Considering one year ago, the BOY and I were spending our New Years weekend packing for this incredible vacation, I’m feeling like I should be pulling out my suitcase. Not this year! Instead, I am packing away my tanks and shorts and rediscovering adorable sweaters and scarves.
Although this year has been full of some amazing opportunities and accomplishments, it has also been a challenging one! I have felt off balance for most of the year and this is apparent in my workouts, eating habits, and overall energy levels. As a whole, I really have so much to be grateful for. The health and support of my wonderful family, the love and laughs I share with the BOY, a rewarding job, and close and loyal friends. But my day to day rhythm is a bit out of sync and has been for most of the year. For this reason, I am ready for the fresh start that 2013 offers.
For the past few years, I have been writing a Why Not? List at the start of each year. In 2011, I had Start a Blog on that list! As I look through the 2012 list, I see some successes and accomplishments, a few ‘almosts’ (I’m talking about you half marathon PR), and some ‘haven’t even thought about it since January 1st’. Oopps! As I head into 2013, I think that I will only be able to achieve the things on my list if I get ‘right with myself’ first. This means that I have a few things to figure out in order to get myself back into my groove AND my skinny jeans.
Since I’ve spent the last few days on my couch, I’ve had plenty of time to reflect on the year and think hard about what I want to do in the upcoming year and more importantly, how I want to feel. The first change that I need to make involves my diet. Ahh…the dreaded ‘D’ word. I believe I have commented on this before, but when it comes to diet, I like this definition from The Kind Diet , ‘a way of living, or thinking, a day’s journey’. No restrictions or stigma attached…it’s just the foods we choose to eat. When I first started this blog, I was highly focused on Clean Eating. I read about it, I blogged about it, I cooked clean, and I felt great. In this past year, I have lost site of eating clean. It started gradually, a vacation dessert here or some processed snack there, and eventually disappeared from my radar. I think that stress and lack of motivation played a huge role in this shift. I still cooked plenty of clean meals, but was eating and drinking more than enough junk in between. Not surprisingly, I put on weight, my skin broke out, my energy levels sunk, and my clothes don’t fit as well. I have enough perspective to know that weight gain doesn’t define me and that I have plenty of wonderful things going my way, but deep down I know that this is not the way that I want to feel. And so I am making the CHOICE to focus my diet on real, clean foods, that my 100 year old grandfather would recognize. I also know that limited dairy works best for me and my tummy!
The next piece that needs to fall into place is the ‘M’ word…Motivation! What will motivate me to make healthier decisions when it comes to food? First off, I know that I will feel better! Secondly, but close behind, my health. Maybe it’s because I’m in my 30’s or some of the realities that sunk in when I was sick a few years back, but I want to be healthy and active as I age. I seek a quality of life free of metabolic disease and excess medications. And lastly, there is a vanity component. I want my clothes to fit well so that I feel confident in them. I want to be proud of my muscles, showing off ripped arms in a tank. And in the short run, I’d like to feel good in my bathing suit when the BOY and I got to Florida for a wedding in February.
I appreciate you sticking with me through this wordy post. I wanted to share my recent struggles and step out of my comfort zone in case there are others who feel similar or you have successes that I can learn from. Also, I felt it was important for me to sort through some of my thoughts and feelings to build momentum for the upcoming year. Does this mean that you won’t see any more chocolate on my blog? Heck no…I have a brownie recipe coming your way! I love to bake and will continue to do what I love. It just means that I need to manage my portion control better.
I am confident that clean eating will support the exercise goals that I have and will make the difference in me reaching my half marathon personal record that I struggled with this year. I also know that it will improve my energy levels and allow me the clear mindset I need to make some important professional decisions in the upcoming months.
I hate to bore you with more words…I’m a visual person and love pictures, but thought it would be good to make this post complete with a review of December’s goals. If you are interested in reading more, here are some of my favorite books on the topic and here are a few more of my raw thoughts. I had some more activity planned for my 2 week winter break but between my awesome trip to Florida and then this sad sinus infection, I didn’t accomplish all that I had hoped. With that said, I am happy to end the year with a low stress level (the BOY and I have been really enjoying our downtime stuck in the house) and a clear plan for the year ahead.
I’m sure you’re wondering about the title of this post (why hasn’t she gotten to the point yet?). These words were spoken during my New Year’s Eve Day yoga class. I love the compassion and control she implied when she stated ‘Gently Guide Yourself Back to Center’ as we returned to standing from a back bend. It struck me as I realized that it is exactly my plan for the new year!
Avoid holiday weight gain
-Even with a vacation and being sick, I have managed to avoid the dreaded holiday weight gain. I haven’t lost any weight, but stayed at a steady place, which wasn’t easy with all the sweets in our house : )
Twice Weekly Yoga (1x studio and 1x home)
-I started off strong but then because of vacation and my sinus infection, I have failed.
Strength training! Must figure out the gym situation for the winter.
-I have had a few training sessions with the trainer, but have not been doing much more than that. I do have a game plan for when I get my energy back to try some new local classes and gyms.
Make the most of ‘winter break’ by organizing and decorating our house
-We have finally hung up some pictures and I did a massive kitchen cleaning. Hooray!
How are you planning to stay centered in the new year?