346. Goals, Goals, Goals: February 5 Challenge

I didn’t set any specific January goals; I just chose my verb for the year. (It’s dare in case you don’t remember.)  However, this month it’s back to goals, goals, goals.   I’m going back to a numbers based challenge like my December to Remember, but on a slightly smaller scale.  I’m also focusing on my verb by picking goals that require me to push myself a little bit.  And of course I’ve got myself a clever challenge name.

February 5 Challenge

This month’s challenge revolves around the number 5 because my ultimate goal for February is to be down 5 pounds.  However, losing 5 pounds is not actually one of my goals.  It’s so of a bonus goal.  The hope is that reaching my 5 goals for the month will get my to the 5 pound mark.  I’ll be tracking this month’s goals on Laura’s group tracking sheet (BOTD February Challenge Tracker) so be sure to check that often.

The Goals

  1. Earn 150 activity points
  2. Track 25 complete days
  3. Complete 5 items on my Mission 101 list
  4. Attend 5 group fitness classes
  5. Do 5 strength training sessions

The Reward

If I reach all 5 goals, I’m going to buy a Fitbook.  I love the concept, and people who have them seem to love them.  I’ve been tossing around the idea of getting one, but I’ve yet to commit to buying one.  I’ve always got a zillion tracking options so I don’t really need the Fitbook, but I love the idea of them especially for tracking workouts.  Mostly, I probably just want to play around with it.

If I reach my goal of 5 pounds lost I’m going to buy How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman.  I’ve had this cookbook on my wish list or a while, but I always talk myself out of it because Do I really need another cookbook?   However, I’ve been doing a great job of making recipes from my cookbooks over the last two month so another cookbook is totally in order!


337. 2011 in Review: Dedicated

Instead of setting goals or making New Year’s Resolutions last year, I followed Rachel’s lead and choose a verb.  My verb for 2011 was dedicate.  Honestly, my verb, much like many New Year’s Resolutions, fell from the front of my mind pretty quickly.  Despite the fact that it wasn’t at the forefront of my thoughts and actions, I do think it was lurking there somewhere in my subconscious driving at least some of my thoughts and goals.  I didn’t think I’d made much “progress” with it until I really stopped and looked back at the year.

In 2011…

…I wanted to dedicate myself to my health which I definitely did in the second half of the year when I joined Weight Watchers and started seriously working toward finally reaching my goal weight.  I finished the year feeling pretty damn good about my progress and myself.

…I wanted to dedicate myself to fitness and running.  Exercise and fitness is always my biggest struggle.  I set goals.  I flake out on goals.  I set high expectations, and fall short.  However, despite my many failed fitness challenges throughout 2011, I still feel like I did manage to truly dedicate myself.  In May, I finished the Wisconsin Half Marathon, crushing my PR by nearly 25 minutes.  In October, I finished Dallas 13.1 knocking another 10 minutes off my PR with a finishing time of 2:24:22.  Then there was my almost 5K PR in April, my definite 5K PR in October, and knocking out my goal of a sub-28 minute 5K a short time later.   I know all of these PRs are a direct result of my increasing dedication to training and fitness in general.  Even fitness challenge failures still have a positive impact.

…I wanted to dedicate time to myself.  I don’t think I did this in quite the way I intended when I set the goal a year ago.  When I set this goal I was thinking about taking time to sit around by myself doing nothing; however, I think I did even better than that.  Dedicating myself to my health and my running was dedicating time to myself.  I dedicated to my Weight Watcher’s meetings every week regardless of what was going on.  I dedicated myself to hours of running, usually alone, when I’d rather be sleeping or hanging out.  I dedicated myself to going to bed early getting adequate sleep most nights.  I used my commute “wisely” to read more than 45 books this year.

…I wanted to dedicate time to my blog.  This is one area I really do feel like I fell short.  I truly enjoy blogging, but I also find myself consistently struggling with it.  A lack of inspiration/ motivation to write, a failure to prioritize writing posts, and at time a complete disconnect with my purpose.  I feel like I’m constantly working and reworking my blog without ever really making progress.  I get frustrated because I feel like I should have figured it out by now, after 2 years.  There will be more to come on this though.

…I wanted to dedicate myself to growing up.  This is another thing that didn’t happen in quite the way I expected, but I feel like I left 2011 more mature and ready to really move forward into “adulthood.”  And honestly, I don’t think I could adequately explain myself much further on this one,  so I’m going to leave it at that.

Honestly, I haven’t made a ton of progress on my 2012 goals.  I wasn’t even sure how I planned on approaching them.  But after writing this post and really looking back at 2011, I think choosing a verb was a great plan which I intend to do again this year.  I’ll be back with my 2012 verb in the next week or so.

334. December to Remember Weekly Update 2

Alright, executive decision has been made: December to Remember Challenge updates are now being posted on Tuesdays.  I should know well enough by now that I’m really not a weekend blogger.  I just don’t have/ make time for it.  Oh well, an update is an update right?

I’m still struggling with the fitness side of the challenge.  Remember back in, like, September when I joined a gym that was supposed to be opening in mid- to late November?  Well, November came and went and the gym hadn’t opened.  However, I was then told the grand opening date would be December 15th.  So, truth be told, I planned this challenge around the expectation that my gym would be open for at least half the month of December.  This was where I was planning to get most of my strength training and cross training done.  Well, it’s not December 20th and this gym still is not open.  I called the location, and they told me it would be open this Thursday.  I emailed X-Sport corporate, and they told me the 26th.   In any case, the point is that I’d been counting the gym to be open and it isn’t which means I’ve had to get creative on my cross training and strength training.  I’ve been taking the dog on longer evening walks, and I’ve been running up and down the stairs in my condo at the suggestion of Laura.  (I’m also pretty sure my neighbors think I’m bat-shit crazy.)

The one area I’m lacking in most is miles run which is a bit ironic as I figured that would be a piece of cake goal.  I’m trying to be positive about it, but I think it’s almost unrealistic to hit that goal at this point…at least without injuring myself.  Oh well, I’m going to try.  The month ain’t over yet.

The Goals

  1. Run 75 miles – 15/75 (20%)
  2. Cross Train 250 minutes – 115/250 (46%)
  3. Strength Train 150 minutes – 40 /150 (27%)
  4. Hold a 2 minute plank – 45 seconds
  5. 2 “real” push-ups – I can get halfway down and back up twice
  6. Hold a 90 second wall squat – 45 seconds
  7. Track food/ points 25 complete days – 19/25 (76%)
  8. Make 15 new healthy recipes from my cookbook stash – 7/15 (47%)
  9. 160 servings of fruits and veggies. – 100/160 (63%)


332. December to Remember Weekly Update 1.5

I know I’ve owed you a December to Remember updated since Saturday.  Sorry friends.  It was a crazy gingerbread filled weekend that ended with my car being trapped in my garage.  Sounds like fun right?  Well, it was a blast until that last part.  Anyway, I do have an update for you all.  I have to admit; I’m off to a bit of a slow start especially on the fitness side of things.  I really need to pick it up because I desparately need more winter gear!

The Goals

  1. Run 75 miles – 7/75
  2. Cross Train 250 minutes – 70/250
  3. Strength Train 150 minutes – 20 /150
  4. Hold a 2 minute plank – 45 seconds
  5. 2 “real” push-ups – I can get halfway down and back up twice
  6. Hold a 90 second wall squat – 45 seconds
  7. Track food/ points 25 complete days – 11/25
  8. Make 15 new healthy recipes from my cookbook stash – 5/15
  9. 160 servings of fruits and veggies. – 54/160

I promise an actual Saturday morning update this week!

329. Goals, Goals, Goals: December to Remember

There were actually several factors that went into my decision to create a challenge for myself in the month of December.  I absolutely fell in love with the idea of Cassie’s All About the Numbers Challenge, and I was even more inspired by her success with it.  Another was my realization that I need to be a little bit harder on myself combined with setting some fairly aggressive year-end weight loss goals.  My goal is to hit my 10% mark by the end of the year.  It’s less than 1.5lbs per week which is doable, but with my already slow rate of weight loss and the holidays in the mix, it’s definitely going to be a challenge.  On top of all that, I really want to head into the New Year with solid momentum.  I don’t want to have to be trying to play catch-up come January 1st.  So here’s how it’s going go down…

December to Remember Header Girl Can Do

The Guildelines
I’ve got a list of 9 goals below.

I’ve got until December 31st to complete them.

I’m going to post weekly updates on Saturdays (which is extra convenient since December 31st is a Saturday.)

I’m going to take measurements and before/ after pictures (which I may or may not end up sharing here.)

The Goals

  1. Run 75 miles
  2. Cross Train 250 minutes
  3. Strength Train 150 minutes
  4. Hold a 2 minute plank
  5. 2 “real” push-ups
  6. Hold a 90 second wall squat
  7. Track food/ points 25 complete days
  8. Make 15 new healthy recipes from my cookbook stash
  9. 160 servings of fruits and veggies.

The Reward
If I complete all 9 goals, I’m giving myself $100 to go buy new winter work-out/ running gear.  If I complete all 9 goals AND hit my 10% mark at/ by my January 3rd weigh in, I’m giving myself an extra $50 to spend.  I’m seriously lacking in the winter gear department.  I have 1 pair of long pants and 3 long sleeves shirts.  My running gloves are too big, and I need a decent jacket.

So there’s my challenge to myself.   I’m going to hold myself accountable and allow myself to be pissed off at myself if I start slacking.  I’m determined to make this happen.


298. Fit Friday What?

Remember when I used to do Fit Friday posts?  Oh yeah, me too!  I’ve been trying to put together a post for my run along the Hudson while I was on vacation, but I haven’t had time to sit down and sort through the pictures and decide which ones to use in my post.  I promise I will post that next week.

I’ll even pinky swear it.  (Now you know I’m serious.)

In the meantime, I do owe you all an update on my strength training challenge that ends, well, tomorrow, actually.  (I had to reference my original post for that bit of info which should give you an indication of how well this challenge is went.)

See up there where I said it went well?  Yeah, I was lying.

Actually, it started out really well, and I did a great job while I was on vacation.  I was actually 100% successful on vacation.  It’s when I got home that things fell apart which frankly just seems bass-ackwards to me.   

I’m definitely frustrated with myself here.  (In case all my snark didn’t give that away!)  I’m at a point where I actually feel totally clueless on how to get myself to stop blowing off my strength training.  Every time I find a method that I think is going to work, I do really well for a week or two then I quit all together.

They say the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  Well, I guess I’m just a little bit insane because I’m trying this again in the month of September.  Same rules apply with one change: every Friday, I’m going to plan out the next week’s strength training.  I’m not just going to pick the days; I’m going to pick the routines too.  They can still be anything I want, but I must decide in advance.  If I do not post my routine, please get on me about it.

I’ve also better prepared myself to plan my workouts.  I went through my gigantic stack of Women’s Health Magazines (aka the magazine subscription that just won’t end!) and tore out all the workout routines.  I’ve also printed the guides from some of the SparkPeople workouts and copied the recipes from Smart Girls Do Dumbbells.  All of these things are going to be put into a binder (They’re currently in a neatly sorted pile.)  so Sgt. Pepper can’t snack on them.  I’ve also, also started an Evernote notebook devoted to collecting links for online videos and routines.

I’m going to establish a strength training routine if it kills me…and at this rate, it just might.

285. Fit Friday: Fitness Challenge, The Next Generation

I’m trying to get my posts up in the morning, but I’ve been crazy busy (at work and at home) getting ready for vacation that today’s post is a little late.  C’est la vie

Truthfully, I’ve had some trouble coming up with my next fitness challenge.  After the epic fail of strength training portion my last fitness challenge, I knew I wanted this challenge to focus on that.  My main goal with these challenges is to get myself to establish a routine I can stick with.  The last challenge was a great success in getting me to run regularly and incorporate some biking.  Since the challenge completion, I’ve been maintaining my 3 days of running and 1 – 2 days of biking each week.

Clearly the highly structure, daily approach to strength training that I took in my last challenge didn’t work for me so this time I’m trying the opposite end of the spectrum.  I’m giving myself almost complete and total flexibility under the following 4 guidelines:

  1. Minimum 20 minutes of strength training, 3 days a week.
  2. Strength training can be done as one upper body, one lower body, and one core session or three total body sessions.
  3. Strength training sessions cannot be done on back-to-back days to allow myself time to recover.
  4. I can do any strength training workout I’d like. (e.g . Yoga, CoreFusion, SparkPeople videos, circuits, workouts from magazines, Smart Girls Do Dumbbells work-outs, etc.)

That’s it.

The Challenge will run July 24th – August 27th.  I’ve printed a blank calendar to check off the days I do my strength.  To get my yet-to-be-determined reward, I have to meet these guidelines at least 4 out of the next 5 weeks and complete a minimum of 12 workouts.  This will be especially interesting since I’ll be on vacation for basically the first two weeks.  However, since I’ll pretty much have unlimited free time, I’ll have absolutely no excuses.  The hotel and ship both have gyms.  I’m not going to do weekly updates, but I will do an update at the halfway point and of course I’ll let you know how I did at the end.

I’m not creating a cardio portion for this challenge.  My plan is to continue doing what I’m doing and tracking my workouts over on my DailyMile Page.  Technically next week starts training for the Dallas 13.1 race so I will be posting my training schedule for that when I get back from vacation.