December goals & back to basics.

by Melissa on December 3, 2012

It’s December already??? This year has certainly flown by, hasn’t it? Christmas is only three weeks away. Before I go off on that train of thought, I wanted to talk about goals. This *may* get a little long-winded, and I apologize ahead of time.

So I’m an active mom, right? Always up to something and on the go. There has been one thing weighing me down recently, and it’s got me a little worried. I’m 30, pretty active, still slightly overweight, but healthy nonetheless. However, I’ve been silently worrying about something that runs in my family. Heart disease. Unfortunately, the odds are not in my favor when it comes to genetics, but fortunately, I have educated myself enough to understand that the genetic aspect of weight control doesn’t necessarily come into play until a lack of physical activity and a poor diet are present. I cannot (and will not) make excuses for myself. Without those two bad habits, even people with poor genetics can avoid the issue. I, however, had those lovely genes turned on a long time ago.

Despite the fact that I’ve changed my life around in so many ways over the last year by losing roughly 70 pounds and running a half marathon (amongst several shorter races), I still worry. I worry mainly because I haven’t been focusing on my health the way I was earlier this year. No, I’m not getting lazy about it; I just haven’t made it my main focus. I’ve got so much going on at all times that I am so easily distracted. I admit it, and it shouldn’t be an excuse. (I’m fairly positive a certain friend believes I’m being too hard on myself at this point. Haha.)

It’s time to turn that around again.

It’s been time.


Last week, I spent a good amount of time getting to know a really special woman. The two of us got paired up in the first round of the #Elf4Health challenge by chance – neither of our sign ups with through. Chance isn’t the right word. Natalie and I have exchanged emails for the past week that could probably equate to a small novel. I’m not going to disclose the personal information she’s shared with me, but I will tell you one thing: the support, understanding, and connectivity we’ve share this week has been truly amazing. We’re both in two completely different stages of our journey, and yet, we’re finding that we’re anything but different. We’re truly uplifting each other, and I’d like to take advantage of this newfound inspiration.

So how will I be doing that?

A long time ago, I tried Body for Life for the first time and I loved it…and then I got bored and quit. That was the “old me”. Then the “new me” did it again, and she saw results and finished it. But she didn’t back it up with the proper diet. (Of course, this is before everything I’ve learned this year.) And do I really have to explain why running is going to be making a comeback? I mean, really? ;)

The plan is to approach strength training with the Body for Life structure in mind. Despite the fact that I haven’t been lifting nearly as much as I should have been all this time, I don’t think I need to start out on a simple multiple-set system. The Body for Life program works on a pyramid system of sorts, starting with a light weight with a higher number of repetitions and progressing to a heavy weight with a lower number of repetitions. It’s a great way to increase muscle endurance and promote muscle hypertrophy. I’m not going to be following Body for Life down to the tiniest of details, but I do love the structure and I know it works for me. The main focus, though, will be to follow the KISS method. Keep It Simple Stupid. Back to basics. Lunges. Squats. Bench presses. All the basic movements. No sophisticated hype going on over here.

On the days that I’m not strength training, I will be running. I’m going to approach it differently this time, though. No focus on distance – at least, not until it’s time to start training for the Blue Ridge Half. I’m going to work on speed intervals and hills. I’ve noticed in the past that as long as I’m focusing on distance, when distance isn’t something I’m training for, I’m constantly losing my focus. If I’m not training for a specific race, there’s no reason I should be forcing myself to run a certain distance. I want to get lost in my runs again. I want to push my limits in terms of speed or incline. I want to feel it working. Intervals. I want to focus on intervals (i.e. short-term goals). Time to trick my brain a little, hmm?

And yoga. Oh my God, I miss yoga – terribly. I need to start meditating again. I need to start working on my focus and balance. I can’t keep my brain focused on anything for more than 5 minutes these days, and yoga truly helps me find that balance and focus.

**Side note: I had a heart-to-heart with Herrick the other night. I opened up about the fact that as long as I have a paid-for, expensive, big goal, I get there. I’m an all-or-nothing type woman, and my big goal for the next year? To learn to accomplish goals that haven’t been backed by a registration fee.

My diet. Quite pleasantly, I haven’t been craving much in terms of sugar. (Thank God.) I’ve also been increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables I’m eating a day. Small changes, but they’re on their way to becoming permanent. (I’m the queen of buying too much produce and being unable to get to it quick enough. Or not buying enough. I’m finding that balance, too.)

You can count on seeing the logs of my workouts. Fair warning.

This whole post is such an obvious one. One I’ve written a thousand times, just in different words or at different times. I hate writing these posts, because they point out my weaknesses. What I do love about them, though, is that it just shows you all that I’m human and I struggle and I set obvious goals. I’m not perfect, but I don’t hide that. So this month, through the holidays, I’m going to live in the moment. I’m going to enjoy baking cookies. I’m going to enjoy cuddling up on the couch to watch old (and new) Christmas movies. However, I’m making it a point to be one incredibly important thing:


{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah @ December 3, 2012 at 12:44 am

I love your commitment to being mindful! And I admire your honesty in regards to setting goals and following through with them, and figuring out a way to do that with out needing a financial motivator to do it!!! I often schedule races because I know that the investment drives me to properly train… And I wish that I too could find a better motivator for myself!!!


MIzFit December 3, 2012 at 4:29 am

ahhh youre human.
Ive written this same post a million times too.
on my blog
in my journal
lottsa places.
we be human.



Angela @ Happy Fit Mama December 3, 2012 at 5:29 am

Agreed with Miz, you are human! I’ve been feeling this way too lately and I’ve realized I’ve missed my yoga mat. For the past month it’s been a distant friend in the corner. But I’ve recommitted and made a plan. It’s so vital not just physically but mentally. Which is also a BIG part of cardiac disease. BTW – your #elf4health sounds awesome! What a great match!


Erica { } December 3, 2012 at 6:43 am

Oh you SO have this – I can’t wait to see your workout logs and all the progress you’ll be making. I’m kind of bummed I didn’t’ sign up for Elf4Health but I knew I wouldn’t have enough time to adequately devote to someone. I love how much it’s changing people’s lives/perspectives on health already!


Ericka @ The Sweet Life December 3, 2012 at 10:20 am

Love this; To learn to accomplish goals that haven’t been backed by a registration fee. SERIOUSLY! That is also one of my huge problems. There are so many things I could do better for FREE. Glad to know I”m not alone!


Jess December 3, 2012 at 10:44 am

What I love about these posts of yours is that they are honest and that they show YOU what your own ‘weaknesses’ (hate that word) are when it comes to your own goals. It’s like your own ‘note to self’ in that as you write this post, you’re reminding yourself of what has worked for you before and WHY and what hasn’t worked for you and WHY. I love that you’re constantly learning, applying previous experience to your current goals and evolving all the more along the way. That’s what it’s all about, right??

I’m also a BIG fan of mindfulness — not just during the holidays but always. You got this friend, I have faith!


Tamara December 3, 2012 at 11:16 am

Re-commitment is never a waste of time! I find I need to identify my goals, re-focus and commit yet again about every 3rd month. Best way to keep making progress and pulling ourselves back to mindful-ness.

Looking forward to see your workout logs!


courtney December 3, 2012 at 1:27 pm

I am the same way with goals – if I paid for them I’m all about giving it 200% and I’m totally focused. I need to learn to push myself even if I haven’t paid money for a challenge or competition. I think for me that will be a tough one but I’m thinking it’s time I try!


Kierston December 3, 2012 at 5:00 pm

You are great and you are HUMAN! You live, you learn, you grow :)


Christine @ Love, Life, Surf December 3, 2012 at 11:57 pm

I love this post too. Heart disease and cancer run in my family and while I’m healthy and active, I do worry about it too. I think that we’re both taking steps in the positive direction to hopefully offset some of the genetic baggage we carry. While you may feel like you’ve written this post a million times, I think that that’s all part of the journey and the process. We need to keep coming back around to the same issue and obstacles and we learn each time we encounter them again and it helps us move forward. You are making great progress. You know that, right?

I too am ready to live in the moment during the holiday season. And to return to my yoga mat :-)


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