2016 Goals

January 2016.

A new year. A new beginning.

A time to reflect on the past year’s successes, failures, highs, and lows.

A time to set goals for the year ahead.

This New Year’s Eve came and went without much of a celebration (besides Clemson winning the Orange Bowl – Go Tigers!). Living in a different country, away from our friends and family meant no New Year’s Eve festivities – no parties, no countdown, we even missed our midnight toast due to a stubborn cork and a broken wine opener. But, we did have FaceTime calls, a great football game, and the promise of this being the year we move home – not the worst New Year’s Eve ever!

The new year tends to stress me out a bit. After all of the alcohol is consumed, food eaten, fireworks finished, the topic of resolutions or goals is breached.

Although I know goals are important – they push us to better ourselves – the thought of setting a goal and not reaching it gives me anxiety.

I decided to ignore that anxiety this year, set multiple goals, and post them here to hold myself accountable for meeting them.

(In all honesty, I’ve already given up on one of the goals and decided I should probably post the rest before they went the same way!)

2016 Goals:

  • Read 50 books
  • Yoga 30 min/day
    • This is a lofty one for me. I HATE yoga. Or, I should say – I hated yoga. On Monday, I started Yoga Camp on Youtube by Yoga with Adriene and it’s been an incredible experience. I know my body is definitely going to benefit from the stretching and I hope I can learn how to quiet my mind and be present in the moment!
  • Read my Bible 5 days a week
    • I started this one late last year – just trying to keep it going!
  • Read 1 chapter of a business book 5 days a week
    • I just realized that a lot of my goals center around reading!
    • I would like to start some type of fitness related business within the next year or two, so I’m trying to learn as much as I can!
  • Increase bench max to 125 lbs
  • Increase deadlift max to 225 lbs
  • Increase squat max to 225 lbs
  • Run at least 1 5k
    • I need some motivation to continue including cardio in my routine of workouts
  • Reduce OCD symptoms
    • More to come on this in a later blog
  • Blog at least twice a month

There you have it – my 2016 goals!

2016 is going to be a big year for D and I! Between moving home, new jobs, and very soon, a new puppy sister for our soon to be 3 year old fur-child, we have a lot to look forward to! Here’s to a happy, healthy, much awaited 2016!

“The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.” – Melody Beattie

When brain and body don’t match…

“I wish my stomach was more flat and toned.”

“I wish my legs were thinner.”

“I wish I had abs.”

All things I’ve either heard or said within the past 24 hours.

Then this much needed, very straight-forward text from a friend:

“Maybe your brain needs to change!!!!”

Maybe she’s right. Maybe it does.

So, now what?

I’ve come to realize that sometimes, my brain doesn’t always match my body. This can happen in so many different ways.

Sometimes, I see fat that isn’t there. Sometimes, where D sees defined ab muscles, I see rolls.

But, mirrors lie, and eyes can deceive.

I know that I eat healthily. I know that I enjoy my workouts AND they are in moderation. I know that I am strong and that I can lift heavy barbells. I know that I can run a mile if I want to.

And even though I know all of those facts about myself, my brain still jumps to those “trouble areas” I pick at. It ignores that my muscular core allows me to do squats and burpees and deadlifts and toes to bar (and hopefully one day soon, handstand pushups). Instead, it focuses on the flaws that it makes so vivid and real.

So today, I’m working on changing my brain in hopes that one day, my brain might match my body. In hopes that one day, my brain appreciates a thicker core that allows me to meet my fitness goals.

Maybe my stomach isn’t the most flat or the most toned. Maybe I don’t have super defined abs. Who cares?

“You’re a human being, you live once and life is wonderful, so eat the damn red velvet cupcake.” – Emma Stone

Macros and Lifting

When will life be more than macros and workouts?

Don’t get me wrong, I still stand by IIFYM! Macros gave me a freedom with food that I had never experienced before!

And working out – I enjoy my workouts now! Lifting makes me feel powerful and gives me bigger, healthier goals. I’ve even thrown some running into the mix; though I still stand by the fact that I HATE cardio! 🙂

But, I still feel a sense of definition or control from these things.

By lunchtime, my entire days worth of food is written down and calculated. Any deviation from that plan leads to instant panic. Yes, my meal plan is higher than it used to be. It includes foods like Oreos, chocolate, and snack foods. But, if something that I want doesn’t fit, I am not okay with eating it anyway. If I change my mind about a food, I must first consult the plan before actually eating the food.

I became very aware of this yesterday. Every week D and I make a menu. This week we were supposed to have fish tacos. Long story short, our normal grocery store was closed and the one we went to didn’t have our usual tilapia, so D bought a different (breaded and marinated) kind.

When I was calculating my macros yesterday, I noticed that one piece of tilapia was over double the macros it usually is. I panicked. Quickly, our favorite fish taco meal turned into a piece of tilapia and some quinoa – that’s the only way I could get it to fit my macros.

Throughout the day I was angry – I wanted fish tacos for dinner. That was what I had planned on and what I was looking forward to. Lunch was lacking due to the high dinner macros and after lunch I wasn’t satisfied. I found myself going back to the pantry again and again trying to find something to make me feel better. But, I only felt worse.

Instead of being proactive and realizing this spiral I was in, I let it get the best of me. When I wasn’t in the pantry, I sat on the couch sulking or sleeping – sleeping is usually one of my semi-negative coping skills because I use it to shut everyone out.

When D got home and asked what the plan was for dinner, I told him about the macro issue. I didn’t explain how my day had taken a downward spiral because of the macros, simply that we would not be having fish tacos for dinner.

During our workout, I started talking to C and K. With a more clear head, I decided to ignore the macros for the night and eat a more filling dinner than quinoa and tilapia. It wasn’t fish tacos, but it wasn’t so blah either.

I still fought the thoughts the remainder of the night. Between knowing I went over my macros and knowing I spent a large part of my day asleep on the couch, I ended up skipping my normal protein shake. All in all, calories probably evened out at a severe cut to my protein intake. But, I was weak. I couldn’t shake those thoughts and feelings.

So, what I realized was this – even though I eat things I enjoy now, even though I eat more than I used to, I am still controlled by macros. I still wake up thinking about food. I still go to bed feeling the fat on my stomach. I still feel panicky when my macros don’t add up right. And, do I really want to spend the rest of my life like this? Hell no!

K pointed out that with time, we will stop being so reliant on macros, or whatever else we are using. That we will not be counting macros when we are 40. I hope she is right!

I had this same realization today with lifting. I enjoy lifting. I look forward to lifting. But I also see lifting as the piece of the puzzle that is keeping me healthy. So when D decided we should probably push deadlift day to tomorrow, I immediately felt the panic kick in. I took S on a run this morning, but a part of me feels like that wasn’t enough. If I start my day knowing it is a rest day then I feel safer not working out. But I started today thinking I would go on two runs and deadlift. Once that plan changed, the feeling of safety fell away.

I want to live a life at peace with myself. A life where fish tacos are okay if that is what I want, even if it doesn’t fit my macros. A life where pushing a workout to the next day isn’t a big deal. I want to realize that as long as I am eating healthy and exercising moderately most of the time, one day of being “off” won’t matter.

D and I are heading to Italy next weekend. I am beyond anxious over this trip. I’ve talked a big talk about all of the gelato, pizza, and pasta I will eat – but inside, I can’t stop thinking macros and lack of lifting. But, this is exactly what I’m talking about with this post. A vacation should be fun – not a time spent worrying about what I will eat or when I will workout. It’s going to be tough, but I know I am stronger!

“Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live

Maybe one of these days you can let the light in

Show me how big your brave is.” – Sara Bareilles