Checking in on my Resolutions

It’s been about a month since we’ve rung in the new year and I thought it would be a good time to evaluate my resolution progress. If you didn’t catch my post last month on that, here they are again:

1. Eat better, get back on a weight lifting routine, and lose the holiday weight (8-10lbs).

2. Think less and do more.

The first resolution is more like three or more smooshed into one, which is usually not a good idea if one is trying to make a serious life change. But in my case, I had let some healthy habits (habits that were years in the making) fall to the wayside and it was just a matter of getting back on track.

Remember, there is a huge difference between building new habits and simply returning to old ones that were already in place in the not-so-distant past.

Ten years ago, my resolution would have been something more like: don’t have seconds at dinner or eat my vegetables before anything else on my plate. Eating better could be broken down into 50 or more individual actions, giving you New Years resolutions for the rest of your life.

My point is, don’t be like me. Make your goals or resolutions with more specificity if you want to build lasting habits.

Now that I’m done talking about how crappy my resolutions are. Let’s see how things are going.

Surprisingly very well! I have to admit that my “think less and do more” resolution had been in the works ever since I had begun training for my 10k in November. By the time December 31st rolled around, the ball had already started rolling so I gave it a name and it’s been rolling along ever since. Unfortunately, the area where I have had trouble is the weight training regimen. It’s still barely a blip on my radar and I HATE having to say that.

Before we talk about my anemic workout schedule, let’s take a look at where I’ve been succeeding so far.

“Eat better…”

Trying the Paleo Diet was something I’d been kicking around in my head for a while. I decided now would be a great time to try something new since I needed to kickstart my healthy eating again. Now, I haven’t read the book and from what I’ve heard about it, I’m not sure I buy into the whole “evolutionary science” behind the diet’s rationale (I’ll withhold judgement until I actually read the book). But when you take away all the caveman fluff, what’s left is basically a diet that favors whole foods, lots of good quality meats, vegetables, nuts, not so much fruit, even less dairy, and no refined grains. You can also read this article that will give you another breakdown of the diet.

Where’s the cheese?

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I’m not sold on Paleo being THE ANSWER to all our dietary woes. The amount of meat it says to eat seems excessive to me (The China Study talks more about that and is next on my reading list so more discussion on that soon) and I’m not ready to fully cut out dairy. But what it has done is help me scale back on the grains and dairy and really up the veggie intake. The result? I’ve already lost 5 lbs and am feeling really good. I still leave room for some indulgences, but I’m glad I was able to find a way to get things back on track and see results quickly.

“Think less and do more.”

I am ecstatic with how well I’ve been doing here.

Case in point: I’m blogging again! In November of 2010, I started this ol’ blog with big dreams. Ok medium dreams. But I quickly burned out and stopped posting. One of the big problems was that I would get hung up too easily on the little perfectionisty details and let them derail my progress. What I finally learned was that if I was going to get any better at this blogging and writing thing, I needed to do just that: blog and write! Everything that exists in the world is a better version of a previous model. How am I supposed to improve on something if I’m too afraid to put myself out there and make version 1.0? So here it is: Lauren’s Fit Tips 1.0. Hopefully 2.0 isn’t too far into the future.

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In addition to the writing, I’ve been reading like crazy. My goal is to read one book per month, cycling through different genres: business/psychology, nutrition, kinesiology/exercise science and plain old fiction to inject a little fun into the mix and help improve my writing and vocabulary. I’m also regularly reading blogs that will help  me grow as a person and professional.

A great blog post I read recently was at moneysavingmom.com on discipline. I’m not a mom so a lot of the content doesn’t apply to me at this point in my life, but this series was 14 post’s worth of little nuggets to help you get on your way to leading a more disciplined life. Not only was each post eye-opening and motivating, but there were quotes at the beginning of each article that gave me something to roll around in my little brain all day. One that really resonated with me was:

Remember: Moving in the right direction–even at a microscopic rate–is still moving forward. Slowly making seemingly tiny changes can add up to major differences over a period of time.

I can’t remember if that is an exact quote from Crystal, the author, or if it’s something that I paraphrased. Either way, it’s been one of my mantras lately and is helping me work through my perfectionism.

Ignoring the perfectionisty details (for now) + working in smaller chunks at a time =

Getting more done and not giving up on myself.

“Think less and do more.”

The book I’m reading this month is Switch. Which has been another valuable tool in overcoming my crippling perfectionism. More on that soon.

“…get back on a weight lifting routine…”

This has been the area where my performance has left much to be desired.

I know, the horror of it all. I mean, I’m the trainer, I should be working out all the time and loving it! But, and I’m going to be very honest, weight lifting is not my most favorite of exercises. I am not the type of person who can easily maintain a strict gym-based exercise regimen because, well, I don’t really like to work out.

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I’m sorry. I hate to to admit it, but I want to be transparent. Despite the fact that I am a personal trainer and weight training is my bread and butter, it’s just never been at the top of the “fun things to do in life” list. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when I really enjoy working out, so I probably dislike it a whole lot less than your average Joe. But it’s difficult for me to stay on a routine. I prefer to be in a dance class or playing beach volleyball over lifting weights in the gym. But I am all too aware of its myriad benefits so there is no excuse to not put my time in. Plus I need to practice what I preach!

Here are the main problems with this resolution and why I haven’t done well with it:

1. Most of my self-control reserves were likely spent on resolution #2 (remember my last post on willpower?).

2. I skipped what should have been the first step: find a workout partner. If I already knew that working out solo wasn’t going to work for me, I shouldn’t have set myself up for failure. Lesson learned.

All in all, 2012 has been a pretty successful year so far. Some bumps in the road, but nothing that I will allow to knock me off track. Next time I check in I hope to bring news of a new workout buddy! Is there a match.com for exercise partners?

How about you? Did you make any resolutions this year? How’s it going?

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