Monday, December 29, 2014

2015 Add-ons

This is quite possibly my favorite time of the year – everyone gets a chance to hit "reset". Or simply, "renew" if you're in a good place. I feel the later about where I stand, but I also always know that I can be even better at what I do. With that in mind, here are a few new things I'd like to add on to my repertoire in the new year.

Glug, glug... a gallon jug.

Up my water intake to a gallon a day (16 – 8oz. glasses)
I already drink 10-12 glasses of water each day, so this shouldn't be too difficult. It was a suggestion made my trainer and it sounds good to me. Water's awesome.

Fit in a full hour of intentional activity at least five days a week
This will be the biggest challenge, but probably won't be hard once I figure out my schedule. Currently I've got the five days part down, averaging 30-40 minutes each session. I hope to continue walking on my lunch breaks at work (hopefully the weather will stay relatively mild!), and I can squeeze in walks or trips to the gym before and/or after work as needed. Weekends are never a problem – one hour a day on Saturday and Sunday is generally a given, so all I really need to worry about are three workdays, and usually one of those includes an evening gym workout anyway.

And by the way, cleaning house counts. Absolutely. So do outdoor household chores.

Edited to add: My trainer also suggested taking a quick, 20-minute walk in the morning before breakfast, and then power up with some nice protein. I want to try to make this a habit, too. Not being a very good morning person, it will be my biggest challenge. But it would also be a good way to get closer to my hour each day.

Add on the following activities: swimming, yoga, cycling outdoors
Point one: I need to try on my suits and see if one fits yet, and maybe shave my legs (though I am loath to). Point two: I need to get my bike serviced, which is just a matter of taking it in, and then awaiting suitable weather. Point three: Yoga just requires me to get my butt to a class at my gym. Easy.

This is not to say that I will be perfect. Like everything else I have done to get me where I am so far, it will be a process. But these are the things I'd like to get down pat sooner than later, and they can all sort of dovetail: More varied activities = more activity time = being more thirsty! Neat!

What modifications or additions are you making to your routine in 2015?

Friday, December 26, 2014

End-of-Year Reflection

Me: 2013 vs. 2014. Photos taken almost to the exact day, one year apart. Wow!

It's that time of year when I love to think back on what I did in the past 12 months and also what I'd like to do in the next 12 months. I'm happy that the hustle and bustle and stress of Christmas is over;  much prefer New Year's, though I don't usually do much. We tend to be homebodies and celebrate fairly quietly by ourselves (me, my partner, and our four cats), though sometimes we'll spend the time with a close friend or two, like we did last year and will do this year.

It was tomorrow last year that I went to my first session at the gym with a trainer. It took a while for me to make some solid changes in my life toward health and fitness, but that was the start. I went pretty faithfully to the gym until February, when I got sidetracked by a big exhibition I was preparing for, but found the strength and courage to go back in mid-May. It was then that I met my current trainer and I got really serious about my efforts. These steps were the most important I've taken for myself in a really long time, and I have zero regrets.

I have now built up a workout schedule that includes some meaningful activity (i.e. at least 30 minutes) five times a week, and sometimes more! I can hardly believe it myself. (Of course, this Christmas week was an exception – looks like it will be four times instead of five, but that's OK. That's still great, in fact!)

I've lost over 60 pounds since May.

Now's a good time to announce my intentions for 2015, to keep the momentum going.

• Keep losing weight and keep building strength and ability. I am not setting a number I want to see on the scale by a certain date. I'm simply going to keep doing what I have been doing.

I'm getting even more help with my efforts to assure that I stay on track!

• The local Fleet Feet store has a 5K training program that I'm going to join in mid-February. By then I'll just have completed the C25K program on my own, but I will be excited to get additional training, advice, and camaraderie. Working with others should help me push myself (safely) to the next level. It will include two training sessions a week for 11 weeks!

• The same store is also hosting a weight loss challenge beginning in late January! It, too, runs for 11 weeks and I like the idea of earning prizes and a little old-fashioned competition – just the thing to get me through that kind of down time of year when it's grey and cold and often depressing.

I can't do this alone. I'm taking very active steps to get the help I need to reach my goals – not only from my wonderful friends and family, but from some experts, too. It's something that I have not done in the past, unless you count going to Weight Watchers meetings in the old days (which I don't, really). I'm really only making this realization now, on this very day. It's OK to ask to help. 

So there you have it. As I go along and come across other opportunities, I will add them to my arsenal, but I'd say that I am pretty well prepared to take on the first half of 2015, wouldn't you?

What's in your plan for the new year? What do you want to do, and how will you make that happen?

Monday, December 15, 2014


Hi. I'm working on it.

Ergh, I've been feeling restless. When you have all these physical changes going on, I suppose it's only natural that some other stuff starts bubbling up, too. Lately I have been feeling a little bit of... discontent? Maybe? Not in a bad way, but just in a I feel like I should be doing something else kind of way. The stupid thing is, I am not even sure what that means. I am genuinely happy and grateful for everything I have that makes up the whole of my life: My relationship, my family, my job(s), my studio... yet somehow it seems like something is missing, or that I could make something better somehow.

Part of it is coveting and envy, like just having read this delightful post over at Design*Sponge about a newly-purchased home in upstate New York. It was so fun to look at and sense the pure joy experienced by the writer and her wife. It's the exact kind of house I would like to live in one day. It sort of gave me pangs to read it.

At the same time, I started thinking about my own pretty little house and what things could be done to make it even more dreamy. Since we moved in seven years ago, we haven't done a whole lot of improving or changing. It kind of makes me sad that's the case. So maybe reading the blog post was what I needed to kick start some sort of meaningful project for the house. Maybe even just a new coat of paint in one of the rooms to start. Maybe it's finally doing something cool with the upstairs or the basement. I don't know.

Another part of my discontent is with my art practice, or lack thereof. Maybe that is the problem – that I haven't been making time for the studio in favor of my focus on my body and my health, which is a major project unto itself. Maybe I ought to prioritize some time to paint or draw. (After all, I am an artist!)

I suppose the last layer of this perceived discontent is just with my body, period. Of course I am thrilled with the progress I have made in the past year, but I JUST CAN'T WAIT until I get to where I am going. I am super psyched about it.

BUT I have to be patient and I have to enjoy the ride there. Some days it's hard to be patient and I just get frustrated with myself, even if there is no logical reason to be frustrated.

When will I get there?

I don't know, but I will get there.

Friday, December 12, 2014

60 Down.

It's been a while since my last post, but that doesn't mean that things are bad. Actually, things have been pretty good overall, and I do think about things I want to write here but never seem to get around to it.

I did want to share with you the good news of another milestone: 60 pounds lost so far. I'm tantalizingly close to being under 300 pounds. I can taste it!

The clothes I've been wearing are feeling looser, little by little. I'm just about totally out of size 26 now and the majority of my pants have been 24. (One odd man out, though – a 26 who feels more like a 24, just love consistency of clothes sizes, don't you?) I'm suspecting I'll be into 22 in another couple months. I have some in my closet waiting!

I am also getting noticeably stronger, faster, and have more endurance. That feels amazing. I've had a couple sub-18 minute walk/runs recently that totally dazzle me. Next time out I will be heading into week 2 of C25K – you know, that thing I was going to wait until spring to begin again? I just couldn't wait, and I felt ready.

I decided to continue with my gym membership after all! The last few sessions there I realized how much I would miss having the option to go when I wanted to. Plus, I am still determined to get into the pool! The treadmill will be a nice alternative when the streets and sidewalks are too slushy to navigate.

Things I am thinking about:

Tough Mudders


Homemade pizza

HIIT (This is a very cool site with lots of free resources, including a video exercise library!)