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Monday, December 26, 2005

A Look Back on a Year of Fitness

Well, here I am. One year ago today, I started a workout and diet program that I was determined would work. I had three goals:

  • Eat right - I can make mistakes, but for the most part this horrible eating and caving to peer pressure needs to stop.
Well, so-so success. I definitely improved on portion control. I've switched from Weight Watchers style of eating into a more balanced approach. I've mostly given up light/lowfat/fat free/sugar free foods and tried to eat whole foods, whole grains, and such. I had the bad thing of the sugar binge in October. I still need to work on eating out less and eating more vegetables, but I'll get there. I'm less psycho about things and freak out less when there's an event with eating involved.

  • Wake up - I need to get up in the morning, which will allow me to prepare dinner in the crockpot if necessary, work out, and get a breakfast and/or lunch together so I'm not trying to eat out of the vending machine every day.
Once again, so-so success. I kept up with the morning workouts through January, February and March. In April when I started running, I started some more evening workouts and I've been working out a lot of evenings since. I still get up in the morning a lot, and since my return from England I've been trying to get back into more morning workouts. I slipped with the morning breakfast routine for a while, but I'm back into eating breakfast, which I think is required to be successful at weight loss. Also, work stopped the daily 9am meetings - those required me to be to work right on time everyday. They sucked.

  • Watch lunches - They kill me, I need to stop going out everyday. I'm going to eat in at least twice per week. If it requires me to go back to disgusting Lean Cuisines, so be it.
Complete failure on the eating in twice per week. Total failure. However, I've been controlling my dinners, which is something good (see below). Lunches haven't been bad enough to cause me severe difficulty and I've been doing ok at keeping the calories under control.
  • Make dinners/go grocery shopping - so that dinners are not so bad
I go in and out of success at this. I go through periods of making dinners regularly and periods of us eating out all the time. Still working on this one, and it's still a goal.
  • Work out - I must stick with it. A minimum of 3 weight workouts and 2 cardios per week - I am going to try and workout for at least 20-30 minutes per day everyday even if it's just a walk around the block.
I am counting this as a success. I didn't necessarily keep to the 3 weight/2 cardio thing, but I have worked out steadily since December 26 last year. Without my workout logs (which I lost in July), I don't know exactly what I've done and what I haven't, but I know I did them. This is my longest stretch of working out ever. A full YEAR! How awesome.

So, it's time to celebrate. I'm going to celebrate in a weird way - by going back to Cathe's rotations for January and February. At least part of them. Am I weird? Today, I'm going to do Step, Jump and Pump, because it's what I did last year on December 26. Maybe I'll make it a yearly tradition to do it on the day after Christmas. Boxing Day. One would think I'd do a kickbox video on Boxing Day - Kick Max or Kick, Punch & Crunch. But no! Step, Jump & Pump it is.

Here's a little bit of what I've learned this year:
  • Missing a workout is not failure. If I don't stick to what I had planned to do and I do a shortened workout or no workout, it's not the end of the world. My life is easier if I continue on as planned.
  • On that note, changing plans in general is not going to kill me. Since I sometimes workout with other people, it can be hard to workout to the plan exactly. But, exchanging workouts on different days doesn't make a difference in the long run.
  • Working out does lovely things to my metabolism and means that I can "mess up" with eating and not gain weight as easily.
  • Rock climbing messes up my weight training schedule. I still haven't figured out how to make them work together.
  • Running isn't as hard as I thought.
  • People catch on to the running or working out thing just as easily as dieting and Weight Watchers. I inspired many to join WW when I was on it before, and I've turned a few now to the dark side of running :)
  • Runners are everywhere. I can't tell you how many people I've mentioned running to and found out that they are former marathoners or run passionately in their spare time.
  • Working out alone is great. Working out in a group has its merits also.
Specific Successes for 2005:
  • Completed the Couch to 5k Program
  • Can complete IMAX2 without fail
  • Five 5k races
  • Cathe Road Trip
  • Working out an average of 5-6 days per week for an entire year, excluding illness & vacation
  • 30 pounds lost (WW goal weight reached in October)
  • Started Rock Climbing
  • Muscle tone!
  • Clear skin. I wasn't expecting this to be as huge a deal as it is. I'm not even sure that I really even considered it as a benefit before it happened. At first, I thought it was my cleansing routine, but my face became as clear as it has ever been... it has to be the workouts, and my doctor confirmed it. I've had a few breakouts from stress lately, but it's still very clear. What I consider "breakout" now, would have been clear and wonderful a while ago.
  • Ability to sleep. Sleeping has been an issue for me since sophomore year of college, when I suddenly became a light sleeper. It generally takes me a minimum of 30 minutes to fall asleep. Sometimes, it runs into the 2 and 3 hour mark. The single biggest benefit besides weight loss from workouts is that I fall to sleep better. Usually now, I can hit that 30 minute mark every night. Yay!
So, now to look ahead. I want to contiue doing what I'm doing. I want to continue challenging myself. Yet, I don't want to set myself up for disappointment. I really just want to "fine tune" what I've set up as healthy habits. And now... (drumroll)

Kim's Fitness Goals for 2006
  1. Diet - Continue tracking food in CalorieKing. Increase vegetables and whole grains, decrease sugars, junk food, white rice, bread and potatoes.
  2. Weight loss - Get weight to 145 pounds. Try to acheive an Old Navy size 8.
  3. Socially - Be in shape and "thin" for 10 year high school reuinion (!)
  4. Running - Join Marathon training group in April. Definitely run a half marathon in 2006. Potentially run a full marathon in 2006. Continue running 3-10 miles per week in while it is still cold out.
  5. Workouts - Start the year with Cathe rotations for January & February (potentially March as well). Substitute running for cardio workouts that I don't own, and work climbing in, if necessary. Do the rotations as printed, instead of adding in an extra rest day per week (like I did last year).
  6. Body parts - Focus on fitting in 2-3 abs/core workouts per week - what a weakness this part is for me. Sessions can be as short as 8 minutes long, but no shorter. Work other muscle groups at least twice per week with weights.
  7. Flexibility - Work in yoga when possible on rest days. Stretch hamstrings after every workout since they are, by FAR, my most inflexible muscles. Settle for being able to touch my toes by the end of the year (scary that I can't do this). Shoot for being able to put my heels down in downward facing dog (in bare feet).
So, there you have it. We'll see how I do.
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