Friday, December 30, 2011 I see...

How many times have you heard that you can't out-train a bad diet? How many times have I heard it? Oh, wait a minute, it really means that I can't out-train a bad diet, huh? It actually applies to me? Oh, now I see....well, yeah, I think I am finally starting to understand that it applies to me!

In the past few years, I have worked out, worked out a lot. I have zumba'd, pumped iron, boot camped, swam night after night. I have boxed (something I loved). I have ridden on that elliptical hundreds, if not thousands of miles. I have completed the couch to 5K program (need to do it again). I worked through a 9-week fitness program on the Wii. I worked out in the morning and worked out at night. I have discovered kettlebells, which I adore (Tim calls it my obsession). I have generally not back down from any physical challenge, even though I may have had to alter things a bit.

In 2012, I know I need to focus on my diet. Now, my diet is generally better than it was some years ago (the past month not withstanding); however, I have not been consistent with it. Honestly, when I first started my journey of health I was able to stick with some important diet changes for several months. Then when I hit a plateau, well, I never quite figured out how to get over it.

I have tried several things to shake up the nutrition side of the equation. I have counted points, I have counted calories. I have tried to eat less calories. My RMR was measured and I tried eating more calories. I talked to dieticians. I spoke with nutritionists. I try to make smart choices, eating whole natural foods, avoiding processed foods, etc. I have read lots of information. I researched many things. I have learned a lot and have tried to apply things to my life. Again, I am definitely eating much healthier than I was years ago and that is a good thing.

BUT I am not consistent with anything. When things don't seem to be working, I just jumped to the next thing to try. Well, now it is time to do what it takes to become consistent, to figure out what will work. I truly believe that there is no one size fits all solution here. Things that work for others may not work for me. I know that I need to find what changes I need to make to my diet as in lifestyle changes (not those temporary changes that so many people start on January 1st of any given year).

So, my first step will be to do a 10-day detox, a plan that I have done a bit of research on. Given the fact that I have been way off track over the holidays, I think this will be a good thing to do. It is not one of those "don't eat anything and only drink vinegar laced water concoctions". I will be eating, only eliminating a lot things over the 10 days and then slowly adding some of them back in. Honestly, the hardest thing for me may be giving up caffeine. I will see how it goes. It is only for 10 days and I am actually looking forward to it.

After that, I know that I will be focusing on clean eating and may consider a primal/paleo lifestyle. I still need to do a bit more research on things and figure out how it will apply to me but at least I am starting to formulate the plan to implement changes in my lifestyle.

Again, the big thing I will need to focus on is consistency. No more falling off the proverbial wagon on the weekends or for special events. I need to be consistent about clean eating and being aware of what I am fueling my body with.

Hmmm...two blog posts before January 1st....gasp!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Smell that?

It is the new year smell! It smells of hope, possibility, wonder and so much more!

If it is the new year then it must be time for all those New Year Resolutions to start. I know resolutions get a bad rap. I mean how many of us have set them only to fail before February. In fact, in my youth, the only person I knew that could keep a resolution was my little brother, who often resolved to never eat strawberry ice cream (for the record, he HATED strawberry ice cream).

For many years, I scoffed at the idea of resolutions but lately I have actually set a few and always seem to fail at keeping them.

This year, however, I am taking a fresh look at how I set resolutions. I am going to think of them more as goals than resolutions. I am going to follow principles we do when setting objectives at work. Namely, the goal must be a) written, b) challenging, c) believable, d) specific, e) measureable, and f) have a specific deadline. I am adding to this list that it should be g) communicated to friends and h) have a plan for accountability.

So, what are my goals for 2012 and how will they differ from prior goals? First, I have always set that "lose ## pounds by the end of the year" resolution. This year, I am not doing that. My goal regarding weight loss is to NOT be wearing the same jeans I have on today at the end of the year, that the jeans will be too big to wear before the end of the year.

Rather than setting up a goal to "exercise x times a week", I have a couple of things I would like to be able to do before the end of the year -- 1. 10 full push ups without stopping and with good form (not girl push ups but full push ups), 2. be able to one-hand press a 45-pound kettlebell at least five times with each arm ( I can currently press a 35-pound kettlebell), 3. attempt burpees by the end of year (for some reason, this exercise intimidates me but I want to get over it and attempt to do them by the end of the year). Also, I want to find an event and train for it each quarter. My first quarter event will be the Republic Plaza stair climb. I will find a second quarter event in the next couple of weeks so that I am ready to train.

Of course, next up would be my diet and how that should be improve. My first goal is this 10 day detox that I will be starting January 2nd. After that, I will be focusing on clean eating. Now, what would be good goals to set here? 1. Log food so I can review periodically what I am eating, 2. Menu plan with Tim for the week so we can minimize the quick fixes for dinner...these goals will need a bit more work. I will revisit them during my 10 day detox to establish better goals.

Now for ideas on things I can do to help alleviate stress and such. First, I am going to stop stressing over the fact that I really do not like yoga. I always think I should try it gain and get into a routine of yoga but honestly I don't like it. I will however plan on using swimming as a method of relaxation. I love to swim but lately have not done enough of it. I am going to strive to swim once a week, even if it is only for 20 minutes just for the stress relief.

I am going to read less fluff this year. I have started to read more but unfortunately more brain candy and not very challenging. I keep saying that I am going to get back to reading some of the classics but never get around to it. This year, I am going to resolve to read two classic novels, one that I have read in the past and one that I have not yet read. If anyone has suggestions, please let me know. I will let you all know what books I pick at some point during the year.

I also know it is important to surround yourself with people that help you be a better you. To that end, I would like to keep in touch with those people that are important to me. For this, my goals is to write actual physical letters (you know, the kind that costs you 44 cents to mail), at least one a month. I will somewhat randomly pick someone to write this letter to and do it.

The last area I would like to touch is creativity. In the past, I have resolved to create art throughout the year. I always have a lot of pressure on myself to get in touch with that part of my brain. This year I am going to relax about it all. I am going to spend more time viewing art, more visits to the art museums and such but other than that I do not think I am going to set a goal for this area of my life. I am going to let it be more organic and create when I want to create.

I do intend on blogging this year. Yes, I know I tried that in the past and was not very successful but I think I am ready to do it this year. This blog is my method of communicating my goals with my friends and acquaintances. It is my way to remain accountable. I encourage you to find people that can help you and keep you accountable. I also ask that if you are reading this that you help me. Feel free to comment, email, etc. to keep me on task. I am also going to be asking a few of you out there to encourage me along the way and I will encourage you as well. If you would like to communicate your goals to me as well, I am willing to hold you accountable to the best of my ability.

Here wishing a Happy New Year and a wonderful 2012 to you all.