2013: The Year of “Me” – Part 2

Posted on March 27th, 2013 in Blog.

By Brian Shepherd

Two months have passed since I began 2013 in pursuit of improving my overall health and fitness. I publically declared my intentions here.

While I was very careful not to call my journey a “New Year’s resolution,” the timing of my proclamation and the fact that health and fitness improvement is the top resolution, I am fine with the label – “resolution.” Given that just 8% of people accomplish their resolutions and more than 50% abandon them after two months, it’s a good time for me to report on my progress.

Activity: I am giving myself an “A” on this. I have consistently been active both on the treadmill with the weights and doing yoga once a week. I live in New England, and we’ve had above-average cold spells and snowfall, so I am very satisfied with my output on the fitness end of things. I have been seeking out some community activities that will start in the spring and feel pretty confident I will add a weekly sporting activity to my agenda. I set a personal goal through MapMyFitness to run 1,000 miles in 2013, and so far have run a total of 186 miles, putting me close to pace for my 2013 goal. Tracking my workouts has become addictive on the MapMyFitness platform. I don’t feel like I’m really done until I’ve logged or recorded my activity.

The trail conditions this winter in New England.

The trail conditions this winter in New England.

Weight: I set out to shed 15 pounds off my 200lb. frame. After patting myself on the back for all of the great fitness activity I have accomplished, I had to be well on my way to dropping 7 ½ percent of my weight, right? Not so fast. I checked in at the end of January, at… 200lbs. WHAT? How could that be? I was killing myself, feeling stronger and more energized. Why hadn’t that translated to losing even one pound? The problem was, and actually always has been, that I tend to over indulge and the justification only increases when I feel like I’ve been doing my part on the fitness end. You see, I go out, run 11 miles on a Saturday morning, and I think that entitles me to eat 6 slices of pizza that day, and the next, and five servings of French fries. As February began, I had to do something about that. I needed to start making better choices, eating more of the smaller, healthier snacks and meals, and simply not allowing myself to sabotage all of the hard work I was putting myself through. I’m happy to report that I am now down 5 pounds.

Losing the five pounds has done wonders for my attitude. First, I have shown that I can be happy without “rewarding” my hard workouts with poor food choices. Second, I’ve been challenged to enjoy better food choices like hummus, almonds, salmon, and an “occasional” slice of pizza (but with something healthy, like spinach). Third, I was open to tweaking my approach, instead of giving up completely – that’s what making goals is all about.

Milestones: In addition to tracking to my 1,000-mile running goal, I’m still planning on the 150-mile charity bike ride sometime this summer. As we move into spring, I will incorporate some bike rides into my weekly fitness schedule.

How are you doing with the improvements you set out to achieve in 2013? What adjustments do you need to make to stay on track? Whatever you do – hang in there and don’t give up!