to give advice in this regard because we know nothing of your current fitness level. However, I think good advice for most is to eat mostly lean protein and greens. Always bear in mind that food is neither medicine nor poison.

Instead of a gym, you may wish to try bodyweight exercises.
posted by Tanizaki at 5:16 PM on November 2, 2013 [7 favorites]

Get something tattooed or pierced.
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 5:18 PM on November 2, 2013

Run a marathon! Or a half marathon. Or a 5K!
posted by k8lin at 5:34 PM on November 2, 2013

Best answer: Learn to SCUBA dive, and/or take a Caribbean vacation. I really recommend getting your Open Water certification before heading down to the Caribbean, so as not to lose time in the beautiful, warm blue water to boring training. But boy, nothing will make you feel more like you've learned how to fly like Superman, than kicking up nearly effortlessly from a white sand bottom, to "fly" over a big 10 foot diameter brain coral, or reef branch, and then lazily kicking back down to cruise along the bottom some more. And nothing will make you more aware of what it means to be alive with all other things than cruising along a sunlit corral reef wall, your arms folded, perfectly ballasted and trimmed, just kicking by in warm blue water with shafts of sunlight piercing waves above, as all the reef life looks at you, and swims around you, and goes about living, too, while the sea plunges below you to nearly black depths to which you cannot follow, as the air breathing creature you are. Sometimes, you might even see something come up from below you, on a wall dive, like a turtle, or a big grouper, check you out, swim along under you a while, and go back down, like you're not worth coming any farther up to investigate. Makes you feel small, and lucky to live in sunlight, and feel warm winds on your skin, later, too.

And then, at night, you dance, you laugh, you sing, you look at the stars, and maybe you drink, and if making a baby is on the list of things to do, maybe you do that, too.

Yah, man. Maybe you fall in love a little more, and maybe you do that, too.
posted by paulsc at 5:38 PM on November 2, 2013 [9 favorites]

Best answer: Go to a traditional Korean spa and get a body scrub. You will be amazed/horrified as what seems like buckets of dead skin is sloughed off, and your skin will be soft as a baby's afterwards!
posted by aviatrix at 5:42 PM on November 2, 2013 [6 favorites]

I was thinking champagne at sunrise. Maybe after a meteor shower.
posted by Ms Vegetable at 5:51 PM on November 2, 2013

If you're willing to spend a bit of money, upgrading anything in the bedroom or bathroom will make your bodies feel great on a regular basis. Stuff like pillows and mattresses, towels, toiletries, bathrobes, fancy toothbrushes, shaving supplies, sex toys - all worth investing in.

Try yoga, whether it's the vigorous athletic kind or the gentle relaxing kind. Both can make you feel great, immediately and in the long run.

Can/do you cook? If not, learn. And work on developing a small repertoire of meals that are easy to prepare, use fresh, nutritious ingredients, and taste delicious. Maybe experiment with eliminating sugar, white flour, or processed foods from your diet for a month. (Not all three at once!) Or learn fifteen new ways of preparing fresh vegetables. The goal is not just to eat well, but to make it easy and enjoyable.

I agree that the cleanse isn't worth it. Cleanses tend to be total bunk, often feel lousy when you do them, and the effects are short-lived.
posted by Metroid Baby at 5:53 PM on November 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Learn a dance together. Pick one that suits a music style you both love (ballroom if you like slower stuff, Latin if you like it fast). It's a shared interest, it'll help you get fitter without feeling like a chore, and it will help you to move your bodies to their full potential. And pick something passionate like the tango and you'll get a head start on the hot sex and baby-making. Enjoy your year!
posted by billiebee at 6:07 PM on November 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: When I think of combining "body" and "electric" my mind instantly thinks "sex toys." I would totally make this the Year of the Sex Toy, because she who dies with the most sex toys, wins.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:20 PM on November 2, 2013 [3 favorites]

smoke marijuana "legally."
posted by cupcake1337 at 6:36 PM on November 2, 2013

Seconding yoga also meditation. Foam rollers can do some amazing things.
posted by BoscosMom at 6:45 PM on November 2, 2013

Another vote for dance. I take ballet class and feel GREAT afterwards, but I think any kind of dance will make you feel great, as long as you're interested in it. Hip hop, tap, contemporary, any of the latin ballroom styles... it's all good.

I'd also recommend hot tubs, jacuzzis, spas and hot springs, but not while you're trying to get pregnant as hot water can harm sperm counts. Also on that note, when you are trying to get pregnant, start taking folate as that will help prevent neural tube defects in the developing fetus.
posted by foxjacket at 6:53 PM on November 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

I wanted to suggest the body scrub too! They're amaaaaazing
posted by brilliantine at 7:04 PM on November 2, 2013

Best answer: Get your aura read!
posted by Temeraria at 9:05 PM on November 2, 2013

Somewhere between the 5K and the marathon is the 5k mud run. Think Warrior Dash and the like. I was going to recommend Run for Your Lives (for mud+zombies fun) but google tells me they are having issues right now.
posted by sparklemotion at 9:20 PM on November 2, 2013

Bikram yoga and eat at home, healthily.
posted by bquarters at 9:26 PM on November 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Take regular epsom salts baths.

Drink around 2 litres of water daily, more if you're very active that day.

See if you can get access to a hot tub and sauna, and use it.

Wear only touchable materials (fur, faux fur, soft jersy knit, silk, satin, velvet, cordouroy, flannel, linen, etc), and only comfortable clothes.

Spend more time naked, more time outside, and more time naked outside. (Don't forget your bug spray and sunscreen!)

Skinny dip.

Sleep under the open stars.

Mud baths.

Scalp massage. Foot massage.

Have only touchable, luxurous-feeling bedding.

Insoles & comfy shoes.

Strength training.

Practise better posture and diaphragmatic breathing.

Eat foods that make you feel good- a google search will bring up tons of stuff.

Have good, plush, soft carpeting or rugs, or better yet real/faux fur rugs.

Use essential oils, incense, whatever to make fragrance a part of your day.

I did the master cleanse (lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne) for a week and it was great, some people supplement with gentle colonics and find that satisfying too.

Hot damp towel on your face.

One of those massaging foot baths.

Smile, it makes you feel good.
posted by windykites at 10:01 PM on November 2, 2013

How about trying to have a better sleep routine? I feel so much better when I sleep well. I just started using the Sleep Cycle app (which I'm pretty sure someone on AskMe recommended) and it's awesome, I am waking up a lot easier now. I am trying to have less "screen time" before bed but that's hard (and um, I'm ignoring that advice right now...).
posted by radioamy at 10:20 PM on November 2, 2013 [4 favorites]

Came in to say Crossfit - my gf and I have been doing so together for a couple of years and its been really awesome for both of us. Having muscles was a weird new experience! Also being generally fitter and stronger will help with a range of other changes.
posted by prentiz at 2:51 AM on November 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Nthing yoga. I find it's pretty hard to have a bad day after a good yoga class.

I agree with many of the others about cleanses, but if you suspect you have any sort of food intolerances, something interesting to try is Whole 30 - it's fairly strict, but involves cutting out the most likely suspects for inflammation and food intolerances. You can try it for a month (or if you're like me, 10 days) and then gradually reintroduce things like wheat and dairy to see how your body reacts. This is how I finally confirmed that I was gluten-intolerant, and my body certainly feels much better when I don't eat gluten.

Regardless of what else you do for fitness, regular walks are a really nice thing to do for yourself. It's a habit you'll be able to keep up when you get old, a nice way to connect with your neighborhood, and nice time to spend together.
posted by lunasol at 10:26 AM on November 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

take a thing that you do and work at excelling at it. If you run, train for a personal best. If you take photographs, work to take the best Photographs you ever have. if you dance, choreograph routine worthy of A show. but whatever it is, train or practice at it for work at it harder than you ever have for longer than you ever have and excel. dedicate multiple hours a week to get better And set a goal date for when you will be better.
posted by garlic at 1:14 PM on November 3, 2013

Best answer: Climb a mountain. Breathe deeply at the top. Go cross-country skiing and enjoy the awesome feeling of being warm, toasty and super-alive even when it's very cold outside. Hot tub while it's snowing. Get into really nice perfectly clean bedding right after a hot shower.

You say you plan to conceive this year - yay! - and your goal is for your body to feel awesome, inside and out. I'm due to give birth within a few weeks, so I have some thoughts about that. As I'm sure you know, you might not feel awesome throughout pregnancy, but I'm not here to rain on your parade completely. I never felt sick and the amount of pain and discomfort I've experience has been about as minimal as it gets. However, even in the smoothest of pregnancies - so far mine has been extraordinarily fortunate - you will be undergoing constant change and experiencing various inconveniences and restrictions that you might not expect. It is unrealistic to expect to feel "fabulous" during pregnancy in the lithe, powerful way a young, healthy person might otherwise expect to feel fabulous, but pregnancy can be fabulous in its own way. Here are some ideas:

1. Until you conceive, enjoy the capability and strength of your body! Climb mountains, take long bike rides, swim in cold water... do things that make you energized and powerful. Appreciate the ways you can bend, stretch and move. It's really amazing! Push yourself a bit. Immediately before we conceived we went on a 3-day winter backpacking trip on the Appalachian Trail. It was very cold, very tiring, and 100% awesome and memorable.

2. Enjoy choosing healthy, vibrant, delicious food. If you're taking prenatal vitamins (it's recommended that you take them for at least a month, ideally several, before conception), appreciate the care involved in remembering to take them every day.

3. Once you conceive, it's likely (though not guaranteed) that you will have to slow down due to fatigue. This doesn't mean you can't climb mountains or have adventures (I did!) but you'll probably have to add a new aspect of self-care: enjoying taking it easy. At first I tried to fight the fatigue a lot, and honestly that's not much fun. Instead of taking naps in a dismal, I-tried-but-I-simply-couldn't-stay-awake type mindset, make them luxurious. Get comfy on the couch, get a soft blanket. Enjoy it. If you can't exercise the way you used to, don't let it get you down. Jog a little slower (that's what I did, it was lovely actually) or take walks.

4. It's always good to be kind to yourself - most of us would benefit greatly by treating ourselves like treasured friends more often. In pregnancy, you have the opportunity to find a new way to be kind to yourself, because when you treat yourself well, you treat your baby well, and EVERYONE wants to do anything they can to help their baby. Be kind to your body; listen to what it needs.

5. Once you start sporting a sizeable bump, there will be things you can't do, or can't do as easily. For the second half of my third trimester I have been unable to drive because (as a short and short-legged person) my belly does not fit between me and the steering wheel. I can't ride my bike because my knees hit my belly. I can load the dishwasher, put on my socks and get things from under the bed, but those activities take more planning and maneuvering than ever before! When these new challenges are introduced into your life, and you stop being able to do things for yourself (or stop being able to do them so easily), sometimes it's hard to feel awesome about your body - you just feel a bit helpless. But wait! This is not the case. You are actually creating a person. This is incredible. Meditate on that a bit, and don't let it get you down if it suddenly seems to take a lot of planning to get something from the back of the fridge.

6. Most people get fairly uncomfortable towards the very end of pregnancy. It's not necessarily terrible - I don't feel awful, and in fact I wake up in the mornings feeling pretty darn great - but the kind of "my body will do anything I ask it too" awesomeness isn't likely to be what happens for you in those last weeks. In addition to being kind to yourself, listening to your body, and so on, I think you can really appreciate the transformation you've gone through. Honestly, it's a bit like being a large ripe fruit. My skin looks healthy and rosy and I feel sort of... dignified, in a clumsy sort of way. It's all about finding the ways your body is awesome as it changes.

7. I really think that feeling awesome from the inside applies perfectly to how cool it is to feel your baby moving around. That really is super, super cool and so far I haven't ever gotten tired of it!

8. Throughout the whole process, contribute to bodily awesomeness by drinking lots of water, eating food that not only makes you feel good, but also makes you feel happy about the nutrients you're passing to the baby, moving however gently or vigorously works for you, and consciously taking time to rest. All of that's important, but if you are able to drink lots of water and maintain at least a baseline level of activity, it's virtually guaranteed that you'll feel better and have an easier time.

Oh, and the year before conceiving we did p90x. It kicked our asses in a good way!
posted by Cygnet at 3:21 PM on November 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

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