Birthday musings: Less rocks and hard places, more chewing

I just turned 35 (like, right now). My birthday puts me in a happy/sad/nostalgic mood that gets me thinking about the past and the future. Here are some of my birthday resolutions:


I feel like chewing is often ignored when talking about improving eating habits. It’s almost easier to count calories or buy certain foods than it is to sit calmly while eating and chew thoroughly.

But there is a reason I personally chew so little…

When I was little, I was a very, very slow eater. I was also a very, very picky eater. This didn’t work — I took forever to eat and it was hard to find meals I was happy with — and so I forced myself out of it. I learned to eat as quickly as everyone else and to get used to a wider range of foods.

I think one of the reasons I went to the opposite extreme, now eating so quickly, is because inside I’m still a picky eater and I lose my appetite easily. And in order to get through life as a picky eater and get through a meal while keeping my appetite, I need to not think about it too much. For example, if I keep a bite of food in my mouth too long, I might lose my interest in it. I remember feeling that way as a kid. I’d put food in my mouth and lose my appetite for it; the idea of swallowing felt very forced.

But no more. I have started chewing again even though that means dealing with my pickiness. I will almost definitely start noticing that sometimes I don’t really feel like eating whatever is in front of me (or in my mouth). I’ll have to see how to work that out but at least I won’t be force feeding myself.

Please God.

Exercise… the way it works for me

I used to go to yoga classes but although I love my teacher who taught me how to do yoga right, I got bored of her classes and stopped going a couple of years ago. I try to walk, usually home from work, but I haven’t been doing exercise-exercise since I stopped going to the classes. A week or so ago I finally started exercising again — I’ve resumed doing yoga at home with awesome DVDs.

One of the things about exercising is that everyone always tells you how you should do it and it’s so full of bull shit and so doesn’t fit my body, my personality or my preferences, that the rules end up inhibiting me from doing anything (because the rules always give a minimum amount of exercise per week which means that anything under that is pretty useless — did I mention bull shit?).

What works for me? To turn on the DVD and do anywhere from 5-20 minutes of yoga, anywhere from 1-2 times a day to a few times a week. Once in a while I feel like doing a longer yoga practice. And I stop when I feel like it’s enough.

This might seem silly – it is and yet, how many decisions do we make in life based on this lack of logic — but there are a few stretches that I have been drawn to do for extended periods of time but because no one else seems to focus on them, I don’t end up doing them. Now I’ve started doing them because they feel very good for me, even though I don’t know why.

Doing yoga and other stretches in my room means I usually don’t have to change my clothes, I don’t have to go anywhere, I can do the exercise the way that feels right for me and I don’t have to worry how silly I look.

This is working amazingly for me.

Feeling less stuck between a rock and a hard place

There are a couple of factors that lead me to feel stuck between a rock and a hard place on a very, very regular basis.

One is my focus for what I should be doing. I’m so concerned about behaving properly and yet since there is no option that is the perfect option, I feel stuck making a decision.

The other thing that makes me feel stuck is my fear of the outcome and whether or not I’ll be able to deal with it. Even if I figure out the “right” thing to do, I don’t know what type of repercussions there will be. I don’t know if it will be considered a “failure” and I don’t know what the next thing is that I’ll have to deal with as a result.

Not assuming others are more right

I want to assume less that other people have the key to truth more than me. I want to be able to hear other people’s opinions with it feeling less personal because it doesn’t have to shatter any of my beliefs.


Honestly, all these resolutions are difficult to stick to. But I can try.

It’s interesting that the issues mentioned here all have one central theme: I am drawn to be more of my authentic self and less of what I think people expect me to be.

Today I chewed a lot and did yoga twice. Not a shabby end to my 35th year. Here is to an even better 36th. 🙂

Happy birthday!

About the Author
Deena is a new mother, a project manager and a writer living in Jaffa.