Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 in Review...Resolutions vs. Decisions

2011 has been an interesting year.  While I sit here reflecting on the year, I may not be 100% happy with where I am right at this moment, but I won't let that overshadow what I've achieved.  Let's review my goals for 2011 and how I did.


Goal #1: Get faster at my 5k (3.1 miles) running time.
My fastest 5k in 2010 was 42:27. 
My fastest 5k in 2011 was 32:16.  GOAL ACHIEVED!

Goal #2: Run a 10k race (6.2 miles)
Finished my first 10k race, running the entire time, in 1hour 11 minutes on Thanksgiving day. 


Goal #1: Reach ONE-derland (weigh less than 200 pounds).
Reached ONE-derland on March 5, 2011.  GOAL ACHIEVED!

Goal #2: Reach 100 pounds lost, from 285 to 185.
Reached 185 pounds on August 31, 2011.  GOAL ACHIEVED!


Goal #1: Healthy Cholesterol panel.
In August 2009, triglycerides were at 228, in August 2011, measured 106.   GOAL ACHIEVED!

Goal #2: Healthy resting heart rate.
In August 2009, resting heart rate was 112, in August 2011, measured 61.  GOAL ACHIEVED!

Goal #3:  Not need that horrid C-Pap Machine to sleep - cure my sleep apnea.
Current report as of 12/31/11.  Only used the machine a few times in 2009...suffered with exhaustion for awhile...but have not snored since 2010!  Sleep apnea cured! (according to me; the doctors can stuff it on this one as they told me I would never be cured of sleep apnea, even with losing weight - the CPap machine industry is a racket if you ask me).  GOAL ACHIEVED!

You might be reading the above thinking it's a bit of overkill.  How many times is she going to say "goal achieved?"  AS MANY TIMES AS I ACHIEVE GOALS. 

That's right.

Every goal you set and achieved along your journey, no matter how big or small, needs to be celebrated.

I'm sitting here on New Years eve, December 31, 2011, thinking over my last year and considering the next year.  The entire months of November and December have been a bit of a "bust" as I've traveled like a fiend and been slightly "off" for a few months, then completely off track for the last few weeks.  A nasty cold led to not running and all the travel led to me backsliding alot in my eating.  I absolutely physicaly feel like CRAP right now and I know exactly why.

So January 1st is tomorrow, and like the last two January 1sts I've celebrated, for me it will not mean making "resolutions" that won't last.  It's about setting new goals for 2012.  Because, I have proven that I CAN achieve the goals I set for myself. 

And while I'm ending this year, likely up about 10 pounds from a few months ago (ouch - will confirm when I arrive home tomorrow), I am still VERY PLEASED with my 2011 progress and all of the awesome goals I've achieved. 

And VERY HOPEFUL about 2012.

Here is an excerpt from a blog post this time last year, where I talked about the difference between RESOLUTIONS and DECISIONS.

Lets start by talking about New Years Resolutions.

{insert groan here}

This is where I go on a serious rant, so please depart if you have found the wrong page (lol).

Because the word resolution takes on such a flippant meaning in our culture.

The dictionary defines resolution as:
"the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc."

Our culture defines resolution as:
"something we do every January 1st as kind of a joke, sometimes with all intentions of breaking it by Valentine's day, if we make it that far and then we'll all laugh about how badly scraped we are from falling off the wagon and letting it drag us 300 yards."

To me, diets are like resolutions. Diets from the start, are doomed to fail. For every person that says "but this diet really worked for me" I have to ask a hundred times "if it worked, why oh why are you having to do it again?"

If something works, it works forever.

Does it need new batteries sometimes? Yes. But it still works. Diets have no warranty. You can't get your money back. But they are for sale everywhere. And they all claim to be "it." Trust me, take it from a girl who has lost 100 pounds. I sort of know what I'm talking about here. When you get ueber restrictive, you will automatically resent it from the start. The diet is all that stands between you and ice cream, chocolate chip cookies and french fries. The diet is why you are miserable at the buffet. The diet causes you to hate yourself when you slip up. The diet makes you physically uncomfortable when someone (or everyone) brings in birthday cake. The diet makes you snippy with your family and makes you kick your dog.

How unfair to everyone around you...and how unfair to YOU.

Diets spun from resolutions just give you a short term good feeling before your resentment wins out and then they leave you with self-loathing, anger and sometimes more weight than you came into the diet with! How in a million years is that worth it? Not to mention most of the popular ones cost money! Forget it!

So I challenge you to ditch resolutions in the American sense for 2012 and ditch your silly temporary diet plans...and make DECISIONS instead to be healthy in 2012 and forever.

The dictionary definition of Decision is:
"the act of or need for making up one's mind."

I love that. Making up your mind. That is what a healthy lifestyle is all about. I had to decide, like really truly honestly decide that my life and health was worth a little bit of hard work (ok a lot of hard work) and some sacrifice. And I didn't change everything overnight.

This business of starting to be crazy restrictive on January 1st is ludicrous. And unlikely to last.

Instead, once you've decided, really decided (and seriously, I mean decided, not just wished, hoped and thought about it) then you can begin to make changes.

Here is a list of questions to ask yourself to determine if you're really ready to make this decision:

1) Am I willing to change the way I eat? Try new foods? Track my input (food) and output (exercise) until I've maintained my healthy weight for 6 months?
2) Am I willing to MAKE time to exercise, doing something active at least 3-5 days/week?
3) Am I sick and tired of being sick and tired? Do I want to feel good? Do I want to live again?

If you can say "yes" to all of these questions, then you might just be ready. But it doesn't stop there.

Now the logistics.  Here is a to-do list once you've made your decision:

1) Talk to your family. They have GOT to decide to support you. If they are going to be eating fried twinkies while you eat as many super foods as you can cram on your plate, I can tell you this is not going to last. Ask your family if they are willing to go on this journey with you. Don't cut all their favorite foods out of the house (this is where self-control really comes in). But ask them to support you and cheer you on, and help them realize that not having crap for food in the house will help you immensely.

2) Talk to your doctor. Don't ever start an eating or exercise program without talking to your doctor about what would be best for you. I'm not a doctor, I'm just a fat girl who knows what worked for me...there is my disclaimer.  Some of you may have issues with sugar due to diabetic conditions, or other issues that may cause you to need to eat differently than me, or others you know who are trying to get healthy.  It is really an individual thing when it comes to health. 

3) Research and find some activity/exercise that you might enjoy. Be willing to try different things! Not everyone will want to be a runner like me! Maybe you will like cycling? Maybe swimming? Shoot, I started just by walking! Do what you can... just MOVE.

4) Make a list of healthy lifestyle changes you want to make. Here is an excerpt from my list August 2009:

*reduce caffeine
*drink water - go for 64 ounces.
*eat less fried food
*move more - do something active 5 days/week
*eat more vegetables
*makeover favorite fattening recipe into a healthier one

I made these changes one at a time.  Small, incremental, doable changes.  Not cold turkey, overnight misery.

5) Research and educate yourself about nutrition.  The more you know, the better your decisions will be.  Research Super Foods. Go ahead, google it. Or take a look at this article on Web md: Super Foods Article .
Set a goal to try to incorporate super foods into every single day. You won't regret it - and I guarantee you will find you like more foods than you gave a chance ever in your life. I can totally say that. I love asparagus, broccoli and fresh spinach more than I ever thought I could. And I'm being completely serious here and have not been brainwashed by farmers of green items.

So are you in yet? Think this over...and DECIDE. Really decide to make a change. I know if I can do it, you totally can.

My 11 year career in human resources and my degree in marketing have absolutely not prepared me for this journey. I have made this journey my own and constantly learn as I go. And you can do the same!


I will be working on a blog post of my goals for 2012, and should be ready to post that this week.  For now, as I reflect on 2012, I encourage you to celebrate the goals you've achieved.  Even if, right this moment, you aren't where you expected you would be. 

Maybe you've made poor choices for the last few weeks of the holidays (like me) or the last few months (ahem - still like me).  Maybe you aren't sure you can make a lasting change.  I'm here to tell you that you CAN.  And if you set some good, realistic and achieveable goals for 2012, you will.

1 comment:

jrae83 said...

Love, Love, Love this post! So thankful for you and happy for you and all the goals that you have achieved over the last couple of years! Excited to find out what your new goals are!