This blog break has been quite a bit longer than I had planned and I apologize if anyone has been holding their breath. I have to say, so much has happened in the last 3 months, so first I will give a brief update, and then jump into my 2015 Goals & Plans.
When I last wrote, I was coming off of a September Whole 30 and incredulous over my weight vs. how I was looking. I tweaked my plan in October/November and tracked my macros pretty faithfully. I did well, not huge weight loss still (trying to continue to remember it is not a linear process) but was pretty happy with how I was looking, how my clothes fitting, but most of all, how strong I had become.
During all of this time, my husband began having some serious back issues. In between getting epidural nerve blocks and physical therapy he did manage to get a little bit of hunting in this season. I support this endeavor for two reasons, first, because he loves it and it is good for his psyche. Second, we eat what he hunts (venison) so it fills our freezer with pretty organic meat. Well, he managed one day to have a great day and kill two deer in one day. This is fantastic except for the part of actually carrying the animals, then cleaning them and separating the meat into coolers to be iced down for the next 3 days. We fill the coolers with ice, then drain them daily and re-ice them, before taking them to a meat processor to put in shiny packages for us.
So here we were, with my husband barely able to bend over to pick up a sock and he had 2 deer divided into 3 coolers. That had to find their way into the back of his truck.
Enter Clara, the girl who is now front squatting with 65lbs of kettlebells. I wasn't sure how my strength workouts would equate in the "real" world use of my muscles but I was willing to try.
Sure enough I spotted the largest cooler, and felt it weighed around 80 pounds based on how it felt. I carefully squatted down, grabbed it and picked it up, sliding it out the back door into the back of his truck. The other two coolers were smaller and thus much easier. I walked away from this feeling great. Nothing hurt, and I felt accomplished. And STRONG!
Moral of the story? I love feeling strong and being capable of using my strength in a practical way. And while I may not have hit the elusive 165 pound goal I have set for myself multiple times over the past few years, I did gain strength in 2014 among a few other things.
I also completed multiple strength programs last year. P90X3, two different 30 day rounds of Pat Flynn's Kettlebell training programs, the 30 day kettlebell swing program, and multiple other kettlebell combinations along with Simple and Sinister. I started the year swinging a 20lb kettlebell and finished easily swinging a 30lb with one hand or doing double swings with a total of 50-60lbs. My Turkish Getups went from 20lbs to 30lbs. I worked through a shoulder injury and began a monthly massage regimen and continued to tweak my nutrition and figure out what works and what doesn't.
I learned that what I struggle with is a full on food addiction, and needed to be treated as such. I began exploring what it means to be an addict and how to deal with an addition that you can't ever walk away from (food).
Outside of fitness, I achieved my SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources) certification this past December. I passed the PHR exam back in 2005, so it was time to try for the upgraded certification. I was definitely nervous about it as first, I don't test well and second, I don't like to study and third, there is a 40-50% fail rate for this test. GULP. It was terrifying but with some studying and even more prayer, I passed and never have to take it again. This was totally a stretch goal for me this year and I'm so happy I pushed myself to get it done.
I also secured a job I love with a fantastic company that has a great deal of promise. What I do everyday is needed, necessary, and I get to spend my time serving people who serve the elderly.
I may not have achieved everything I set out to do in 2014, but I'm pretty pleased with how it all turned out and how 2015 is looking for me. My priorities have changed a great deal. I'm focused on health and strength, and much less on size and the scale.
GASP. I know!
Does this mean I'm giving up reaching 165 someday? Not at all. It just means I think I'm discovering that setting "goals" isn't as prosperous for me as making "plans" has been.
I've missed or changed so many goals over these last 5 years of my journey to better health. And yet, I've made so much progress and gained so much health that I honestly don't look at the things I haven't achieved yet as stumbling blocks at all.
But setting a goal to "lose 10 pounds in January" or "reach 165 by July 31st" - while these might be good overall goals, I know I will only reach them if I PLAN well.
I want my focus to be less goal driven and more plan driven in 2015. I want to focus on making sure I plan weekly for what I want to achieve that week.
I think going one week at a time will be best for me right now. I don't want to make any huge declarations about the scale (though I'll admit I've gained a few pounds over the last few weeks!) nor am I giving up my dreams of being the best version of myself I can be.
I need to remember I am 35 years old, a wife of almost 15 years, mother to an incredible 11 year old girl, in a great place in my career and overall in better health than most having lost 100 pounds without any surgery or crazy pills or shakes. I did it on my own and that is something to be proud of.
So right now I'm planning my first week in January, to get myself back on track nutritionally (paleo) and begin a new exercise routine. I'm doing a combination of Simple & Sinister kettlebells (swings and getups) as well as adding back in some T25 and running.
Basically, I want to do things that make me happy. I read this great book last year called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. It was a neat exploration of how to rid your life of things that don't make you happy and fill your life with things that will. This might mean trying new things or ridding your life of old habits that are just not making you happy. There are some neat tools I want to explore to possibly use and do my own happiness project. I'm a pretty positive and happy person overall but I do really well with plans and parameters so maybe this is all coming together nicely...hmmm...
I want to be happier in 2015, and I think I can be if I continue to grow spiritually, work on my financial goals and consider a few stretch goals, added happiness will be a given.
Things I would love to achieve in 2015? I'd love to become fluent in Spanish...pay off the last of our debts (Sallie Mae!) and become more regular with my devotion/prayer time and spiritual growth. Definitely not going to try to do all of that in January, obvs, but I will spend January trying to figure out what good goals might come from my plans...and then map out the strategy to get there. And some stuff? I'll just DO it. Shut up, stop talking about it and DO it. Workouts, good nutrition and daily devotion time are a given there.
I hope as I work through 2015 I am able to inspire you to keep on going in your own journey to better health be it spiritual, mental, physical or financial. If nothing else, you will find in me an example of someone who stumbles regularly, has fallen a few times, but has also achieved some incredible things.
This is a year of short term goals and plans for me. I'll take it day by day, week by week, and month by month. And I hope I have a good recap for you a year from today on how it all went (don't worry, I'll blog some too!). If this next year is anything like 2014, it will be exciting and I'm sure contain some of the unexpected as well (wink wink).
Cheers to you on the cusp of this exciting time. I feel like I'm getting ready to rip open the gift of the present...and I plan to unwrap it a corner at a time each day.