I have never been big on resolutions and I am still not all that crazy about them. I tend to think along the lines of goals instead. They are similar but I think a goal is more focused than a resolution.
So, what are my goals for the year?
- Healing my Achilles tendon
- A consistently healthy diet (small d, not large D)
- Getting back to my 5-6 x’s a week exercise routine
Healing the Achilles tendon
This will be a focus of mine for several months since it takes up to a year to heal after Achilles tendon surgery. I’ve just started physical therapy and have a lot of work to do. I am more than willing to do it, however, and am quite motivated to do what I need to do in physical therapy. I’ll continue training and working with Sam through my PT. Our work has a different focus than physical therapy and really assists me with my upper body strength among other things.
Based on what I have read on the Achilles blog, the next few weeks are both critical to my healing and can be the time when re-injury is most likely to occur. I don’t want to re-injure my Achilles tendon so I will be attentive to not overdoing. Sometimes it just happens but usually it seems like a person either tried to do too much too soon or had something happen like a misstep on uneven sidewalks or ground. So I will be extra careful.
A consistently healthy diet
I have been pretty good about this but during my time off a few things slid in. I drank a lot more coffee because I was sitting around and reading or writing. I ate some things that I wouldn’t normally eat and didn’t always eat enough fruits and vegetables. I still managed not to gain weight though so I am happy with that. I need to focus again, however. Tracking is very important to my success. I don’t see it as an imposition or as obsessive. It is a choice I make because I know that it works for me. In the past I have planned ahead but I have not done that as much over the past year. I may return to that strategy, however.
I have purchased (and re-purchased) a number of vegetarian cookbooks. I do not plan on eating an entirely vegetarian diet but I think there are many good options that I can incorporate in my diet. I love soups, for example, and already had some recipes I liked. I plan on cooking more this year than I have in the past.
I am also interested in learning more about nutrition. I did not manage to get this reading done while I was off.
My focus is more on continuing to improve the way I feel than on a particular number. Over the past year I have lost inches, the percentage of my body fat is lower, and I have improved my overall health. I have a particular number in mind as a goal but I don’t want to concentrate on just that because I think there is more involved in being healthy. I’ll get to the number but it may take a little longer than I thought it would.
Getting back to 5-6 x’s a week exercise routine
Getting back to work will help me get back in my routine. I actually have done fairly well since the surgery but since I could not do as much I averaged 4-5 x’s a week. I only made it to the Rec Center twice this past week but I don’t feel bad about that. I think I just needed a break.
My exercise time is 6 a.m. most days. I have to find other times on Thursday and Saturday. I find that it helps me to start my day with exercise. It works for me.
Related to this and to healing is training for races. I’ve had to cancel a number of races I had planned and I am not quite sure when I will be able to complete my first 5k or triathlon. I will have to be patient with my healing process but I know that I will return to racing.
I read a number of other blogs focusing on weight loss and maintenance. I like Dr. Barbara Berkeley’s Refuse to Regain because she focuses on maintenance. Her book, by the same name, has a number of useful points and 12 tough rules. I found her site through Lynn Haraldson’s site, Lynn’s Weigh. I began following Lynn when she started her original blog and lost her weight through Weight Watchers. Her story has inspired me and shown me that I can do this too.
Over the weekend Dr. Berkeley posted a link to the NY Time’s magazine article titled the Fat Trap. It’s a rather unfortunate article to appear on the first day of the year. The cover of the magazine asks this question:
My short answer is “no.” If you go to Refuse to Regain you will see the same answer. The article uses examples from studies that show people regain their weight and that it is impossible to keep it off. The author does interview a couple who are part of the National Weight Control Registry but who are quoted as talking about how hard it all is to maintain. Well, it is hard, but it isn’t impossible and it doesn’t take a superhuman. Dr. Rena Wing, who helped create the registry, points out the role of the environment in weight gain and difficulty in keeping weight off. I am not arguing with the studies cited in the article, but I do agree with Dr. Wing that environment is very important. I have had to change my environment (see the refrigerator photo above and what is in it – though I need to go to the store). As I already wrote, I need to track my food and I need to exercise. These are the choices I have made and I realize that not everyone is going to want to make these choices. Most of the people I know who have been successful losing weight have tracked what they eat in some way, whether it is by writing it down or keeping track of what they eat in other ways. Support is also a key element in being successful. I am fortunate to have a very good support system but I have sought people who will and do support what I am doing. I still encounter people who do not support what I am doing but they do not bother me as much as they did at one time in my life. These are all points I have written about before.
2011 in review
This photo summarizes much of the change I have experienced in the last year – several races from 5k to triathlons, reaching a major point in my weight loss efforts, continuing to workout at the Rec Center and to work with Sam, and concentrating on a healthy diet.
There were lots of good things that happened and I look forward to 2012.